LETTER TO THE EDITOR – SCHOOL FUNDING NOT KEEPING UP WITH INFLATION

In preparation for the 2019-2020 budget, the Crookston Public School District had to make some cuts to its budget.  Many reasons led to the cuts including declining enrollment, rising costs, and reduced funding.

The Minnesota Legislature is now working on the state’s budget for the next two years. Early Child through 12th Grade (E-12) Education funding is one of the largest areas of state spending.

The graph (pictured below) shows the Minnesota General Education Formula from 2003 to 2019. The solid line shows where education funding would be if funding kept pace with the rate of inflation over that time period.  The dashed line shows where education funding was.

This graph shows the disparity between where school funding should be and where it really is.  In 2019 the state general education formula gives each district $6,312 per student.  Adjusted for inflation that number should be $6,930.  That is a 9.8% difference.

Education is too important to our society.  We value it and must fund it properly.

I fear that if E-12 education funding continues to be underfunded, Crookston Public Schools will have to make more and deeper cuts to our programs.

Please let your legislators know that you value education and want to see it funded properly. Call, write, email, text or use social media.  But let them know you want them to vote for higher school funding.

Thank you,

Tim Dufault
Crookston Public School Board Treasurer

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