The contingency funds were only made available because of a positive budget balance for the 2019 budget year
Today, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced $30 million in school safety aid is available for schools. In a letter to legislators, MMB Commissioner Myron Frans said the 2019 closing balance “will exceed $605.604 million by at least $63 million,” which provides enough for three contingency funds to be filled. The contingency funds were part of the session negotiations and would only be available if the 2019 budget ended with more money than expected. The school safety aid must be distributed to school districts or charter schools by June 30, 2020 and will be distributed proportionally by student population of the school.
“This is great news,” said Senator Carla Nelson (R- Rochester), Chair of the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee. “Students, teachers, faculty, administrators, and parents know that learning is best done when students are safe. With the contingency funds today, a total of $55 million dollars has been made available over two years to improve school safety building projects and support additional counselors and safety officers.”
In 2018, $25 million for school safety was made available through a grant application process and was quickly used up in districts across the state. Those funds were only available for physical improvements to school buildings.
“This second round of school safety funds won’t require an application process,” Nelson continued, “but will be allocated by student population in each school so we can all put these funds to use. And, they can be used to support additional staff like counselors and safety officers. I’m thrilled our diligent budget planning has made these funds available to keep our students safe.”
In addition to the $30 million in school safety aid, $20 million was set aside for disaster relief and $13 million for Metro Mobility will go to the Metropolitan Council.