House DFL launches school tour

Democrats in the Minnesota House are planning a series of meetings throughout the state to discuss K-12 education issues.

The two-week roundtable tour will highlight what DFL leaders see as the negative impact of Republican education policies, such as the expanded school funding shift. DFL Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders included the $3.45 billion shift in the budget agreement to end a state government shutdown. But during a State Capitol news conference today, DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen was only blaming Republicans.

“Gov. Dayton was in a situation where the Republicans forced him to do what Republicans have forced the state to face for the last eight years under Gov. Pawlenty as well, which is to not solve it in a balanced way, but to resort to these kind of gimmicks,” Thiisen said.

Republican Representative Pat Garofalo, chair of the House Education Finance Committee, said DFL complaints do not reflect reality. He said the K-12 funding bill passed in July provides school districts their first real increase in several years.

“If you take a look at the numbers, you’ll see that there’s some pretty generous funding increases for school districts, especially considering we had a $5 billion deficit,” Garofalo said.

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