DFL Rep. Mindy Greiling has spent years wrangling with the likes of education lobbyists as groups tried to sway the former House K-12 finance chairwoman to change longstanding policies or win a bigger piece of the multibillion-dollar budget pie. But no other group was more persistent, or powerful, than the so-called “education cartel.”
In the past three years, the Waseca school district has cut its budget by 20 percent — more than $5 million all told. District busing is just meeting state mandates. Elective classes have been cut at the junior high and severely reduced at the high school. Many teachers have left for wealthier districts.
With newly installed Republican majorities in the House and Senate, K-12 education reform became the subject of intense debate this year, a struggle that began in the regular session and continued until just hours before the Legislature convened to pass the package of budget bills that ended the shutdown in July.
After school let out for the summer, the Inver Grove Heights Community Schools embarked on a major project to redo the HVAC system in Simley High School and an elementary school.
It’s hard to argue with Charlie Kyte’s qualifications. Before becoming a lobbyist for the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA), Kyte spent more than five years teaching math, science and physics at a school in southern Minnesota. He then moved to Eden Valley-Watkins to become the school’s principal, and, ultimately, the mayor of the town.
To the surprise of many, time ran out on the Legislature before votes were taken on several prominent bills unrelated to Minnesota’s general fund budget battle. While some bills passed the Legislature in the last three days of session, a raft of legislation now sits in limbo, including the Legacy funding bill and pension reform.
Minnesota has traditionally enjoyed high marks from the three primary credit rating agencies - Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. Starting in 1997, all three firms gave the state their highest Aaa rating. But in 2003 Moody's downgraded Minnesota's bond rating to Aa1, citing concerns about balancing the state's books through volatile, short-term fixes. The assessmen[...]
Republicans originally planned to make their first round of cuts stick. As introduced, their $1 billion budget cutting bill made permanent reductions to programs like local government aid (LGA), health and human services and higher education that had been temporarily cut as part of the state's 2010 budget agreement. But in the first House committee hearing on the proposal, an amendment brought by [...]
There will be 60 new legislators wandering the Capitol halls when the 2011 session starts - an impressive figure, but it pales beside the number of lobbyists and PR people who are presently scrambling to figure out who all those new faces belong to.
Making good on what they called part of their core campaign message, Republican leadership at the Legislature on Tuesday rolled out a drastically scaled back committee roster for the upcoming legislative session. The committee reconfiguration reduced the total number of legislative panels from 61 to 40, and GOP leaders predicted the move could save as much as $800,000. And they followed it up just[...]
State lawmakers will address damages to possibly more than 10 southern Minnesota school districts when they assemble in special session next month to pass flood-relief legislation. A prominent schools lobbyist hopes that lawmakers also consider helping out Wadena in northwestern Minnesota where a tornado on June 17 destroyed the high school.
When he first announced his K-12 budget proposal Sept. 10, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer made a point of saying school funding will be "held harmless" under his plan.
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