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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, the Democrat majority brought education legislation to the House Floor. The bill includes Governor Walz’s recommendations for summer education for preschool, tutoring, community programs, mental health, and adult education. 

As can be expected, the DFL bill does little to address the problems facing students and instead uses this bill to give more money to interest groups.

In fact, only 27% of the funds in the bill go toward summer programs for K-12 students to address learning loss, and only 36 percent of the funding in this bill goes directly to schools. Most importantly, significant portions of the funding in this bill have no in-person requirement which is the entire point of funding summer school programming. 

Further, the bill funds bureaucracy, not classrooms by giving $1 million to the Department of Education (MDE), and millions more to grants to be distributed by MDE. Those dollars should be going to the classroom to improve student learning. 

House Republicans proposed an amendment that addresses the issue and if we are trying to help kids get caught up after a year of distance learning, then kids need to be in the classroom. While Democrats shovel money to non-profits and bureaucracy, Republicans want to put the dollars directly in the classroom, and directly to in-person learning so students can catch up from Governor Walz's year of keeping schools closed.

The Republican amendment would have sent $86 to every school district per pupil unit. The DFL bill favored the metro school districts with higher funding and substantially less per pupil unit for rural schools averaging only $31 per pupil unit and sending 2/3 of finding to MDE and special interest groups. I voted for the GOP amendment and against the DFL bill.

An entire generation will be harmed because of Governor Walz’s harmful school closures. It’s time to get kids back in school.

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn.

Have a great day,

Glenn

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