During the 2007 session, the E-12 Budget Bill fully restored Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE ) funding after the cuts made in 2003. As member of the Early Childhood Education Caucus, Ron Latz will continue promoting increased investment in early childhood education, immunizations, early diagnosis of disabilities, and quality child care that stimulates early learning.
No investment will pay greater dividends than making sure that our youngest citizens are ready to learn when they enter Kindergarten. Ron Latz supports legislation to make sure that we invest in our children. He has received a 100% rating from the Children's Defense Fund and was named one of the organization's "Children's Champions".
Ron Latz believes that investing in schools means investing in the future of Minnesota. Since 2006, the legislature increased the basic funding formula by 3%, provided additional funding for Special Education and worked toward increased money to lower class sizes. Ron maintains we can demand accountability and results only if we provide the resources to make it possible. He will continue to fight for investment in our education system to produce the kind of world-class education that our children deserve.
In 2008 and 2009 the State of Minnesota was faced with a large deficit that mirrored the U.S. economic downturn. The 2009 E-12 Education Budget Bill held school funding flat using Federal American Resource and Recovery Act dollars. The 2010 session will bring further financial challenges with the current biennium's $1.0 billion deficit and a projected $6.2 billion deficit for the following budget cycle. State Senator Ron Latz will continue to fight for investment in our childrens' education.
As a member of the Senate Higher Education Budget and Policy Committee, Ron Latz has worked and will continue to work to make sure our higher education system generates a well-educated workforce to compete in today's global economy.
As a member of the committee, Ron Latz supported eliminating non-resident tuition for many of the Minnesota community colleges. It is estimated that 30-40% of students who come from another state stay in Minnesota to work. Making tuition affordable for all attracts talented students from inside and outside Minnesota to bolster Minnesota's future workforce. Ron Latz continues to fight for investment in our Higher Education infrastructure with asset preservation as well as a new nano-technology building at the University of Minnesota.
Ron has fought to minimize budget cuts to the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, believing that these investments in our human infrastructure will continue to provide a well-educated workforce and economic growth. For his work on these issues while on the Minnesota House of Representatives, the Minnesota State Colleges Student Association recognized Ron as its Legislator of the Year in 2003. As your Senator, Ron has continued to work to keep the University of Minnesota and MNSCU vibrant and affordable for the citizens of this state.