ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Duluth officials upset with school funding bill

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative Republicans target Duluth, St. Paul and Minneapolis in their education funding bill, mayors and school officials from those three cities allege.

Duluth officials object to funding plan
Bill Hanson of Duluth schools, with Duluth Mayor Don Ness behind him, tells a Thursday gathering in the state Capitol that his district, Minneapolis and St. Paul would lose money in a Republican school funding plan. Don Davis / ddavis@forumcomm.com

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative Republicans target Duluth, St. Paul and Minneapolis in their education funding bill, mayors and school officials from those three cities allege.

It would hurt students, Duluth school official Bill Hanson told a couple hundred school supporters and the media Thursday outside the governor's office.

"Minnesota's future depends on us," the school district chief financial officer said.

Picking on the three Democratic-leaning communities hurts the state, Hanson said. "Invest in the success of our leading economic engines."

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman called the GOP bill a "political vendetta" against cities that vote for Democrats.

ADVERTISEMENT

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said the bill is what Republicans who lead the House and Senate would like, but now Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's administration will begin to negotiate the final funding.

The Dayton administration has complained about taking money from Duluth, St. Paul and Minneapolis and sending it to smaller schools around the state. The governor likely would veto the measure as it stands.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness said his son, James, benefited from a program that could face funding cuts under the GOP plan. The program helped the boy be able to better communicate before he started kindergarten, Ness said.

Ness and mayors of the other communities said the bill would hurt students in their communities.

"It shouldn't matter the city they live in," Ness said.

Hanson said the bill would cut $81 per student from Duluth schools' state payments. The districts average per-pupil payment is $5,125.

Overall the bill would spend $14 billion on public school education in the next two years, about 40 percent of the state budget.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONSCHOOL BOARD
What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.