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Gov. Dayton takes a stand for public schools.

With less than four days to go in the regular legislative session, the vetoes keep mounting. Just Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton sent yet another bill back to the legislative drawing board.

That makes 16 in all.

At issue is a projected $1.6 billion budget surplus. The legislature wants to put the bulk of it toward tax cuts. The governor wants to invest in a better tomorrow.

Education is at the top of his list and he explains why in pointed letters to the speaker of the house:

  1. An E-12 education finance bill: The meager 1.5% annual increase in the basic formula doesn’t even keep pace with inflation, let alone make up for a decade of underfunding our schools. It also eliminates the governor’s signature work: pre-kindergarten. “Your bill ensures significant teacher and staff layoffs across the state,” Gov. Dayton wrote.
    Read the governor’s letter to the speaker of the house
  2. A teacher licensing bill: While noting the need for significant reform, the governor said the bill came to him without a guaranteed funding mechanism. He also expressed several other concerns, including a provision that allows unlimited professional licensure without requiring adequate training. “We must always balance the very real urgency of addressing our significant teacher shortages with a commitment to maintaining the high professional standards for which Minnesota is known,” Gov. Dayton wrote.
    Read the governor’s letter to the speaker of the house
  3. A higher education appropriations and policy bill: The bill provides less than 40% of the $318 million the governor requested. “Of particular concern is the smaller investment in need-based aid that will lead to higher debt loads for the many middle and lower income students and families already struggling to pay for college,” Gov. Dayton wrote.
    Read the governor’s letter to the speaker of the house

Contact Gov. Dayton and your lawmakers and tell them to keep fighting for our students, our schools and our future.