Walz calls for legislative action on summer learning programs

Updated: May 05, 2021 05:32 AM
Created: May 04, 2021 04:29 PM

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says the legislature is procrastinating on school funding.

The governor is calling on the state Senate to approving funding for summer learning programs after the pandemic disrupted two school years in a row.

Governor Walz says the state has had the money for these summer programs for months, but he says school administrators have had to starting making cuts to the programs because lawmakers still haven't formally approved the spending.

Walz held a press conference outside of a suburban Twin Cities elementary school on Tuesday to call for action. 

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, Walz is calling on the Republican-controlled Senate to pass a bill that's already received approval in the DFL-run House.

"We know the money's there. We know Minnesota's financial situation has improved dramatically. We know that the federal government and President Biden under the American Rescue Plan has sent the money here to be able to get it into the hands to make a difference for our young people, but it has not yet moved," said Walz.   

Minnesota House Republican leaders responded with a news release saying: "The proposal the Governor is pushing does not allocate funding equally across the state, and would do little to reverse the damage he has caused," Rep. Sondra Erickson of Princeton said in the release.

The Republican leaders also say the governor's plan does not allocate enough money directly to summer learning programs or directly to schools.

The legislature faces a May 17 deadline to finish work on this issue, and everything else.

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