Education Minnesota calls for removing barriers to student success by fully funding schools through tax reform

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ST. PAUL, Minn. Feb. 28, 2019 – The state of Minnesota’s updated budget forecast demonstrates the need for Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Legislature to enact progressive tax reform to ensure the wealthiest Minnesotans and large corporations pay their fair share.

“You know there’s something wrong when the state’s revenues go down while the stock market keeps rolling up and the wealthiest CEOs just got huge paydays from the federal tax law,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “This economy is rigged against working people. It’s time to restore some fairness. Let’s start by looking at the state tax code.”

Specht said state leaders should do what is necessary to provide Minnesotans with the quality of life the state is known for, including excellent and affordable public schools and colleges, even if that means overcoming the objections of a few multimillionaires. Doing anything else will reduce the pool of skilled labor when the state can no longer afford to leave anyone behind.

“Every child in our public schools, no matter their race or physical abilities, has the potential for greatness and it is wrong to allow the greedy few to deny those students the support and high-quality education they need to achieve it,” Specht said. “We look forward to working with the governor and Legislature to fully fund public education in Minnesota.”

Earlier this month, Education Minnesota released its definition of fully funding E-12 public education, including reducing class sizes so students can get individual attention, bringing the state’s ratio of counselors to students in line with national standards, giving every 4-year-old access to a high-quality pre-K program, raising educator pay and reducing educators’ education debt. The cost was $3.7 billion to $4.33 billion for the biennium.

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.