The Legislature can close educational opportunity gaps experienced by students in various school districts by enhancing and streamlining taxpayer investments in public education by:
Funding the Rural STEM Experiential Learning Pilot Project
The Rural STEM Experiential Learning Pilot Project: “Put 21st Century Tools in Kids’ Hands!” (SF 471/HF 555), will provide hands-on, experiential learning for high school students with eight foundational tools of clean manufacturing and other high in-demand jobs of the 21st century economy. This program will include curriculum development, articulation with post-secondary degree and certification programs, and outreach to local industries for job shadowing and other career exploration experiences. Learn more about the project.
Equitable Access to Facility Maintenance Revenue
- The 25 largest school districts, encompassing 400,000 students, spend $2.79 per square foot on facility maintenance because they have local resources and qualify for Alternative Facilities authority while the other 305 Minnesota school districts and their 440,000 students spend $0.58 on facility maintenance, one-fifth the amount.
- This 5:1 inequity creates another cross-subsidy where education program funding is siphoned off for other uses; in this case for deferred maintenance.
- Give the other 440,000 students the same opportunity as their counterparts by equalizing state aid for facilities programs and expanding school board authority to maintain existing facilities.
- Streamline the many state facilities programs into one broader general allowance for dealing with local facility needs. Streamline the MDE process for Review & Comment.
- Learn more.
Closing Special Ed Cross Subsidy Gap
- Continue to improve upon the recent changes to the state’s special education funding formulas so that the difference between average cross-subsidies across variously sized districts shrinks.
Funding for Early Learning Scholarships
- Early learning scholarships should include a base amount of funding to school based programs using an eligibility based, categorical program like Title I.
- High quality early learning programming should be available in all counties in Minnesota.
- Learn more.