Gov.’s Education Budget Bill Would Add $344M in Funding

State officials say the bill would add an average of $72 per student in fiscal year 2014 and an average $339 increase per student in fiscal year 2015.

Governor Mark Dayton’s bill, which has been introduced in the state House and Senate by the DFL education committee chairs, would add $344 million to the state budget for preschool through grade 12.
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said the bills would help “forge a world-class education system Minnesota can be proud of.”
State officials say the bills would add an average of $72 per student in fiscal year 2014 and an average $339 increase per student in fiscal year 2015.
The highlights:

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· $125 million for special education reform, providing needed funding and greater funding equity for schools.
· $118 million increase on the formula, providing $52 in new money for every student in the state.
·  $44 million for early childhood education scholarships, helping 10,000 more children attend high quality child care and preschool.
· $40 million for all-day kindergarten, helping Minnesota school districts provide optional all-day K to students free of charge.
· $10 million for teacher evaluation, providing essential funds to begin a new teacher evaluation system that supports teachers and will result in better student achievement.
· $8.9 million for English Language Learning, extending funding for ELL from 5 to 7 years to help develop language skills for full participation in the classroom.
· $9 million in savings through forecast and accounting efficiencies.
· $4.5 million for Regional Centers of Excellence, establishing six new centers to help the state’s most struggling schools, with a focus on Greater Minnesota.
· $1.8 million for paperwork reduction, permanently reducing special education paperwork and giving teachers more time in the classroom and less time filling out forms.
· $1 million for school bullying prevention, establishing a School Climate Center to provide guidance, training, and support to schools to create safer environments for students to learn.
Said Cassellius:
“With better and fairer funding for special education, English language learners, early education and all-day Kindergarten, we can create an education system that opens opportunities for every to thrive and succeed.”