The Minnesota Senate is set to approve a comprehensive E-12 education budget during the upcoming special session that will increase the per-student funding formula for schools 2% in 2020 and an additional 2% in 2021. The historic funding bill includes $90 million to help cover the rising costs of special education, a top priority for Minnesota’s public schools. Schools will also receive school safety funding, a top priority of Senate Republicans.
In addition to historic funding increases, the E-12 Education Finance Bill provides $30 million in safe schools revenue that may be used for a wide variety of facility and programming purposes that improve safety, including hiring school counselors. This funding was a top priority for the Senate and builds on the $25 million for school safety appropriated in 2018.
The $90 million in additional funding for special education will help alleviate the amount of money school districts shift from their general fund budgets to cover the growing costs of special education. The final budget bill also provides temporary funding for 4,000 spots in the state’s voluntary pre-K program.
“This bill focuses on students, providing new resources for schools through the per student formula – the best way to deliver funding and flexibility to our local schools,” said Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), Chair of the Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee. “We also prioritized school safety to keeps kids safe – physically and mentally.”