September 30, 2005 – Parents United Update

September 30, 2005 – Parents United Update


So increased local property taxes? How did that happen?

Good afternoon! Each day this week we have read how schools are increasing their revenue by going to the local taxpayer.  “How did that happen?—I thought the state gave schools a lot of money. 4%/4% was what I read!”  How quickly we forget.

During the legislative session, all or our legislators and our governor came to believe that schools needed more money, but the great division was over how that money was to be raised. In fact, that was the main reason we experienced for the first time ever, a partial state shutdown—over this very philosophical difference. 

Knowing that local property taxes would increase because of the increased value of one’s home, the Senate DID NOT want to impose a greater burden on the homeowner.  However, the House and Governor disagreed.  In order “not to raise taxes”, the state claimed an increase to schools of 4%/4% and paid for it, in part, with increases in local property taxes.  In some cases, schools will not even see much of an increase in the bottom line, but the homeowner will see increases in their tax statement.     

This link will bring you to a comparison of the three initial school funding proposals–it compares the House, Governor and Senate’s proposals as of May 6.

Add to this, that the state increased the amount school districts can ask for in  local voter approved referenda to further help them fund their schools—from 18.6% of the per pupil formula to 26%.  And in the case of QComp $70 out of the $260 per pupil to be used for QComp, needs to be raised through local property tax.

Just a note, I have heard of  legislators telling people that schools are “leaving money on the table” and should be using QComp as a way to increase the funding of their schools–but doesn’t this mean they need to increase local taxes?  

So, the state has said they have given schools 4%/4%–they have—but not by use of state dollars alone.  Over the next few months, people will have the opportunity to attend ”Truth in Taxation Hearings” held by their local school boards.  And those local school boards are in the position of having to defend this action. 

What Can I do?
Understand what happened and be a voice in your local community.
Attend your Truth in Taxation Hearing and let the truth be heard.   

Minnesota Teacher of the Year

I wanted you to know about this initiative from Education Minnesota!

Now’s the time to nominate a special educator for Teacher of the Year
Nominations open Oct. 1; online nominations available

St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 28, 2005 – Everyone remembers a favorite teacher, someone who motivates and inspires students for a lifetime. Minnesotans have the opportunity again this fall to nominate that special educator for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Nominations open Oct. 1 and remain open through Nov. 15. Again this year, nominations can be submitted online simply by accessing the nominations form at Education Minnesota. The 2006 Teacher of the Year will be named at a ceremony in early May. The Minnesota Teacher of the Year also becomes Minnesota’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Who is eligible for this distinction?

  • Public or nonpublic school Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers.
    • These teachers must hold a baccalaureate degree and a Minnesota teaching license.
    • These teachers must have completed three years of teaching by the nomination deadline and intend to teach during the 2006-2007 school year.

Anyone may nominate a teacher. Self-nominations are also accepted.

The state program has been highly successful nationally – Minnesota ranks second behind California with four National Teachers of the Year.

For more information or to receive a nomination form, call Chris Carlin at 651-292-4875 or 800-652-9073.

Organized and underwritten by Education Minnesota, the program receives support from Education Minnesota-ESI, McDonald’s Restaurants of Minnesota, The Northland Inn and Conference Center, Pearson Education, the SMARTer Kids Foundation, Teacher Federal Credit Union and United Educators Credit Union.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Doug Dooher
651-292-4820 (work)
651-245-6141 (cell)
Joe Thornton
651-292-4816 (work)
651-245-6143 (cell)