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ST. PAUL, Minn. – This week, Gov. Mark Dayton announced plans for $137.9 million in one-time Emergency School Aid for school districts across Minnesota. Currently, more than 26 school districts in the metro area and 33 school districts in Greater Minnesota are facing immediate budget deficits that could result in hundreds of teachers and support staff being laid off, along with significant programming cuts. The proposal would increase school funding by two percent in the coming year, amounting to an additional $126 for every student in Minnesota.
St. Louis Park Public Schools, facing a $1.8 million shortfall for next school year, would see an additional $698,000 under Gov. Dayton’s plan. Also, Hopkins Public Schools would see an additional $1 million of funding, there would be $2 million more for Robbinsdale, which is facing a $10 million deficit, and $1.6 million more for Wayzata.
Rep. Peggy Flanagan (DFL – St. Louis Park) released the following statement:
“One of our most basic, fundamental responsibilities is to make sure all Minnesota kids receive a quality education, preparing them for whichever path in life they choose. Unfortunately, massive school district deficits show this is clearly in jeopardy for our students, and Gov. Dayton is absolutely right to call for urgent action protecting this key value we all share.
“We simply aren’t going to give kids the experience in school they deserve by cutting teachers, increasing class sizes, laying off critical support staff, or eliminating extracurricular activities. The time is now to deliver these sorely-needed resources, and I’m committed to joining with Gov. Dayton and other legislators to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve and succeed in Minnesota classrooms.”
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