The study also shows that certain groups of Minnesotans — including people of color, the very young, the very old, and those without adequate access to health care — are disproportionately affected by pollution.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle held up the four of the biggest funding areas – general and special education aid, preschool, and school safety grants – as victories, even though each made significant concessions to reach a deal.
House DFLers and Gov. Tim Walz propose renewing funding for 4,000 volunteer preschool slots in public school districts. Senate Republicans want to use those funds for early learning scholarships instead.
It’s estimated that a third of Minnesota students are now children of color, and advocates say the lack of teacher diversity impacts outcomes and contributes to achievement gaps between students of color and their white classmates.
Proposals for new education spending range from $206 million to $900 million. Here’s how the House, Senate and governor’s budgets differ on plans for school funding, student mental health, school safety and early education.
The state automatically allocates more money toward special education costs every year, but can’t keep up with rising costs. “It just shows the skyrocketing, escalating cost of special education,” said state Sen. Carla Nelson.
“Those who are not familiar with these statistics are often shocked to hear that students in preschool are three times more likely to be suspended than kids in K-12,” said Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights.