Education Legislation

3/16/23 – Senate GOP blocks bonding bill, sending DFL back to drawing board

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate Thursday voted down a $1.5 billion capital investment bill, arguing that it should be tied to tax cuts. The move sent Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in the chamber, back to the drawing board, and it irked local leaders and labor groups who’ve waited three years for lawmakers to approve a capital investment bill. Lawmakers typically pass a capital investment bill — known as a bonding bill — every other year. But they failed to get one across the finish line in 2021 and 2022 under divided control in the Legislature. The threshold for passing the bill is higher than usual — a three-fifths majority — because it would incur debt by issuing bonds to pay for construction projects. And GOP lawmakers exerted their unique leverage to stall out the proposal, at least for the moment.

2/20/23 – Legislative leaders set 2023 committee deadlines

Legislators and the public now officially know the timeline for getting bills through the committee process during the 2023 session.

Here are the three deadlines for this year:

Friday, March 10 — Committees must act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
Friday, March 24 — Committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other body.
Tuesday, April 4 (5 p.m.) — Committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.
The annual Easter/Passover break is scheduled from 5 p.m. April 4 through April 10.

Per House Rule 2.03, the deadlines do not apply to the House Capital Investment Division; the House Taxes, Ways and Means, or Rules and Legislative Administration committees; nor the Senate Capital Investment, Finance, Taxes or Rules and Administration committees.

The Legislature must complete its work by May 22.

2/17/23 – The House passed Minnesota employers to provide sick time to their employees

After 2023’s longest floor session yet, the House passed another of the DFL’s top priorities Thursday, voting 69-54 to send HF19 on to the Senate after more than seven hours of debate. The bill would require almost all Minnesota employers to provide paid sick time to their employees.

This past week also saw the first hearing of a nearly $2 billion capital investment proposal from Gov. Tim Walz and a proposal to bump up the funding formula for K-12 schools that could result in more than $1 billion in additional education spending. Child care, homelessness, stadium funding and tax breaks were among the many other issues that were discussed over the past several days as well.

1/17/23 – Governor Walz releases part of the education funding budget proposal

Gov. Tim Walz has unveiled a portion of his budget proposal, which is mostly focused on education but would also help families with child care costs and reduce child poverty, Walz says his initial $12 billion proposal would include the largest investment in public education in the state’s history. Walz says his initial $12 billion proposal would include the largest investment in public education in the state’s history. For Minnesota schools, Walz is calling for a 4% increase to the general education funding formula next year and 2% increase the following year.  Those increases to the state aid formula would amount to a $717 million investment in 2024-2025 and a $1.48 billion investment in 2026-2027. An $800 million plan to provide free school meals for all students and $158 million for mental health services are among Walz’s education spending proposals. Walz’s education budget also proposes to reduce the special education cross subsidy by 50%, which would greatly help school districts cover the rising costs associated with the services, and free up funding for day-to-day school costs. On January 24, the entire budget will be released.

SEE Leads on School Levy Property Tax Bill (this will be updated when information is released for the 2023 year)

Update (3/28/22)  HF4064 – The House Property Tax Committee included about $40 million a year in equalization for location optional revenue (LOR) in the property tax omnibus. The equalization is for the first $300 per pupil of the $724 per pupil levy and is based on 170% of the state average referendum market value, making the property tax relief permanent and ongoing.  In recent years, this increase would have been significant. But given the state’s budget surplus, the amount is only modest. The legislature can do better.

February 2022 – The SEE school levies tax relief and reform bill is here!  Following is what the HF3224 legislation does.

  1. Significantly lowers property taxes and makes future school levies more affordable in lower-property wealth school districts by increasing equalization. The impacted school levies are the voter-approved referendum, the board-approved location optional revenue (LOR), and debt-service (for building bonds).
  2. Prevents the erosion of the property tax relief by indexing the formulas to inflation.
  3. Increases the cap on LOR by $101, raising it from $724 to $825 per pupil for the next school year, and then increases the LOR revenue by the same percentage as increases to the basic formula.
  4. Increases long-term facility maintenance (LTFM) by $120 to $500 per student next year and then links the funding to inflation after that. LTFM equalization is already highly equalized and linked to inflation.
  5. Allows joint powers to be eligible for LTFM.
  6. Allows consolidated school districts to qualify for enhanced debt service (formerly known as natural disaster debt service.)
  7. Allows cooperatives and joint powers to qualify for leased levies.

Legislative Committee Meetings

Keep up on the education issues that legislative committees address.

SEE Side-by-Side Comparison

Compare the new funding priorities of the Governor, House, and Senate.​

Education Finance and Policy Proposals

The Governor, House, and Senate each produce their own education bills that reflect their priorities. At the end of the session (or possibly in a special session), the three versions must be reconciled into a single education bill through negotiations.

The Governor's Education Bills

Senate Education Bills


Senate Education Finance and Policy Omnibus – $32.4 million for 2022-23 and $1.4 million for the following two-year biennium

Two new spending proposals:

  • $30 million – grants for K-5 teachers to take the LETRS literacy training. (one-time)
  • $700,000 – to hire literacy support directors at each of the MDE Regional Centers of Support.

Additional Information:

House Education Bills


HF4300 – House Education Finance and Policy Omnibus – $1.2 billion for 2022-23 and $2.1 billion combined for the following two-year biennium

Highlights include:


Additional Information:

Other Notable Bills

Final Days of the 2022 Legislative Session
The Speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader, and the Governor agreed to $320 million annually in new funding for E-12 education, amounting to $1 billion over the next three years. Although the House and Senate traded multiple offers, they could not reach an agree.ment Between $200 to $265 million to fund the gap in special education funding, which would have benefited every student, was left on the table.
Special Education Cross Subsidy
HF2657 – the bill proposes to fully fund the special education cross subsidy – the unfunded cost of providing mandated special education services. This cross subsidy is the largest financial challenge facing public schools. With a $9.3 billion state budget surplus, it is time for the legislature to eliminate the cross subsidy rather than pass the cost down to lost educational opportunities for students and higher property taxes for the local taxpayer.