Legislative Priorities

The Minnesota Legislature and Governor are constitutionally obligated to provide the foundation resources so all children succeed. If they do not, students lose the educational opportunities that they need and deserve.

Our Legislative Platform

All communities value their local schools and must have equal access to affordable levy revenue so their students can have the same educational opportunities seen in high-property wealth school districts.  SEE’s top legislative priority is a comprehensive school levies tax relief and reform bill.  Over the summer, SEE worked with the House Research Department to craft the legislation.

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.

What is Fair?

Districts rely on school levies to make up for inadequate state funding.

  • The state is spending $1,600 per pupil less on today’s students than the children in the classrooms in the early 1990s due to the inflationary erosion of the basic formula.
  • The average unfunded cost of providing mandated special education funding is over $800 per pupil.
  • Other funding streams for English language learners, transportation, and children living in poverty have stagnated.

SEE Leads on School Levy Property Tax Bill

In the next legislative session, education advocates can rally around the comprehensive SEE school levy tax relief and reform bill to eliminate the glaring inequities in educational opportunities based merely on where a student lives.

Overcoming Inadequate State Funding?

Voter-approved referendums among districts range from over $2,500 per pupil to $0.