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 2024 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.
- Increase state equalization funding to make all school levies—particularly the Local Option Revenue, Operating Referendum, and Debt Service Programs—more affordable in low-property wealth districts.
- Preserve the property tax relief by ensuring that the calculations used to determine equalization aid keep pace with growth in statewide property wealth.
- Increase the basic formula and index it to the rate of inflation to keep pace with rising costs.
- Increase the amount of Local Option Revenue a district can generate to the statewide average operating referendum revenue amount per pupil unit to provide support for districts without operating referenda.
- Give school boards the authority to renew existing referendums at their current amount.
- Aggressively address the special education cross-subsidy and make a long-term commitment by providing on-going revenue to help districts protect their general funds.
- Increase the amount of revenue districts can access through the Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue categorical.
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?
Operating levies among school districts range from over $2,500 per pupil to $0.