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Eden Prairie, Minn.- House Education Finance Committee Chairwoman Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) released the following statement in response to Governor Mark Dayton’s veto of the bipartisan education budget (HF 844) Thursday. The legislation earned overwhelming bipartisan support with 123 legislators from both parties voting in support and just 73 voting in opposition.
“Our education budget was the picture of bipartisanship – where both sides came together to do what is right for our youngest Minnesotans,” said Chairwoman Loon. “I am disappointed that Governor Dayton is forcing a special session over an education bill that garnered such strong support from both sides of the aisle and made a significant financial commitment to our students.”
Overall, the legislation invested $17.109 billion into Minnesota’s E-12 education system, a $1.3 billion increase over current funding. This provided a $205 average increase in funding for every student in every classroom and more than $60 million in new money for proven early learning initiatives, including early education scholarships and school pre-K aid. Furthermore, it placed additional funding for facilities maintenance which will help reduce funding disparities for Greater Minnesota school districts and help finance the upkeep of school buildings.
In addition to significant financial investments, the bipartisan budget included innovative reforms including increased access to college in school, reduced the number of required tests to allow for more instruction time, and streamlined teacher licensure to help school districts attract quality teachers.
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