School Officials Not Certain of Education Bill Impact

By KBJR News 1

May 24, 2013 Updated May 24, 2013 at 8:22 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The K-12 education bill signed this week by Governor Mark Dayton will mean more money for Minnesota schools. But a Northland school district says it will take awhile before they know just how much good that money will do for area schools.

The $15.7 billion dollar education funding bill increases state spending on schools by about $485 million.

"It's really too early to tell [how the bill will impact Duluth schools]," said Bill Hanson, Director of Business Services for Duluth Public Schools.

Hanson says they have many programs that could benefit from the money, but it will be awhile before they know any specifics.

"Right now we're in the process of going through the details and finding out what exactly the impact [of the bill] is for our district," said Hanson.

State legislators are hoping that the impact will be big. They say the increase in per pupil funding should help to reduce large class sizes.

"This increase in base funding of over $50 per pupil is definitely going to help districts bring those class sizes down because every school districts number one expense is their teachers, their human resources," said Senator Roger Reinert.

Another component of the bill would pay back the millions of dollars that the state borrowed from the school system in years past.

Hanson says that most of the impact from the bill will be felt in the 2014–2015 school year.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.