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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Garofalo:Education's- Now You See It, Now You Don't- Funding

Category: Education
Posted: 12/01/11 01:27, Edited: 12/01/11 01:45

by Dave Mindeman

I still am amazed at how Rep. Pat Garofalo sees Minnesota education. Here is a statement he made yesterday in response to the discussion on metro area schools borrowing money to meet budget requirements.

"I will never vote to increase the shift again," (Rep. Pat Garofalo) said. "The next time, we cut spending."

Cut spending? How would that solve this....

Twenty-six metro school districts -- nearly twice as many as last year -- are turning to banks to make ends meet, borrowing a total of $382 million this year......All told, metro schools laid off more than 600 staff members, withdrew $55 million from reserves and slashed $61 million from budgets this year, the survey found.

Your answer, Rep. Garofalo, to that is to "cut spending"?

We just finished a few rounds of Rep. Garofalo chastising school districts for having the audacity to request levies with comments like this:

?Gov. (Mark) Dayton and the Legislature increased school funding by over $650 million in this biennium,? Garofalo said. ?I think voters need to ask tough questions: How did you spend the first increase and how are you planning on spending the next increase??

MN2020 gave its analysis of Garofalo's "increase" in education funding:

Minnesota's state support for schools, adjusting for inflation, has been declining since 2003. The $50 per pupil pittance passed in the recent session will go mainly to cover the costs of delayed state payments to local schools. Even with that, state support by 2013 will be 13% lower than it was a decade earlier.... This is a concerted effort to deceive you into defunding your neighbors', kids', or grandkids' school. It should be beneath them, and it's definitely beneath you....... Minnesota 2020, September 21, 2011.

Minnesota schools have been doing a juggling act for years. And Rep. Garofalo uses his smoke and mirrors analysis to hide the facts regarding what they face.

It's time for some honest budgeting for Minnesota's education. Let's not play the sleight of hand that comes from slightly increasing the education budget and then making it disappear in another shift.

Invest in education....with real dollars...not promisssory notes. Minnesota deserves better.
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