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April 2004 Parent Leadership Summit Education Funding in Minnesota – How Did We get Here?

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Presentation on theme: "April 2004 Parent Leadership Summit Education Funding in Minnesota – How Did We get Here?"— Presentation transcript:

1 April 2004 Parent Leadership Summit Education Funding in Minnesota – How Did We get Here?

2 Minnesota State Constitution  Section 1.”UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.”

3 How Public Schools are Funded  The legislature taxes, funds and regulates;  School boards dispense funds

4 The Legislative Process  The Minnesota State Legislature works on a biennium basis.  One year for policy and the next for funding.  In its funding session, the Legislature sets the per pupil formula for the next two years.

5 Major Sources of Revenue for a School District’s Operating Fund  86% State  7.3% Local Levies  3.6% other sources grants fund raising fees  3.1% Federal

6 The Funding Process Per pupil formula x AMCPU (adjusted marginal cost pupil units) District Operating fund ( General Fund)

7 Basic Skills revenue  ELL ($700/pu 5 years)  Compensatory $2512/pu)  Transportation sparsity funding  Special Education funds State $9,800 average/pu Federal $1,100 average/pu

8 Average General Fund Dollars in Minnesota’s public schools According to the state’s 2003 Education Finance Task Force report Minnesota school districts receive $7,615 per pupil

9 How Did We Get Here? 1. A per pupil formula that has averaged 1.14% increase annually 2. State policies reforming property tax 3. The 2001 General Education Buy Down 4. “No New Tax Pledge”

10 Per Pupil Formula Analysis

11 Flat per pupil formula  The true per pupil formula grew an average of 1.14% annually  Expenses in districts grew an average of 5% annually

12 How Did We Get Here? 1. A per pupil formula that has averaged 1.14% increase annually 2. State policies reforming property tax 3. The 2001 General Education Buy Down 4. “No New Tax Pledge”

13 State policies to reform property taxes  Class rates for taxing businesses were reduced to more closely resemble residential property tax rates  Agricultural and recreational land removed from the equation for school taxes  General Education Fund Buy Down

14 Annual School Taxes on a $250,000 Home

15 How Did We Get Here? 1. A per pupil formula that has averaged 1.14% increase annually 2. State policies reforming property tax 3. The 2001 General Education Fund Buy Down 4. “No New Tax Pledge”

16 General Fund Buy Down In 2001, the state accepted the liability of funding 85% of public schools cost  Passed half of the legislation—the liability was accepted, without a revenue stream to support it.  Destabilized the funding source for schools and now makes them reliant on the state’s economy

17 Change in percent of school revenue from the state

18 How Did We Get Here? 1. A per pupil formula that has averaged 1.14% increase annually 2. State policies reforming property tax 3. The 2001 General Education Fund Buy Down 4. “No New Tax Pledge”

19 The Decade’s Mantra EXPECT MORE PAY LESS

20 “No New Tax Pledge” Developed by the Minnesota Taxpayers League whose website states “Everybody knows we pay too much in taxes.” -David Strom “The Taxpayers League has been successful because we take our case to the people of Minnesota. It is our goal to reach out to and persuade as many Minnesotans as possible” -David Strom, Legislative Director of the Taxpayers League.

21 Price of Government The Price of Government is the State of Minnesota’s official measure and is factored as total revenue as a percentage of personal income.

22 Requirements for public schools grew while funding did not  Testing  Standards  Special education mandates  Transportation  English Language Learning  Days added to the school year  Health and safety mandates  Physical Education  HIV/AIDS Sex Education  Drug/Alcohol Abuse Education  Bus Safety  Title 1 programs

23 NCLB  No Child Left Behind is possibly the largest unfunded/under-funded mandate the federal government has ever imposed on public schools.  The Office of The Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota has said: ”Even if student’s math and reading scores improve significantly in coming years…more than 80% of Minnesota elementary schools would not make AYP by and this could trigger expensive sanctions”— OLA Evaluation Report 2/26/04  The US Department of Education contends that “NCLB is appropriately funded”. Yet in , because of formulaic restructuring at the federal level, Minnesota will receive substantially less federal funding. –Eugene Hickock, Undersecretary of USDOE 4/14/04

24 What the cumulative effects of this decade have meant to public schools  Less administration—R&D  Greater reliance on local levies  Fewer Art/Music programs  Fewer Gifted/Talented programs  Books older than the kids  Cutting or charging for transportation  Higher fees  Larger class sizes  Fewer enrichment programs  Fewer intervention programs  Deferring maintenance to facilities  Greater reliance on parent fund raising  Greater reliance on the classroom teacher  Fewer fund balances; higher cost for districts to borrow money

25 What was happening with the economy  Between 1995 and 2001 the state of Minnesota and the federal government experienced the largest surpluses ever recorded  Minnesota rose to rank 8 th in per capita income of the fifty states  Residents received tax rebate checks in multiple years  Property tax reductions were enacted over multiple years  Business tax rates were reformed

26 What Do We Need to Do to Change Where We are Headed?

27 Know your Facts  Schools have had greater expectations placed on them with flat or decreased funding  Policies that aided property tax reform have destabilized funding for schools  The state took on the liability of providing 85% of the funding for schools without identifying a revenue stream  The “No New Tax Pledge” has created a greater dependence on fees and increased local taxes.

28 Make the case  Taxes are not “out of control”.  The State crises wasn’t inherited, it was self–inflicted  State funding for K-12 was “protected” only for this year.  State funding for K-12 education actually declines for the next three years, for the first time in the history of the state.  85% of school funding is regulated by the state. You can’t use fees to support these basic services.  Few local reserves are “surplus”. School districts often have to borrow throughout the year. John Gunyou, Commissioner of Finance for Gov. Carlson and Jay Kiedrowski, Commissioner of Finance for Gov. Perpich

29 Work for What you believe in  Organize Candidate Forums  Work for Representatives that support your priorities  Elect representatives whose judgment and integrity you trust  Help elected officials understand your views  Take your candidates and representatives on tours of your schools  Keep public schools in the forefront start a letter to the editor campaign help parents be a presence at the Capitol

30 Concentrate on expanding the conversation  Local Chambers of Commerce  Early Childhood parents  League of Women Voters  Seniors  Realtors  Local Business people  Legislators

31 The Power of the Network Together we can:  provide information  provide a speaker or help you be a speaker  provide a state view to your local and a local view to our state  network local advocacy groups  connect with state-wide advocacy organizations  present a state-wide parent voice for our public schools

32 “What the best parents want for their children the public must want for all children” --- Dewey


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