Later this week the state will release an update to last December’s budget forecast. The February forecast as it’s referred guides legislative leaders as they develop budget targets in the near future.
Governor Mark Dayton put $600 million on the table for E-12 education in his budget plan including 2&2 on the formula. The 2&2 alone has a biennial price tag of $371 million.
Two years ago the House GOP majority, in response to Governor Dayton’s $700 million E-12 target, offered a mere $157 million E-12 target while the Senate DFL called for a $350 million target.
It’s critical to the success of public education that the legislature sets aside a respectful and meaningful E-12 target so you can deliver on the education everyone says they want.
We asked you to contact your legislators, urging them to match the Governor’s budget target for E-12. Click here to email leaders of the education committees.
You may also include your local elected officials. Look up your local legislators.
Your voice needs to be heard and now is the time to share why Minnesota needs a healthy E-12 target and the impact it has on your school.
What’s in store for this session?
While history shows the legislature is likely to come in lower than Governor Dayton, the question is by how much. We have heard many legislators talk about 2&2, but questions remain:
- Will we see a $371 million target to accomplish this much?
- How much of the $740 million in projected ongoing surplus funds are they eyeing for a tax cut package?
- How much of these general fund revenues do they want to spend on transportation projects?
- What about ongoing rebates or reinsurance for individuals buying health coverage on MNSure?
As always, there are major competing interests for limited general fund revenue.
Current E-12 Priorities
The E-12 target determines what education priorities and initiatives get funding for the next two years. In the E-12 arena there’s significant pressure to support a variety of initiatives, including:
- Continue to increase funds for early learning through any number of programs: Parent Aware Scholarships, Voluntary Pre-K, School Readiness and Head Start
- Stabilize TRA
- Expand QComp funds for districts currently in line with approved plans
- Provide broadband equity aid for schools
These initiatives and other priorities for schools require a robust E-12 target for the next two years.
Forecast and Deadlines
As March Madness rolls in with the sports calendar, so to does the level of activity and madness within the Capitol complex. Bill deadlines are fast upon us. And so to are leadership plans for budget targets.
The February Forecast of projected revenue available in the next biennium will be released later this week. This is the total revenue number used by both the Governor and the Legislature to craft a two year budget.
Actions get serious at the Capitol once this forecast is released. MREA will keep you updated this week on the February Forecast.
MREA encourages you to email or call lawmakers early this week before the forecast release. Click here to email leaders of the education committees.