SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives advanced a supplemental education budget plan to deliver over $3 billion worth of new investments to support students, families, public schools, and school staff across the state. If passed into law, Independent School District 196 would receive an additional $762 in 2023 in aid per student.
Representative John Huot (DFL-Rosemount) voted to support the bill.
The bill includes a focus on literacy and overall academic success, including the BOLD literacy package and funding for Math Corps. The bill’s mental health package, totaling $475 million, will address the shortages of school support personnel that benefit students’ social, emotional, and physical health, and fund wrap-around services for students. The legislation provides dedicated funds to support hiring around 1,100 student support personnel so that students have greater access to school counselors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses.
The bill addresses the more than $700 million funding shortfall for special education services, as well as the nearly $150 million deficit in English Language Learner services. The proposal provides more than $500 million annually over the next three years to reduce the amount school districts pay to make up for these shortfalls, reducing the special education “cross-subsidy” by over 55%, and would eliminate the English Language Learner cross-subsidy by 2026.
“ISD #196 shouldn’t have to dig out of debt to pay for the educational services our students with disabilities or who need assistance learning English depend on,” said Rep. Huot, a long time supporter of closing these funding shortfalls. “We’re dedicating a third of the $9.25 budget surplus to ensure educators and staff can deliver the specialized tools these students need to thrive.”
Opportunity gaps open long before kindergarten. Access to early learning is one of the best ways to prevent them in the first place. The plan expands Early Head Start and awards early learning scholarships to more than 20,000 low-income and vulnerable infants and toddlers. Once these children turn four, they’ll have access to a statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program through local schools, Head Starts, and licensed child care providers. Together, these investments will put thousands of children on the path to success in kindergarten, school, and life.
The House DFL proposal uses Minnesota’s historic budget surplus to provide $1.15 billion in additional education funding in fiscal year 2023 and $2.12 billion in fiscal years 2024 and 2025. In comparison, the Senate Republican Majority has included 0.35% of the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus to fund the resources Minnesota students and schools are counting on.