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DFL-dominated big cities say GOP cuts target them, their schools

Education cuts proposed by the Legislature’s Republican majority seem to come down particularly hard on the state’s three biggest cities — Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, which all tend to vote DFL — and elected officials from those cities are crying foul.

Don Davis of the Fargo Forum found mayors and school officials from the Big 3 leading a rally Thursday at the Capitol, decrying the cuts.

Wrote Davis:

[The cuts] would hurt students, Duluth school official Bill Hanson told a couple hundred school supporters and the media Thursday outside the governor’s office.

“Minnesota’s future depends on us,” the school district chief financial officer said.

Picking on the three Democratic-leaning communities hurts the state, Hanson said. “Invest in the success of our leading economic engines.”

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman called the GOP bill a “political vendetta” against cities that vote for Democrats.

 Duluth Mayor Don Ness said the targeted cuts would hurt students in his city: “It shouldn‘t matter the city they live in.”

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton would likely veto the bill as it now stands.

According to Davis, House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said the bill is what Republicans who lead the House and Senate would like, but Dayton’s administration will begin to negotiate the final funding.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Eric Larson on 05/14/2011 - 02:21 am.

    Would someone at MinnPost publish how much per pupil gets spent on kids in Mpls-Duluth-St. Paul vs Osseo Buffalo Lakeville etc. The descrepency can sometimes be 2x and 3x what some suburban rural districts spend. Given that most of the money comes from the State of MN or is passed through the state from DC, this is cruel. The fact that said cruelty has been the norm for DECADES is just long term imperialism.

    “MPS is not an education it’s an adventure” Was the joking around phrase in the 80’s-90’s. Everyone knows what MPS is now a days. DFL jobs program, laboratory of all sorts weird social science, posterchild for un-accountability, exhibit #1 in anybody’s primer on disfunction. ISD has lost one half of it’s population without a baby bust. What’s really galling is that the school age population in Mpls is increasing while enrollment is falling.

    What’s happening is that state spending is starting to level out between haves (MPLS-ST.Paul-Duluth) and the have nots (rest of state). Your era of privilege is coming to an end. I’m sure you won’t go quietly, but don’t say what’s happening is evil. What led to this, was.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 05/15/2011 - 08:57 am.

    Please don’t forget that the money for LGA comes from OUR pockets in the form of property taxes. It is OUR money, freely given, and is supposed to be used to help those cities and towns with the greatest needs and insufficient resources to meet them.

    The greatest needs are in the three largest cities: largest numbers of people in poverty; largest numbers of immigrants seeking to learn English and to attend public schools; largest numbers of public (state/county/city) and private non-profit properties not subject to property tax. They have, in addition, the largest numbers of foreclosed properties and homeless citizens who used to live in them.

    For the majority party to deliberately cut LGA that belongs to St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth looks much more like a vendetta than an effort to redistribute our money to areas more — what, more Republican? These cuts will cause great harm, but that doesn’t seem to have entered their decision-making process.

  3. Submitted by chris berg on 05/15/2011 - 10:46 pm.

    Perhaps some simple fact-checking would be in order here. Duluth is no longer the third-largest city in Minnesota. Rochester is larger based on the 2010 Census.

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