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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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RELEASE: State Rep. Fue Lee joins Gov. Dayton to call for Emergency School Aid

Thursday, May 03, 2018

SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, State Rep. Fue Lee (DFL – Minneapolis), shared his support for Governor Mark Dayton’s emergency school aid proposal which would provide additional, needed state funding for school districts across the state. Right now, more than 26 school districts in the metropolitan 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 cuts to school programs. Governor Dayton’s proposal would increase school funding by 2 percent in the coming year, amounting to an additional $126 for every student in Minnesota.

“Every child in Minnesota deserves an excellent school, and Governor Dayton’s investment will keep more teachers in our classrooms, keep class sizes down, and give more students the chance to succeed. That’s what families in my community and every community deserve,” said Rep. Lee. “I am grateful for Governor Dayton’s efforts to protect essential services for students in my community.”

Rep. Lee highlighted Minneapolis Public Schools, facing a $33 million budget shortfall in 2018-2019, and the harm this would have on students due to an estimated 350-400 faculty and staff layoffs.

Based on voluntary survey data collected by the Association of Metro School Districts and the Minnesota Rural Education Association, at least 59 Minnesota school districts are facing budget deficits in the coming year. According to the Association of Metro School Districts, 26 school districts in the metropolitan area are facing deficits that could lead to hundreds of teacher layoffs. According to the Minnesota Rural Education Association, as least 33 school districts in Greater Minnesota will be eliminating staff due to budget deficits, including a total of 85 teachers and 75 non-licensed staff across these 33 districts.

Across Minnesota, state aid has not kept pace with the rising cost of ensuring excellent educations for every Minnesota student. A recent study from the North Star Policy Institute demonstrates how real funding for each Minnesota student dropped by $2,000 from 2003 to 2012. Recent investments championed by Governor Dayton have increased funding by more than $1,000 per student, but that still leaves Minnesota schools forced to do more with roughly $1,000 less, per student, than they had 15 years ago.

Rep. Lee encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Rep. Lee can be reached by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn .

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