Students across the state have started to return to a new school year. Many times a new school year comes with a mix of anxiety, but this year, thanks to a windfall of government spending, most school boards state-wide, at least, are breathing a sigh of relief.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the education budget bill in May, boosting funding for public schools throughout the next two years. The biggest impact of the $485 million influx comes in the form of a full-day kindergarten push, making all day, every day kindergarten a possibility for every school in the state.
The $15.7 billion bill is the biggest slice of the state budget. It increases education spending by $485 million over current levels. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party-controlled Legislature's latest biennium budget also includes new money for early childhood education scholarships, special education programs and a 1.5 percent increase in the basic per-pupil formula each of the next two years.
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