Our schools are Minnesota’s top priority, and our area teachers and administrators do a wonderful job preparing our children for the future. Over the years, I have consistently supported increases in education funding and was happy to vote for a significant increase in K-12 funding in the latest budget cycle.
As part of this latest budget agreement, K-12 schools will receive $650 million in new funding over the next two years. This is no small feat considering our state had to solve a $5.1 billion budget deficit. K-12 Education was one of the few areas that received any increases at all, as most other areas of state government were forced to deal with budget reductions. It’s worth noting that Minnesota is now spending more on education funding than ever before, and every area school district is benefitting from this decision.
This session, I also supported legislation that finally began to narrow the funding disparity gap that exists between rural and inner city schools. I also supported a number of bipartisan K-12 Education reform laws, including teacher and principal evaluation requirements, removing mandates forcing school districts to spend state money on programs outside of the classroom, and providing early education scholarships to our best and brightest students.