Several Minnesota education groups made a push for Gov. Mark Dayton's education budget at the Capitol on Monday.
The governor's budget would increase education funding by nearly $300 million, including pre-K, all-day kindergarten, programs to boost achievement for students of color and mental health care in the schools.
Farmington Superintendent Jay Haugen said the governor's boost for special education is particularly needed.
"We take so many dollars from all of our other programs to fund the unfunded portion of special education that the governor's budget makes, I think, a huge inroad at least for our state in making that happen," Haugen said. "Hopefully that will be a strong message to our federal government that they need to step up as well."
The gap between the cost of what the federal government mandates for special education and what it pays for can range from $600 to $1,000 per student. The Dayton budget would increase special ed funding to schools by $125 million.