Lawmakers say paying back schools is only beginningPaying back money owed to Minnesota schools pleases legislators, but many say it is only a beginning of what needs to be done to help schools.
Paying back money owed to Minnesota schools pleases legislators, but many say it is only a beginning of what needs to be done to help schools.
“I am encouraged the state is able to pay our school districts a portion of what was borrowed from them,” Sen.-elect Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said. “It was an unwise decision to take funds from schools in the first place and this is a positive outcome from the forecast
Even after a $1.3 billion payback, the state still will owe schools $1.1 billion.
“It’s important to come up with a plan to repay school dollars,” Assistant Senate Majority Leader-elect Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, said.
Education funding should be fair among districts, but that no longer is the case, Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, said.
Voter-approved property tax increases work well in districts with plenty of money, but not elsewhere, he said. That creates disparities.
“It really hurts the districts that have difficulty even approving a referendum,” said Marquart, incoming House Education Finance Committee chairman.
Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbook, said property tax votes are “divisive in our communities.”