Governor Mark Dayton announced today the introduction of his education budget bill, keeping his promise to increase funding for K-12 education every year he's in office "no exceptions, no excuses." The bill is a centerpiece of the Governor's fair, responsible, and balanced budget approach and will be carried in the legislature by Representative Mindy Greiling and Senator LeRoy Stumpf, who will introduce the bill.
"This bill does more than protect education from cuts -- it invests in Minnesota's future," Governor Dayton said. "Ensuring that every child in Minnesota has access to a quality education is essential to growing state's economy, now and in the future. I applaud Representative Greiling and Senator Stumpf for their leadership in carrying this bill through the legislative process, and I'm looking forward to working with their colleagues on a budget solution that serves the best interests of every student across Minnesota."
"I am thrilled to be working with a governor who is a partner on education. Minnesota children deserve an education that will allow them to compete in a 21st Century, global economy. Today, we show our commitment to their success, as well as Minnesota's future prosperity," said Representative Greiling.
"I'm honored to be carrying the Governor's education bill because it focuses new education resources in areas that are crucial to student success: quality early childhood education, All-Day Kindergarten, reading progress for young students and narrowing the opportunity gap," Sen. Stumpf said. "We know that by providing our youngest learners with the tools they need early on, we open opportunities for success as they grow. I also appreciate the Governor's plan to pay back the money the state has withheld from school districts. Currently 44 percent of Minnesota's school districts are forced to borrow money and pay interest. The payback will ease district budget woes. I applaud the Governor for his vision on what matters most in education: our children and their academic success and I look forward to working with him on this endeavor."
As proposed, Governor Dayton's budget bill would make critical new investments across Minnesota's E-12 system:
* Increases Funding - The Governor's budget increases investment in K-12 schools. It provides targeted funding for optional all-day kindergarten for low-income students and ensures stable funding for school districts during this time of economic hardship.
* Helps Close the Gap, Focuses on our Youngest Learners - Numerous studies show investment in quality early childhood education improves results. The return on this investment is up to 16 dollars for every dollar invested. The Governor's budget funds an early childhood rating system to improve quality and help parents make informed decisions about early childhood education providers.
* Rewards Excellence, Encourages Innovation - The Governor's budget creates the Governor's Excellence in Education Award to highlight schools where students are demonstrating extraordinary growth, and to help share best practices. The Governor's Achievement Gap Innovation Fund will encourage the innovative use of technology to close achievement gaps.