Advocating for Greater Minnesota Schools

MREA members support expanding educational opportunities and closing achievement gaps in Minnesota in the following ways. MREA’s membership includes over 235 school districts, 30 education districts, special education and service cooperatives and additional associate members.

Public Education Revenue to Support Educator Recruitment & Retention

Minnesota public schools are struggling to attract and retain the staff needed to meet growing student needs. State aid for public education is not keeping up with inflationary pressures. The current funding model leads school districts to rely heavily on property taxpayer support. This creates major disparities in educational opportunities across the state. MREA is advocating for a significant portion of the state’s record budget surplus to be invested in Minnesota’s public schools.

Advocacy Accomplishments

We know that schools are stronger when they come together. We’ve seen the results.

View Accomplishments
Download 2023 Platform

2023 Key Actions Needed

Assist school districts in recruiting and retaining staff

  • Increase the basic formula allowance by 5% annually for fiscal years 2024-25.
  • Implement a 40% special education cross-subsidy reduction aid program.
  • Improve TRA and Health Insurance benefits by reducing employee contributions with targeted state aid.
  • Fund targeted staff development and career pathway initiatives.
  • Improve funding for student mental health support.
  • Create revenue guarantees to ensure small schools and cooperative educational systems can generate meaningful revenue for categorical programs, such as safe schools.

Improve School Facilities 

There is a significant funding gap between school districts that receive Long Term Facility Maintenance Revenue (LTFMR) and the “Alternative Facility” districts. The Ag2School bond credit has been critical for local school facility support, and additional state legislative action is needed to address rural school facility needs, specifically:

  • Improve Long Term Facility Maintenance Revenue (LTFMR) by allowing more items in the Health & Safety program including boilers, roofs, sidewalks, parking lot improvements and by increasing the LTFMR funding cap.
  • Provide equal access to the $65/pupil intermediate lease levy for rural education cooperatives.

Support local control and innovation in Schools

  • Oppose unfunded state mandates and “one-size-fits-all” approaches to education policy.
  • Allow school boards to renew operating levies previously approved through voter referenda.
  • Allow school boards to fill a school board vacancy without a general election.

90% of members join – and stay – because of MREA’s ability to provide information about what’s happening at the Legislature and how it affects the district.