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Posted: May 18 2015 7:32PM
RELEASE: House approves bipartisan K-12 Education budget
ST. PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House passed the K-12 Education omnibus bill Monday morning, which includes $400 million in increased funding for K-12 and early education initiatives as part of a bipartisan compromise agreement between House and Senate leaders. The bill increases per-pupil funding for every student in every school district across the state by an average of $205. It also includes $68.7 million in new funding for early childhood learning scholarships and school readiness aid, additional funding for school facility maintenance, and teacher licensure reform that will streamline Minnesota's complex licensure process for out-of-state teachers. Also included was $9.5 million in increased funding for the state Q-Comp program, an additional $4 million for College in the Schools (CIS) concurrent enrollment funding to help students who are seeking to earn college credits in high school.
The bill passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support Monday afternoon, and now heads to the Governor for further action.
"This bill invests significant new money in our K-12 schools and early education that will benefit thousands of students across the state," said Representative Anna Wills, R-Rosemount. "Students in all corners of the state deserve a world-class education, and this bill invests heavily in our schools and programs proven to help close our achievement gap and help the students who need it most. I'm proud of the bipartisan support for this bill, and am glad that Democrats and Republicans were able to come to an agreement to help boost funding for our schools."
Legislation Representative Wills worked on that were included in the final bill include:
HF964 - Implementing recommendations from the Office of the Legislative Auditor regarding Special Education
HF567 - Increased flexibility for schools who receive compensatory funding to 50%. Schools have asked for this flexibility, and it's great to see they will be able to have more flexibility with their funding.
HF568 - $3.5 million increase for Reading Corps, a program I've discussed on several occasions that has a proven track record of improving reading skills and learning, especially for at-risk students.
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