MN Senate Backs $15.7B K-12 Education Bill

By KBJR News 1

April 25, 2013 Updated Apr 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota lawmakers debated a bill on the Senate Floor Thursday that would provide funding for all-day kindergarten.

It's just one of many elements in the $15.7 billion K-12 Education Omnibus finance and policy bill.

The bill passed in a 35 to 28 vote.

The budget increases spending by $550 million over the 2014-2015 biennium, including a total $209 boost per pupil.

Some of the biggest components include funding for voluntary all-day kindergarten, increased money for early learning scholarships and a policy initiative that would replace reading, math and writing GRAD tests with a series of assessments.

Those against the bill says it offers plenty of spending, but no reforms.

State Educators have shown their support for the finance and policy bill, saying it's what Minnesota needs to create the nation's best workforce.

"The research will show on the vision we provided on this bill, that it clearly serves the best interests of Minnesota. In policy, in property tax reform, in terms of the relief, and also sets a major direction in the terms of how we fund, more fairly, our schools," said Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood).

The Minnesota House approved the education finance and policy bill earlier this week.

Kevin Jacobsen
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