Upon the request of legislators from both parties, MREA conducted an analysis of school funding and is now proposing the creation of a Basic Education Guarantee (BEG) to make the funding formula fairer for rural districts.
Minnesota rural schools of all sizes trail behind the state’s urban schools in per student funding. The 15 school districts in the central cities and inner ring suburbs receive nearly $1,400 more per pupil than the average of the state’s other four tiers, as shown in the chart below.
MREA has identified the creation of a BEG as a single step the state can take to significantly improve the funding formula to benefit all schools. BEG would front load funding for the first 750 students enrolled in every school district in the state. View a map show the impact by school district.
The state could use the existing $16.5 million spent on the Small School Revenue formula with an additional $50 million of state aid to build a new BEG factor into the basic allowance. MREA also recommends add funding sufficient to cover inflation on the basic formula over the next two years to fund every student in the state.
There are other strategies the state can deploy to assist school districts with closing funding inequities and to create adequacy in the funding system. Watch for the upcoming release of the Rural Kids Count Report that will outline these strategies and impact of each.