From the Superintendent: Please contact your lawmakers about PreK-12 education funding

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Dear Colleagues:

I’m sending my message tonight from Washington, D.C. at the Council of the Great City Schools’ Annual Legislative Conference. Tomorrow, I am privileged to join a small group of national education leaders meeting privately with President Obama to tell him that proposed ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) legislation will counteract all the work SPPS and other urban school districts have done to make achievement more equitable for all students.

If you haven’t already, I hope you will take a moment to read more about the proposed legislation and call Minnesota’s congresspeople here in Washington to give them your opinion on how they should vote.

Proposed federal changes, as well as proposed changes at the state level, will significantly impact our school district’s bottom line. Years of not receiving inflationary increases are taking their toll. (View charts at this link) This year, our state reports a budget surplus that many education leaders hope will be used to make up for years of inadequate funding increases.

In fact, Minnesota legislators this week are asking for input from citizens and stakeholders regarding how much to spend on PreK-12 education over the next two years. SPPS is encouraging state legislators to:

  • increase the basic funding formula by 3 percent
  • adequately fund special education
  • fund the teacher development and evaluation mandate for all districts
  • increase extended time revenue for students who aren’t at grade level
  • provide enough PreK funding to clear our district’s waiting list.

(View this link for more information.)

With your encouragement, our legislators will make the right decisions. Please also contact your Minnesota legislators now to tell them what you think.

I’m pleased to get budget worksheets to schools and departments earlier this year so we can plan better for the future, but I must stress that we won’t know the full impact of any changes in law until the end of the legislative session in late May or early June. We must all plan accordingly, considering next year’s expenses with varying amounts of support from both state and federal sources.

I truly believe that understanding the policies being decided by our government is both our right and our privilege as citizens of these mighty United States.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature

 

Valeria S. Silva