Greetings from the district,
I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Independence Day holiday! Now that summer is unofficially at its half-way point, parents will soon begin thinking about the fall school year. The good news is that whether your child attends college or grade school, the budget we passed this year will make their lives easier.
Funding for E-12 and higher education institutions has always been bipartisan. This year was no difference. Republicans worked with Gov. Walz and Democrats in the House to make sure students of all ages, locations, and income levels have an opportunity to succeed.
The E-12 education bill fully funds Minnesota’s schools for the next two school years. We increased funding by more than $1.2 billion – a total commitment to schools of more than $20 billion! With that level of resources, schools everywhere will have the tools they need to provide a first-class education to your student.
Highlights of the bill:
- Provides 2% annual increases to the per pupil education formula – a top priority of school groups and educators.
- Adds $90 million to help districts cover rising special education costs.
- Delivers $30 million to for school safety improvements. This can be used for infrastructure upgrades or to hire expert staff, like mental health counselors.
- Improves PSEO opportunities by requiring districts to provide information to students earlier in the year.
- Strengthens instruction and support for students with dyslexia.
HOW LOCAL SCHOOLS WILL BE IMPACTED
You might be curious about how these E-12 funding increases will affect your child’s school. Here is a breakdown:
We have heard over and over that college affordability is a growing problem. Our bill puts students first by making college more affordable and more accessible, with caps on tuition increases, options for textbook-free education, workforce development support, and incentives for students considering in-demand fields.
I am especially thrilled that we secured significant increases for the Workforce Development Scholarship program. Despite being relatively new, this program has already successfully connected students to scholarships to address workforce shortages in high demand industries.
Highlights of the bill:
- Provides $64.5 million to Minnesota State and $43.5 million to the University of Minnesota for school operations and maintenance.
- Caps undergraduate student tuition at the cost of inflation at both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Systems.
- Invests over $18 million in the State Grant Program, which provides financial assistance to low-income students.
- Boosts the Workforce Development Scholarship Program by $7 million. This expansion includes support for additional training programs, flexibility to target returning workers, and rewarding campuses leveraging private-sector partnerships to increase scholarship awards.
- Provides additional resources to campuses for the Skilled Workforce Partnerships program, which allows them to work directly with employers to increase career exposure activities.
- Expands the “Z-degree program,” which helps students obtain a college degree without the need to purchase textbooks.
- Adds additional funding for mental health services at Minnesota State campuses.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me any time. Your feedback is extremely important to me and I encourage you to share your input. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my Capitol office at 651-296-5649. It’s a great honor to serve as your State Senator.
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