May 16, 2007

May 16, 2007


It’s still Wednesday and we have an education bill
.

Thanks for your calls and emails to legislative leaders. This morning, an education bill was announced and will most likely be up for a floor vote later today.

A cursory reading of the bill shows these highlights:

  • The bill totals $800 million for two years.
  • $200 million of that total is one-time money so will not be available for future budget cycles.
  • Specifically for covering special education costs, there is $200 million in year one and $500 million in year two. Underfunding of special education is currently estimated to be $500 million a year, resulting in costly special education cross-subsidies for school districts.
  • The per-pupil formula increase is 2% in year one; there will be no increase in year two.
  • The bill calls for a legislative commission on P.S. Minnesota, and this session has shown that this initiative is sorely needed.
Preliminary conclusion? This bill is OK for schools although it can’t make up for any lost ground. It may mean less cuts for school districts, but it’s not what schools need to move ahead.

There is no guarantee that this education bill will pass through the House and Senate or that it is veto-proof.

Want to do something?! There will be a rally at 11 am Thursday (May 17) on the steps of the Capitol; people are gathering to push the message: bills need to be signed into law and our schools need to be funded.

Thank you for your efforts for Minnesota’s kids and schools. More details will follow soon.

Questions? Email Mary Cecconi

Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue N., St. Paul, MN 55108
www.parentsunited.org