Governor Dayton is proposing $138 million in one-time emergency funding to help schools statewide cover budget shortfalls. As for the timing of the governor’s announcement–with less than a month remaining in the session–Dayton says “it would be terribly wrong for the legislature and myself to spend the session’s final three weeks discussing tax cuts as the primary use for the next fiscal year’s projected budget surplus, while our schools are facing such severe operating deficits.” And he says that even though he recognizes it’s late in the session, his proposal is no later than omnibus spending and tax bills rolled out by Republicans. Dayton says the need for these emergency funds is “acute…we have the resources to reduce all of our school districts operating deficits and save hundreds of teaching positions, course offerings and extracurricular activities, and student support services.” Dayton says the money would increase resources for schools statewide by $126 per student. The plan likely faces an uphill battle with Republican leadership.
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