Minnesota Department of Education will be hosting a listening session on school funding at the MREA Annual Conference on Nov. 11-12. It is one of only a few sessions offered by the group.
The Education Finance Work Group has spent months examining Minnesota’s schools finance system and crafting recommendations about how to reform. The group will share its findings and hear from Minnesotans during the sessions held across the state.
The work comes as rising expectations for college and career readiness, an increasingly diverse student body and the demand to create a competitive workforce place greater demands than ever on Minnesota schools. At the same time, the way schools are funded hasn’t been modified in more than two decades and has become heavily reliant on property taxes just to keep pace with rising costs of transportation and staff, the need for new technology and maintenance of outdated facilities and equipment.
“Minnesotans place a high value on the importance of a great education for every student,” said Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius. “But our current school funding model doesn’t reflect that value or the needs of 21st century schools. If we’re truly going to create and sustain a world-class system of public schools, we must find a way to fund them that is better, smarter, more accountable and less complex, and that truly lives up to our constitutional promise of providing the state’s children with a “uniform system of public schools.”
The first meeting was held in North Branch ton Sept. 27, and will continue throughout the fall. October meetings are scheduled for Rochester, Fergus Falls, Roseville and Apple Valley-Eagan.