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Wednesday
Jul 23rd

Legislators unite to oppose education cuts

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African American legislators are voicing their unified opposition to a House GOP bill that disproportionately cuts funding to inner city schools. The bill was passed today in the House Education committee on a party line vote. Legislators said the unfair cuts would likely worsen the state’s achievement gap.

“This bill is a political tool that creates winners and loser in our school funding formula with the students in our inner city schools taking the biggest hit,” said State Rep. Jeff Hayden (DFL – Minneapolis). “They are fundamentally undermining our state’s efforts to reduce our achievement gap.”

In total, the education bill reduces K-12 education funding by $21 million. However, the plan would hit schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul much more severely than schools in other regions of the state. Special education funding receives a cut but the mandate to provide special education remains. This triggers general education cuts or property tax increases, especially in schools where more students receive special education. The plan also drastically cuts integration aid for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth and redirects those resources to programs other school districts would use. 

“I oppose the notion that we should use our children as political pawns. That’s what this bill essentially does,” said State Rep. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL – Minneapolis). We should instead look for solutions that recognize that every child in Minnesota deserves an equal chance to succeed.”

"Frankly I'm disheartened by the Republican's supposed 'reforms' in this bill," said State Rep. Rena Moran (DFL-St. Paul). "Instead of taking this opportunity to address the critical challenges facing many schools, this bill furthers inequities at the cost of our children. It is not the education reform our schools need, nor deserve.”
 

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