Minnesota Democrats Want $1.15B More For Public Education

Minnesota Democrats are pushing for a 1.15 Billion dollar budget increase for their public education to address the mental health crisis.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Minnesota Democrats

Minnesota House Democrats are pushing for a 1.15 Billion dollar budget increase for their public education system. The state currently has a 9.25 billion dollar surplus, and as teachers have recently gone on strike demanding better pay and more support for students facing issues, state legislators are arguing over how much the increase should be. Minnesota Republicans believe the amount is too liberal and wish to cut taxes for families in addition to offering public schools a 30 million dollar increase. 

The proposed higher budget is one Minnesota Democrats believe is needed in order to properly address student mental health issues, expansions for counselors and social workers, as well as more programs for students who are learning English as a second language. This is once again a perfect example of the differences in political ideologies between the two controlling parties that have opposing views. Democrats wish to spend money, and spend it well, on students from other countries, and those who are poorly handling life’s difficulties. Republicans, on the other hand, are hoping to cut taxes so that parents can keep more of their own money and handle their children’s problems at home, and also focus on limiting spending.

Both plans can benefit the people if executed properly, unfortunately, Minnesota Democrats seem to be overlooking one huge fact. Throughout the pandemic, schools were shut down and remote learning was put in place. The federal government used taxpayer dollars to create one of the largest spending sprees in United States History, shelling out billions of dollars to Minnesota alone. This was all sent to the Minnesota public education system to be spent on education. As schools were closed districts didn’t have to pay for janitorial services, electric bills, water bills, or other utilities. They didn’t have to pay for school lunch programs, or supplies for students because the parents were all shouldering that burden. So where did all of that money go?

Minnesota Democrats

A great portion of the COVID relief funding apparently went to supporting a bevy of identity politics causes. The Minnesota ARP ESSER State Plan fully lays out how federal aid money — which was meant to help schools thrive during and after being shut down so they could continue to teach students — went to making classrooms more inviting to Hispanic and Latino students, helping American Indians fix their credit, being more “culturally responsive” to the needs of American Indians, free tutoring for Asians, eliminating racial bias and stereotypes for black students, giving black students “equitable health opportunities,” critically examine gender bias, and promoting positive gender identities, and more. This plan seems as if it was designed to push political ideologies that just so happen to fall in line with progressive rhetoric often spouted by liberals like Minnesota Democrats, who support treating everyone differently based on their sex, gender preference, race, and income level, and so on. 

Billions of dollars of COVID relief money were given to districts across their state, yet Minnesota Democrats pushed to utilize education money to further agendas that have little or nothing to do with teaching children math, reading, writing, science, and history. Now they are asking for even more money, and they are going to have to gain approval from republicans. Whether or not these clashing parties will be able to compromise is a question that many in the state are asking.