WATCH: Public Education Funding Forum
The Monticello School District, in partnership with SEIU, held a Public Education Funding Forum on Thursday, Feb. 1. The forum was held to inform the community of changes in the way the state funds special education and how that is affecting both special education and general education funds at Monticello and at other districts around the state. Included in that is that Monticello was particularly affected due to a change in cooperative status to a Joint Powers agreement that was forced by the state.
The district was honored to have legislators Marion O'Neill (MN-House 29B) and Bruce Anderson (MN-Senate 29) in attendance at the meeting. Following the forum, Representative O'Neill provided this statement:
"It is my honor to stand with the Monticello School District in your unique, one-time funding deficit created by the perfect storm of events.
The reasons the deficit was created are complicated, stemming back to a federal ruling. Even after assurances from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) that this forced federal change in the special education coop structure would be revenue neutral, they are still demanding a $1.6 million claw back related to this structure change. MDE claims that no harm has been done to the district and that they would not support a legislative fix to the claw back.
Despite MDE's claims, I can clearly see the harm, and I am working on a legislative fix. I need your help to make sure Governor Dayton, and his agency, MDE, also see the harm. I need Governor Dayton to sign my bill and enact your relief. Please tell Governor Dayton the harm that will come to your school if the claw back is not forgiven and ask him to sign the bill that I will be introducing on your behalf."
As a district, we are committed to providing you as much information as we can on this matter. At the bottom of this page you will find links to all of the handouts that were provided at the Public Education Funding Forum.
The district asks community members, as attendees were asked Thursday night, that you each invest in the “Power of Five” with us. Please reach out to Governor Dayton and share your frustration with this formula, the lack of special education funding, and the impact it is having on general education, while also sharing your support for Representative O'Neill's bill. Reach out to Representative O'Neill and learn more about how you can help. Or reach out to legislators from surrounding areas to ask their support. Just as importantly, please share these facts, this video, and this movement, with THREE friends.
Together, we can create change. Together, we can do better by school districts around the state. Together, we can make a better future.
Sample Letter to a Politician (Updated 2019)
Minnesota Special Education Funding Statute (See Subd. 2c for new formula information)
School Board Resolution for Federal Government to Fully Fund Special Ed. (Both resolutions have been passed by more than 120 Minnesota School Boards)