Larger budget surplus offers an opportunity to boost education equity

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ST. PAUL, Minn. Feb. 27, 2020 – The $1.5 billion projected budget surplus gives the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz an opportunity to make smart, strategic investments in well-researched education policies to increase education equity and give more students opportunities to succeed, said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota.

“Legislators have the authority and the resources to invest this surplus in ways that will benefit our students of color and our white students,” Specht said. “There’s no reason to wait. The research is done. The bills are in place. The needs are urgent. It’s just a matter of political will.”

Specht noted training programs for education support professionals, grants to improve instruction for students who have experienced trauma, full-service community schools, improving access to mental health professionals and a bill to attract and retain more teachers of color in K-12 schools, among others.

“Even after adjusting for inflation, there’s enough money in the surplus to make a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of Minnesota students,” Specht said. “We ask our representatives to stay focused on what has been proven to work and then actually do it this year.”

About Education Minnesota

Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO. More information about Education Minnesota is available at