Education Minnesota presents online dashboard of funding shortfalls for local school districts
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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. March 24, 2021 – Parents and other Minnesotans interested in the cost of fully funding several essential programs in their local school districts are now able to consult an online dashboard developed by Education Minnesota.
The new tool adds details to what the chronic underfunding of public education has done to traditional school districts and illustrates what level of state investment is needed to make it right. Viewers will also see how most districts have turned to local levies to compensate for state spending that has failed to keep up with inflation.
The tool is part of the union’s Believe in We ad campaign.
“Every educator wants to offer Minnesota students an education that will allow them to pursue their dreams, but our efforts have often been frustrated by a chronic lack of resources caused by an unwillingness of the wealthiest Minnesotans and largest corporations to pay their fair share for the schools that benefit everyone,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “While this dashboard obviously doesn’t capture everything our schools do, or every improvement that’s needed, it does present the available public data in a way anyone can understand.”
Funding for each district is broken down into categories covering racial equity, English language learners, special education and the staffing levels of licensed school nurses, school counselors, psychologists and social workers. The dashboard also includes a summary graph of funding trends for each district. The tool is based on public data published by the state of Minnesota.
To raise awareness of the new tool, Education Minnesota launched a new phase of its Believe in We campaign with new ads on various social media platforms and display ads on Minnesota-based websites. The total cost of developing the dashboard and ad buy was about $100,000.
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.