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Joint Supplemental Budget Targets Allocate $43 Million for Education — Just $18 Million in Ongoing Funding

SAINT PAUL —While the February State Budget and Economic Forecast projected a $3.715 billion surplus, expectations of a funding boost for education were quickly tempered with news that current state spending is projected to outpace revenue by almost $1.5 billion in the 2026-27 biennium. While that would still leave a balance of more than $2.2 billion in the 2026-27 biennium, an uncertain long-term economic outlook has left state policymakers cautious about new spending commitments.

Mounds View Supt. Chris Lennox and AMSD Executive Director Scott Croonquist speak with Sen. Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights) following a Minnesota Senate Education Finance Committee meeting during the 2024 legislative session.

Still, education leaders remained hopeful that Gov. Tim Walz and legislators would approve supplemental funding for E-12 education for the second half of this biennium to help school districts address historic inflationary cost increases as well successfully implement the myriad new programs and requirements adopted in the 2023 session.

However, the Governor recommended little to no additional funding for education in his 2024 Supplemental Budget Recommendations. A detailed chart of the Governor’s supplemental budget recommendations can be found here:

Not long after the Governor released his recommendations, Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Erin Murphy announced they had reached an agreement with the Governor on supplemental budget targets that do propose a modest level of supplemental education funding.

Specifically, the joint agreement allocates $43 million for education spending for the 2024-25 biennium. The agreement also sets spending
targets for the 2026-27 biennium with an education target of $18.05 million. In other words, $18.05 million of the new funding approved this session can be a permanent increase and the remainder must be one-time under the agreement.

The joint agreement also includes a target of $34.37 million for the Children and Families Committee and $31.458 million in one-time funding for Educator Pensions, presumably for a one-year TRA employee contribution holiday of .5 percent. The Governor proposed $15.7 million for a one-year .25 percent TRA employee contribution holiday and the joint agreement doubles the amount.

Attention now turns to the House and Senate Education Finance Committees which will develop their respective supplemental budget bills.

The AMSD Legislative Committee recently approved a list of 2024 Session Priorities — a streamlined version of the 2024 Legislative Platform — and is encouraging all AMSD members to advocate to their local legislators over the final weeks of the session.

The recently agreed to joint budget targets notwithstanding, a key recommendation is to urge legislators to approve $100 per pupil in one-time aid to support a successful implementation of the Read Act and other programs and requirements approved in the 2023 session. The priorities also include a plea to lawmakers to refrain from enacting new mandates in the 2024 session. A number of new requirements have been proposed and AMSD members are urging legislators to provide some breathing room, so school board members, administrators, teachers, and staff have an opportunity to implement the new programs and requirements previously adopted.

AMSD members can also find contact information for legislators and more below:
• LINK: Contact your local Senators
• LINK: Contact your local House Members
• LINK: Contact the Minnesota Legislature Leadership