Schools throughout the state have been laying off teachers, raising fees, and slashing services to balance their budgets. They blame the drastic cuts on rising costs and insufficient state funding. But state spending on public education has been steadily rising, and that has some policymakers questioning whether schools will ever have enough money. Still others say the system is in drastic need of reform or even a complete overhaul.
AN INTERVIEW WITH GOV. VENTURA
Listen to Gov. Jesse Ventura's comments on major issues facing the Minnesota K-12 education system. (More)
WHERE DOES IT GO?
Taxpayers keep giving money to schools, and schools keep asking for more. Where does a taxpayer's dollar go? We looked at the White Bear Lake Area School District to find out. (More)
Give us your view of a solution to the education funding issue in Minnesota, and exchange ideas with others. (More)
What's the problem?
By Tim Pugmire
Administrators blame the drastic cuts on rising costs and insufficient state funding. But state spending on public education has been steadily increasing, not decreasing. And that has some policymakers questioning whether schools will ever have enough money.
District profile: Osseo
By Dan Olson
Osseo is cutting staff, raising fees and asking school district residents to pay higher property taxes. Taxpayers rejected the most recent levy increase proposal. School officials may try again this fall.
District profile: Minneapolis
By Tim Pugmire
School leaders say the consequences of insufficient state funding are more severe in a school district with higher concentrations of poverty and students with greater learning needs.
District profile: Bemidji
By Tom Robertson
The school fiscal crisis is compounded in many places by declining enrollment, especially in rural Minnesota. The Bemidji School District has fired about 80 teachers, closed two schools and slashed programs to balance its budget in the last two years. Officials there say the financial turmoil has confused local taxpayers and eroded public trust.
What's the solution?
by Tim Pugmire
School district officials throughout Minnesota say an funding crisis is forcing them to redefine public school education. They've cut services, increased fees and laid off teachers to fix their budgets. Now they're looking for long term financial solutions. While some educators push for more creative uses of school resources, others are pushing for a whole new system.