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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. May 18, 2022 – Minnesota educators are coming to the state Capitol this weekend to tell legislators how to prioritize $1 billion in new education funding to best help our students.
Education funding vigils will take place 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at locations to be determined at the Capitol.
Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders have struck a deal on how to use Minnesota’s historic budget surplus, including $1 billion in new education funding over the next three years.
Details on how that money will be spent still need to be worked out by members of the education conference committee this week. The legislative session is scheduled to end May 23.
Minnesota must focus that new education spending on the immediate support students and educators need while still navigating a multi-year global pandemic. This includes funding to:
- Tackle the mental health crisis by providing more funding for school districts to hire more support staff such as counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and other positions.
- Address the lack of funding and support in special education. This includes requiring the state to fund its portion of special education costs instead of relying on school districts to pay for them. The special education cross-subsidy will cost school districts about $724 million in fiscal year 2021. Special education teachers also need more time in their contract day to complete due-process forms and other paperwork for students.
- Support our education support professionals. Hourly school workers deserve access to unemployment insurance if they can’t find employment during summer months and paid training prior to the beginning of each school year if they work directly with students.
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.