State Sens. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, and Tony Kinkel, DFL-Park Rapids, recently said state fiscal policies have forced a majority of K-12 schools to turn to voters for referendum support.
"An unprecedented number of Minnesota school districts -- 179 schools, more than half the state's districts -- will be asking voters to pass a local referendum in November," Samuelson said. "If these local levy referenda fail, the quality of public education in these school districts may suffer."
School districts across the state face the possibility of staff cuts, increased class sizes, transportation problems and higher fees for student programs, their news release stated.
"According to our constitution, the state is supposed to provide proper education funding for its schools," Samuelson said. "Instead, voters are being forced to choose between their tax cuts and their children."
Samuelson is chair of the Senate's Property Tax Committee. Samuelson and Kinkel questioned the foresight of the Governor's K-12 education budget.
"Ventura's education budget did not keep pace with the real costs of running K-12 schools," Kinkel noted. "Now our schools face the difficult challenge of filling these funding holes through referenda."
The Senate proposed $386 million more in education funding than the governor and $145 million more than the Republican-controlled House, the DFLers' news release stated.
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