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The Association of Metropolitan School Districts supports increased state funding for special education to ensure that all students have the resources and opportunities necessary to achieve state and federal standards.

Click here for a PDF copy of the advocacy letter


Dear ________

I am writing to urge you to support increased special education funding to address the special education cross-subsidy in the legislative supplemental budgets. The special education cross-subsidy is the amount by which federal and state special education funding falls short of meeting school district expenditures on mandated special education services.

Special education services are critical to ensuring students with special needs can reach their full potential. However, insufficient special education funding from the federal and state governments has created a $715 million shortfall in the current school year. As a result, school districts must use general education revenue to cover the mandated special education services that are so important to our students with special needs.

Governor Mark Dayton’s supplemental budget recommendations include funding to increase state special education aid in order to reduce the special education cross-subsidy. Specifically, the Governor proposes to increase funding for special education by almost $17 million in FY19 and more than $43 million over the FY2020-2021 biennium.

I encourage you to support special education funding this session and include funding to address the special education cross-subsidy in the legislative supplemental budget requests.

Thank you in advance for your support of our students and our schools.



Minnesota House of Representatives
Minnesota House of Representatives members by AMSD school district.
Minnesota Senate Members
Minnesota Senate members by AMSD School District.
Legislative Leadership
Contact information for Governor Dayton and legislative leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate.

AMSD Believes

  • Special education services provided by Minnesota’s public schools are critical to the education and quality of life of students with special needs.
  • The reductions in children’s mental health services provided by the State and Counties have created a system where public schools are the frontline of children’s mental health services.
  • A growing number of students are coming to school with increasingly complex special education disabilities and extraordinary mental health needs.
  • State special education funding and policy must ensure a safe learning environment for both students and staff.
  • Minnesota schools have been leaders in providing extracurricular opportunities to special education students outside of special education funding.

2018 AMSD Platform Position

Increase special education funding to reduce the state share of the special education cross-subsidy by 10 percent and create a working group to develop a plan to eliminate the state share of the cross-subsidy by 2023.