skip to main content

Friday, June 2, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Budget Stability, Flexibility Among Highlights of MN School Funding Plan

play audio
Play

Friday, May 19, 2023   

Many Minnesota school districts say they have been walking a financial tightrope, but leaders appear to be encouraged by the new education funding plan for K-12 schools.

With a record surplus in hand, the Legislature has sent the governor a package boosting per-pupil funding by 4%, and 2% over the next two budget years, and then, ties it to inflation in subsequent years.

Matt Hillmann, superintendent of Northfield Public Schools, noted they will not be able to restore recent budget cuts, but said the extra aid will provide much-needed stability moving forward.

"We use our funds to do good things for kids," Hillmann pointed out. "We can now see a little bit further around that corner, so that we can be more intentional in our long-range planning."

He added it is helpful for districts dealing with enrollment declines due to lower birthrates and other factors.

Hillman acknowledged there are some things to be cautious about, including certain mandates he feels might not have enough funding to be carried out. Republicans, who are in the minority this session, have criticized some aspects of the plan, including expanding unemployment insurance to hourly school workers.

Meanwhile, there is a new dedicated funding stream for adding support staff who can help with a student's mental, behavioral, and physical health needs.

Christy McCoy, a licensed clinical school social worker for St. Paul Public Schools, said it's significant because districts have more wiggle room to make these hires.

"Prior to that, any funding for our positions was coming out of the general fund," McCoy explained. "Schools would have to choose, 'Do I get a teacher, do I get a school social worker?'"

As legislative chair for the Minnesota School Social Workers Association, McCoy emphasized they fought for some of the provisions in the past couple of decades, and including them in the final bill is crucial as her colleagues address lingering behavioral concerns exacerbated by the pandemic.

"This year, we are seeing significant delays in our students' social functioning, in their ability to regulate their emotions," McCoy observed.

Disclosure: The Minnesota School Social Workers Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Education, Mental Health, and Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
More than 50 anti-Muslim hate groups were operating in the United States in 2021. Many target violence against Muslims by the way they dress. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…


Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …


With the debt-ceiling debate winding down, Congress faces future budget battles, including the Farm Bill reauthorization this fall. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Sarah Van Loon, Midwest regional director for the American Jewish Committee, said it is incumbent upon all of us to teach children about the Holocaust. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

The Nevada hunting and fishing community is sharing its top 10 conservation priorities for 2023 with Gov. Joe Lombardo's office, as they seek to …

Environment

play sound

In Yellowstone National Park, 30,000 acres are protected from mining by Congressional order, but there is a sliver left unprotected, and a Montana …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021