Many community members are wondering why the COVID-19 federal relief money is not enough for schools. The answer is that those funds are specifically earmarked for distinct purposes of which a district is not intending to sustain long-term. While the funds can be used to pay for teachers, staff and operational costs, these dollars are one-time funds that should not create a sustainability gap. Please see this MDE link which details each ‘bucket’ of federal funding and its prescribed usage. Most of the money is one-time-only funding for important purposes like nutrition, mental health, family supports, summer school, and cleaning protocols, but there is no continued funding. This is the Constitutional responsibility of the state and we strongly support the House proposed budget of $750 million for education.
While all conference committees wait for their budget targets from Legislative leaders, the Education Conference Committee continues to convene with the schedule of meeting each day from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The House has the gavel Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the Senate takes the gavel on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Last week the House meetings comprised of presentations on the opportunity gap, and early childhood. The Senate had hearings on teacher licensure as well, led by EdAllies and other advocates for the legislature to make no changes to the tiered licensure system which adds support to the Teachers of Color Act.
It’s not too late to send a message to legislators and we encourage you to take a look at our legislative priorities below and take action by contacting your legislators and legislative leaders.
Minnesota schools NEED:
- a $750 million budget target;
- at least 2% on the funding formula;
- freeze the special education cross-subsidy;
- enough ongoing revenue to hire student support staff to address the mental health needs of students; and
- no new mandates.
Action Alert template:
Action Alert template
Omnibus bill summaries:
House Education Finance Omnibus Summary
House Education Finance List of Items Funded and Change in Revenue
House Education Finance Omnibus District-by-District Runs
House proposed language for adoption
Federal funds distribution by school district:
District-specific COVID funds distribution