Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

State budget help too late to head off some school cuts

Legislature raised per-pupil spending, but districts were hurt by enrollment drops


GLEN STUBBE • Star Tribune

A first grade classroom at Vista View Elementary in Burnsville during summer school.

Minnesota school districts are welcoming the Legislature's boost in school spending but are still sorting out how much it will help to stave off budget cuts for the coming school year.

The two-year state education budget includes $554 million in new spending, with money earmarked for budget gaps in special education, English-language services, programs aimed at diversifying the teaching ranks and, most notably, an increase to the amount of money that flows from the state to school districts for each student enrolled. The per-pupil funding formula will go up by 2.45% next year and 2% for the following school year, the largest increase in a decade and a half.

For the many public schools that faced a drop in enrollment and a surge in expenses during the pandemic, those increases were good news. But by the time the Legislature worked out the details, districts had already finalized their budgets for the 2021-22 school year, with many sending out layoff notices and telling families about program cuts and other reductions.


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