For more information contact: Matt Roznowski 651-296-8875
ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a comprehensive K-12 Education Finance and Policy omnibus bill this week by a vote of 83-50.
The bill is designed to create the world’s best workforce by closing Minnesota’s achievement gap, reaching a 100 percent high school graduation rate, 100 percent literacy by third grade, and 100 percent career and college readiness by graduation.
In order to meet those goals, the bill fully funds all-day, every day kindergarten, invests in early learning childhood scholarships, and increases the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by over $315 million.
“The investments in our education bill reflect our commitment to ensuring every student in Minnesota receives a high-quality education,” said Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL—Maplewood). “This is a transformative moment that will help our state reclaim its status as a national leader in academic excellence. Voting in support for this bill was a truly humbling experience. It’s going to have a positive impact on Minnesota for decades to come.”
Under the bill, school districts in the area are set to receive sorely-needed funding increases in Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. The new funding increases are as follows:
By providing free all-day Kindergarten, the House DFL education bill provides financial relief to families who participate in the fee-based all-day Kindergarten programs currently available in many school districts. For school districts such as North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale that already offer free all-day Kindergarten, the dollars they use to currently fund the program could be freed up and used for other priorities.
“Our bill means that parents currently covering the costs of all-day Kindergarten for their children will have a lot more money in their pockets,” said Rep. Fischer. “It’s going to allow them to spend more money at local businesses on things like groceries and save more every month to send their kids to college. That’s going to make a big difference for lots of families throughout Minnesota.”
As part of building the world’s best workforce, the House DFL Education Budget would implement several reforms, such as requiring schools to develop strategic plans for student achievement and update the public on their status each year. The state will utilize the Minnesota Department of Education’s Regional Centers of Excellence to provide assistance and work with schools to reach their goals.
A new student assessment system will be implemented that ensures students stay on the path to being career and college ready, and innovation grants that promote new ways to increase student achievement will be available to schools.
“Lawmakers at our state capitol shortchanged our students for far too long,” added Rep. Fischer. “Thankfully, the House DFL education plan puts an end to the era of cuts. Our bill moves Minnesota forward towards economic growth and long-lasting shared prosperity. Our future is very bright.”
Rep. Fischer encourages his constituents to contact him with any questions about the House K-12 education bill. He can be reached by phone at (651) 296-5363, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at 421 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
Constituents can also ‘like’ Rep. Fischer’s Facebook page to get the latest updates on developments at the state capitol.