State senators pass education finance bill

Early Wednesday morning, members of the Minnesota Senate passed an education finance bill with a 35-32 vote.

The passage comes one day after the House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 70-62. It now heads to Governor Tim Walz’s desk.

The legislation increases state spending on education by about $2.26 billion – or 10% – over the next two years. It also boosts per-student spending by four percent next year and two percent in 2025.

Civics and personal finance courses will be required for high school graduation for students who start ninth grade in the 2024-2025 school year, and Holocaust and genocide studies will be added to the social studies curriculum starting in the 2026-2027 school year.

The Education Finance bill also includes other provisions, such as replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the school calendar and prohibiting the use of Native American symbols or names as mascots unless all 11 Minnesota tribal nations approve an exemption.

RELATED STORY: MSHSL list of school mascots and logos with ties to Native American culture

Schools will also be required to carry menstrual products and opiate antagonists.

Lawmakers also approved $74.4 million for support personnel aid and workforce development to respond to students’ mental, behavioral, and physical health needs. It also invests $37 million in Grow Your Own teacher grants to increase and diversify the workforce, as well as $24.3 million for building safety and cybersecurity grants.

You can follow along with other bills being worked at KSTP’s Legislative Tracker.