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Governor’s education budget bill would add $344 million in funding

The bill, introduced by the state House and Senate education committee chairs, would cover preschool through 12th grade.

Gov. 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 FY2014 and an average $339 increase per student in FY2015.

The highlights:

  • $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 rarly 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:

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 “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.”