Schoolhouse Beat

Committee in Minnesota seeks plan for more equitable school funding

A committee of legislators and education advocates in Minnesota has spent the past six months studying how to make funding for school facilities more equitable and will make a recommendation to the Legislature in February. The St. Paul Pioneer-Press says 25 school districts in the state have authority to raise taxes for facilities without voter approval. They are eligible for "alternative funding" for facilities because they have a certain mix of student enrollment, building square-footage and facility age. Other districts mostly are dependent on voter-approved taxes for capital funding. Many school leaders call the system unfair because they must tap their general funds for maintenance if voters reject capital levy requests.

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