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House committee passes education bill on Sunday

Published 9:50am Monday, May 20, 2013

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a conference committee report on an education bill late Sunday.

Shannon Savick
Shannon Savick

The final vote was 78 to 56. There is still more work to be done with the Minnesota Senate before anything is finalized, but the House bill has some lofty goals.

The bill would fully fund all-day kindergarten and invest about $40 million in early childhood learning scholarships. The bill would also increase the basic funding formula for K-12 schools by 3 percent over the biennium, an increase of over $234 million, or $156 per pupil.

“Education is one of our top priorities this session,” said Rep. Shannon Savick. “Supporting education is a great way to get the training and education you need for a successful workforce that will fuel a strong economy.

The bill also contains a new strategy to close the revenue equity gap and reduce property taxes. The budget enhances the equity formula guaranteeing all districts at least $300 per student of equity and referendum revenue, includes a new student achievement levy and raises and indexes operating referendum levy equalization factors to reduce property taxes. The provisions are expected to be in the final version of the bill.