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DFL offers plan for future school funding

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Sen. Kathy Saltzman
Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, says before the state can move forward with providing more funding to education, it needs to first fix the problems around the per-pupil funding formula.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Legislators were long on promises, but short on details as they unveiled what they called a new "Minnesota Miracle." The phrase refers to a state takeover of education dating back to 1973.

The new plan would raise per-pupil funding by nearly 50 percent. It now stands at about $5,100 annually. In addition, the plan includes new funding calculations based on geographical differences and students learning English. 

But state Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, said the new plan isn't just about money.

"Before we put significant new money into our schools, we need to fix the formula, and this is a huge step forward in doing that," Saltzman said.

DFL legislators offered no specifics about how to pay for the new funding.

Lawmakers will take up the measure on Thursday. It's too late in the session for action this year, but lawmakers plan to hold hearings around the state in coming months.