skip to content
Primary navigation

At St. Paul Elementary School, Governor Walz Signs Education Budget Bill into Law

5/30/2019 10:33:04 AM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz was joined by students, teachers, and legislators at Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul today as he signed the E-12 education budget bill into law. The law invests $543 million in E-12 education funding—providing Minnesota schools with more resources per child and keeping the classroom doors open for 4,000 pre-kindergartners. The bill passed the State Legislature on May 24.

“Minnesotans know investing in our children is investing in the future,” said Governor Tim Walz. “As a former teacher, I am proud to sign this bill to increase our investment in Minnesota’s students and improve our schools. This is only the beginning. We won’t stop until every child in Minnesota receives a high-quality education, regardless of their race or zip code.”

Governor Walz successfully fought to increase annual investments in each student by four times the amount Republicans originally proposed. The law increases the general education basic formula by two percent in the first year of the biennium, and two in the second, for a total new investment of $388 million.


General Education Formula
The general funding formula is the biggest source of state aid to schools in Minnesota and impacts every student in the state. It is also the most flexible aid schools receive, allowing them to make local decisions to meet the unique needs of their students. The budget:

  • Increases the general education basic formula by 2% in the first year and 2% in the second year, for a total new investment of $388 million.
  • Invests $126 more per student, which is four times more than the Senate Majority offered, impacting 879,719 students enrolled in Minnesota public schools.

Special Education
As costs for serving students receiving special education services continue to rise, school districts increasingly must take money from their general fund to cover special education services, called the special education cross subsidy. The average cross subsidy for Minnesota school districts is $820 per student. The budget:

  • Invests $90.6 million in special education services.
  • Freezes the cross subsidy for Minnesota school districts, so they will not have to divert more money from the general fund to cover special education costs.

Free, high-quality preschool programs save families thousands of dollars and studies have shown that preschool participation has impressive and long-lasting benefits for underserved students, including increased high school graduation and employment rates, and decreased incarceration rates. The program is targeted to school districts and charter schools that serve high numbers of underrepresented students and where there may be limited access to other high-quality prekindergarten programs. The budget:

  • Invests $47 million in voluntary pre-kindergarten programs in 140 schools across 80 school districts and charter schools.
  • Keeps the preschools doors open for 4,000 of Minnesota’s littlest learners.

American Indian Tribal Schools
For too long, American Indian Tribal schools have been left wondering what their next year of funding will entail. Equalizing and stabilizing funding lays the foundation for continued growth and opportunity for our students. The budget:

  • Invests an additional $8.1 million in American Indian Tribal schools over the next four years.
  • Equalizes funding for students enrolled in Bureau of Indian Education schools by keeping funding levels pegged to the general education formula


School Safety
Students need to feel safe at school in order to learn. Funds in the school safety levy mean schools have the flexibility to add school counselors, support staff and practices, facility security measures or monitoring systems to meet the unique needs of their buildings and their students. The budget:

  • Contingent on the state’s fiscal year 2019 final closing balance, invests $30 million in safe school supplemental aid to address safety concerns and help schools prevent incidents from occurring
  • Provides resources for 491 schools serving 879,719 students to increase student safety.

Homework Starts with Home
Homelessness and housing instability present significant challenges for students and their academic success. Only one in four homeless third-graders demonstrate reading proficiency, a rate that is 37 percent lower than their underserved but housed peers. The omnibus agriculture department, rural development, and housing finance bill:

  • Creates ongoing funding for Homework Starts with Home that aims to stabilize housing for highly mobile students, because students can’t learn if they don’t have a roof over their heads.
  • Invests $1.75 million each year in support for schools to better meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness.

Teachers of Color and Indigenous Teachers
Minnesota’s students and families are facing a shortage of teachers of color and American Indian Teachers. Only 4.3 percent of Minnesota’s teachers are people of color, while more than 33 percent of students are people of color and Indigenous. This contributes to Minnesota’s persistently wide opportunity and achievement gaps and limits our state’s ability to close these gaps. The budget:

  • Increases funding to recruit and retain teachers of color and Indigenous teachers by $3.1 million over four years.
  • Invests $3 million over four years to create mentoring, induction, and retention incentive program grants for teachers of color and American Indian teachers.
back to top