ST. PAUL - State Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) issued the following statement regarding Governor Mark Dayton’s announcement that he has vetoed the K-12 Education omnibus bill:
“Governor Dayton’s veto of the bipartisan House and Senate K-12 Education omnibus bill over funding of universal pre-K demonstrates that he is out of touch with his own party and Minnesota classrooms. Neither the House, with its Republican majority, or the Senate, with its DFL majority, voted to fund universal pre-K.
One of the superintendents in my district communicated to me the potentially devastating impact of a universal pre-K mandate. The costs would be immense to Waconia 110 Public Schools, including approximately $17,000,000 for new classroom facilities, $350,000-$525,000 annually for new teacher salaries, additional bussing, supplies, utilities, and support staff members.
These costs would result in a levy and increased taxes for district taxpayers.
Furthermore, Minnesota children learn differently. Families should have the opportunity to choose pre-K programming that fits their child’s educational and social goals. Minnesota has countless non-public pre-K programming opportunities for children, including private education and education offered through childcare providers. Implementing universal pre-K would result in fiscal and social losses for our private programs and childcare providers.
A universal pre-K mandate is a dangerous policy that negatively impacts our local school district and others statewide. Governor Dayton is out of touch, and his veto on our education bill – which contained $400 million in new funding for schools (an average increase of $205 per pupil) – is misguided.”