Minnesota’s public schools get a two percent overall increase in state funding each of the next two years, under a budget bill Governor Tim Walz signs into law this afternoon (1pm) at an elementary school in Saint Paul. Education Minnesota teachers union President Denise Specht says it’s not enough, but at least schools won’t have to pick up extra special education costs anymore. Specht says, “I don’t anticipate that class sizes are going to go down or that we’re going to be able to hire more counselors or mental health professionals in our schools, but we’re not going to be seeing massive layoffs or massive cuts of programs either.”
Specht says the new budget retains four-thousand spots existing spots in pre-school programs, however “we know that there are waiting lists out there, families that want to participate in a school-based preschool option, so we certainly should be growing that.”
The legislature passed a new state budget during a special session that ended early Saturday morning. It’s expected the governor will sign the remaining budget bills Friday. A spokesman says he will then hit the road next week to tout accomplishments of the 2019 legislative session, likely beginning with Monday stops in Duluth and Rochester.