Governor's budget sets the right course on education but should go further

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. March 16, 2018 – Education Minnesota President Denise Specht applauded Gov. Mark Dayton for making education a priority in his supplemental budget but said educators wished the governor had been able to go further to meet the needs of Minnesota students and their families.

“The Education Governor is cementing his legacy in his final budget and the right priorities are all there,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “He’s increasing access to mental health care and high-quality preschools. He’s addressing the teacher shortage through pension adjustments and expanding Q Comp. He’s taking pressure off local school budgets with smart increases in special education funding. He’s slowing the growth of tuition and keeping great higher education facilities within driving distance of most Minnesotans. The only thing educators can say is, ‘All this, and more.’”

“We challenge our state leaders to make our schools significantly safer and more secure with permanent increases in counselors, social workers, psychologists and other support professionals to meet the needs of students in crisis. We ask you to look back to the governor’s 2017 proposal to give every 4-year-old access to high-quality preschool, which would make huge progress in closing Minnesota’s opportunity gaps. Lowering tuition is good, two years of free college is better,” Specht said.

“Minnesota families should not forget why their own government isn’t investing more in their futures. Last year, the majority party in the Minnesota Legislature rammed through a tax bill that shifted millions of dollars away from everyday people to pay for tax breaks on tobacco sales, on the estates of millionaires and on the profits of huge corporations,” Specht said. “The current group of legislators made these choices. A new group might make better ones. Election Day is Nov. 6.”

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.