Budget is a commitment to educational excellencePublished 4:47pm Saturday, July 6, 2013
Minnesota is known as a state that boasts a large, well-educated workforce.
Over the years, our workers have given Minnesota a competitive economic advantage and helped attract and retain major employers. It’s a big reason why our state fared far better than others during the Great Recession and it’s why Minnesota’s economy is poised to make a strong comeback.
This year, the DFL-led legislature worked with Governor Dayton to pass a budget that enhances our proud tradition of educational excellence and extends it into the future.
The most significant accomplishments in terms of our renewed commitment to education include:
• Providing publicly funded all-day Kindergarten for every child (begins fall 2014).
• Expanding access to preschool with early learning scholarships (begins fall 2013).
• Pumping more resources into the K-12 funding formula and placing a greater emphasis on college and career readiness (begins fall 2013).
• Increasing financial aid and freezing tuition for University of Minnesota and MnSCU students (begins fall 2013).
All of this is made possible through reforms to Minnesota’s tax system.
In order to create a brighter future for all Minnesotans, we paid for investments in education today by asking the richest two percent of Minnesotans to chip in a little more in income taxes.
This only affects earned income above $250,000 per year for joint filers and $150,000 per year for single filers. It’s the kind of needed reform that legislators were up front and transparent about on the 2012 campaign trail and during the entire 2013 legislative session.
In fact, the majority of Minnesotans agree with our approach. A recent poll conducted by the Star Tribune well after this year’s Legislative Session adjourned found “broad popular support” for the DFL’s tax plan, with 58 percent in support compared to just 36 percent opposed.
After years of cuts that shortchanged our children’s futures, we took serious steps to provide every child with a high-quality education. I think that’s something all Minnesotans should be proud of.