State House Finalizes Education Financing
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House Republicans have finalized their bid in the state's education finance debate.
The chamber passed its budget bill 69-61 largely along party lines Saturday after more than four hours of debate. Minority Democrats warned the roughly $157 million in new spending won't keep up with inflation and will lead to teacher layoffs and program cuts.
Democrats in control of the Senate laid out new spending of about $361 million in their school funding bill. Governor Mark Dayton has called both proposals unacceptable. He wants to designate more of the state's projected $1.9 billion surplus to education.
The House and Senate both passed on Dayton's $343 million plan to fund voluntary high-quality preschool across the state. All three groups have until May 18 to hash out an agreement.
House approves transgender student bathroom restrictions
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House wants to restrict transgender students' access to school locker rooms and bathrooms.
Minority Democrats objected fiercely to a Republican move to include the provision in an education budget bill Saturday. The House approved the proposal in a divided voice vote.
Rep. Tim Miller's provision says group locker rooms, bathrooms and showers designated for one sex can't be used by the other. It doesn't preclude schools from offering single-use bathrooms or changing rooms to transgender students.
Miller, a Prinsburg Republican, says it ensures students' privacy. DFL legislators argue it's discriminatory and could lead to legal challenges.
A similar move that would ban transgender students born as male from female athletics stalled in the DFL-led Senate.
The provision still has to go through the Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton.