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State Representative Jenifer Loon

449 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7449

For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522

Posted: 2017-05-09
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Press Release

House Passes Education Legislation with $1.14 Billion Increased Funding for Students and Schools


House File 890 increases funding for K-12 schools, targets investments in proven early learning initiatives, and advances policies to improve student learning and keep the best teachers in the classroom

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — On Tuesday, the House passed a student-focused Education Omnibus bill on a vote of 72-59. The legislation, which was agreed upon in conference committee by the House and Senate includes $1.14 billion in new education funding over the current biennium, $378 million in investments for proven, targeted early learning programs, and an increase to the per pupil funding formula of 1.5 percent each year which equates to $182 more for every student. What’s more, the legislation also help­s keep the best teachers in the classroom, creates a new academic achievement initiative to help low-income students succeed in school, and stands up for the health and well-being of kids.

“We have worked diligently over the past five months to craft education legislation that puts Minnesota kids first,” said Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “This legislation places the vast majority of new funding directly into the classroom, invests in proven early learning programs that best serve our state’s littlest learners and their families, and includes smart policies that work to narrow our achievement gap, improve student learning, and recruit and retain world-class educators in our schools.”

Key provisions in the agreed-upon legislation:

  • Invest $378 million for proven, targeted early learning programs including scholarships, early childhood family education (ECFE) and school readiness aid
  • Focus all new scholarship funding to Pathway I scholarships which go directly to help families choose quality early education programs that best fit their budget, schedule and child’s needs
  • Provide $45.5 million for enhanced school readiness aid that gives 74 school districts with voluntary pre-kindergarten more flexibility to either continue the program or modify those programs to better meet the needs of their students and families
  • Fund $3.3 million to implement the Professional Educator License and Standards Board to replace the troubled Board of Teaching, following recommendations by the Office of the Legislative Auditor and Teacher Licensing Work Group
  • Continue Republican-led efforts to strengthen teacher recruitment and retention, funding innovative programs including Grow Your Own, alternative teacher preparation, teacher loan forgiveness programs, and agriculture educator grants
  • Repeal the “last in, first out” default in state statute to allow schools and local bargaining units to negotiate mutually beneficial staff retention decisions that better serve students, teachers and schools
  • Protect kids by permitting school districts to provide child sexual abuse prevention instruction
  • Protect kids’ health by requiring school districts to test for the presence of lead in water of public school buildings
  • Create a new, targeted academic achievement initiative that funds before school, afterschool and summer programs to help low-income students who are falling behind their grade-level peers

The legislation was debated and passed by the Senate and now heads to Governor Dayton for his signature.  

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Jenifer Loon represents House District 48B, which includes most of the City of Eden Prairie, in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Rep. Loon encourages constituents to contact her with questions or opinions on any state or legislative issue. She can be reached via email at rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn and phone calls can be placed to her office at 651.296.7449. U.S. mail should be sent to Rep. Jenifer Loon, 449 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.

 

 

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