Boost for early education in Minn. House budget 10 Apr 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota schools would receive state funding for all-day kindergarten and an extra $200 per pupil on average in House Democrats’ plans for education spending.

Top lawmakers outlined those priorities in their two-year budget proposal unveiled Tuesday. It also provides scholarships for early education, aims to decrease funding gaps between urban and rural schools districts and pays back about $850 million in IOUs to schools the state used to balance previous budgets.

Rep. Paul Marquart, a Dilworth Democrat, says the $550 million funding increase from the last budget will target reading and graduation rates to ultimately improve Minnesota’s workforce.

Rep. Kelby Woodard says he and other Republicans support adding to the funding formula and paying back schools but question other funding proposals and the tax increases they require.