Minnesota House DFL releases education budget proposal

    The Minnesota State Capitol. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

    The Minnesota House Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party on Monday released its education budget bill with provisions that supporters say will help students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The House DFL previously announced that its $52.5 billion budget would include $722 million in new K-12 education spending. Legislators must pass a two-year budget before the session ends in mid-May, or they’ll have to return to the Capitol over the summer.

    Here are some measures included in the House DFL’s 222-page education budget.

    • Increase the general funding formula by 2%. This is the standard bundle of money that goes to every school district according to a complicated funding formula. 
    • Ban Native American mascots in schools, but allowing the Tribal Nations Education Committee and Indian Affairs Council to grant exemptions.
    • Prohibit schools from suspending or expelling students in preschool through third grade.  
    • Prohibit school staff and police officers who work in schools from using prone restraint — where a person being restrained is ace-down, on their chest — or any physical restraint that restricts a student’s ability to breathe or communicate.
    • Require that students learn about Native history and culture in social studies.
    • Create a working group to study the effects of distance and hybrid learning on students.
    • Fund provisions of the Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers Act, including grants for programs that recruit and train high school students and prospective teachers. 
    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.