December 3, 2004 – State budget forecast released

December 3, 2004 – State budget forecast released

Welcome to all the new members of our Network E-list! Each week more and more people are joining this effort, working together to advocate for our public schools!

This week brought the long-awaited announcement of the budget forecast.  The announcement of a $1.4 Billion shortfall should come as no surprise to any of us.

In 2001, when the state took over the funding for our schools, it was estimated that the takeover would cost the state $1.9 Billion each biennium. Only half of the proposed legislation was passed that session and a stable and sustainable revenue source to pay for that liability has never been defined. 

The first biennium, they paid that bill with “surplus” dollars. During this current biennium, it was nearly half of the “honking-big deficit” and dealt with using one-time shifts and cuts to education and other services. Today’s projected shortfall is that liability back again. Even though this forecast is not unexpected, it does make our work more difficult and more critical.

The response to our request for parents to host legislative tours has been wonderful!

Many people are asking their legislators to invite a colleague who sits on an education committee to accompany them to a school unlike one in their own legislative district. All this is being done in the spirit of cooperation and working together to get things done.  We think this is exactly what our legislators should be doing.  If you are finding it difficult to get your legislator to visit your school, please let us know.   

See Legislators in the Schools for more information and a downloadable information packet you can take to your next parent group meeting.

Please let us know about the Legislators in Our Schools Tours that you have scheduled. We would like to keep a close record of the tours so that by mid-January, we can contact those Senators and House Members who have yet to visit one of our fine Minnesota schools and encourage them to do so.

If you have a question, or there is anything we can do to help make these tours happen for you, please call (651-214-6565) or email mary@parentsunitednetwork.org

Mary Cecconi
State Director – Parents United Network
833 Nordic Ave.
Stillwater, MN 55082
phone: 651-214-6565