What is Happening at the Capitol
We now know the education priorities of the House, Senate, and Governor through their E-12 education funding and policy omnibus bills.
Comparison of New Education Funding for 2022-23
You can find the details of the spending provisions in the three bills here
The House wants to increase education funding next year by $1.6 BILLION, over 50 times more than the Senate spends.
Sixty percent of this funding goes directly to school districts, with the largest portion reducing the special education cross subsidy.
- Nine provisions send $682 million directly to school districts.
- $422.4 million – increases the amount the state pays of a school district’s special education cross subsidy from 6.43% to 55%. (ongoing)
- $76.1 million – scales the amount the state pays of a school district’s English Language (EL) cross subsidy from 40% next year to 100% by FY2026. (ongoing)
- $95.9 million – provides $100 per pupil with a minimum of $50,000 for districts and charters and $6 per pupil for cooperatives to hire student support staff – counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and chemical dependency counselors. (ongoing)
- $20.4 million – requires paid training for paraprofessionals working with students with disabilities. (ongoing)
- $18.2 million – includes additional paid time for due process forms for special education teachers (ongoing)
- $25.0 million – increases declining enrollment aid to compensate for the loss of pupils during Covid. (one-time)
- $4.3 million – increases the amount the state pays for a school district’s unfunded transportation expenses from 18.2 to 39.5% for districts with the highest transportation costs. (ongoing)
- $1.7 million – Requires schools to provide students with access to menstrual products at no charge and provides $2 per student in operating capital revenue. (ongoing)
- $14.4 million – Increases long-term facilities maintenance (LTFM) revenue by eliminating the age index. (ongoing)
- Read this Brad’s Blog post for more details. This article has a readable list of other notable provisions in the House bill. Just scroll down to the end.
See the new revenue for your school district for the 2022-23 school year—most of the funding is ongoing, with only the declining enrollment aid available for one year only.
The House bill is full of new mandates, and many of them were in last year’s bill, which the Senate outright rejected. After two rough years for students and educators, we need time and resources to meet the academic, social, and mental health needs of students, not new mandates.
Republicans serving on the House education committee expressed some concerns about paying down the special education cross subsidy without reforms and that Minnesota exceeds the federal requirements in special education. The federal law has a maintenance of effort (MOE) clause. School districts must spend at least as much money on special education services the following year as they did in the current year.
More than a decade ago, a task force looked at where Minnesota exceeds federal law. Federal law does not require serving special education children until age three. Minnesota provides special education services from birth through age 2, contributing to much of the cost of exceeding federal law. Given what is known about the critical first few years of child development, I don’t think it wise or cost-effective to roll back these services.
The federal government promised to pay 40% of the cost of special education services but never has. However, the US Constitution doesn’t direct the federal government to pay for special education, but the Minnesota Constitution does say funding schools is the responsibility of the MN legislature. t is time for the state to pay its special education bill that continues to rob students of the educational opportunities they need and deserve. No excuses. If not now, when?
Next week, the legislature is on spring break, so there will be no legislative update next Friday. I still think property tax relief through equalization and funding to reduce the special education cross subsidy are still in play. Stay tuned!
As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Director of Communications and Community Outreach