Rochester residents discuss improvements to school funding - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester residents discuss improvements to school funding

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A task force, trying to revamp how Minnesota funds public schools, met in Rochester to take suggestions from community members.

About two dozen people showed up to the session with ideas about how to change the complicated way Minnesota schools receive money.

Schools in Minnesota get most of their money from something called a general education program that takes a combination of property taxes and state aid and distributes them to schools based on the number of students.

But the calculation isn't that simple.

The number is weighed down by 30 years of modifications meant to address different iniatives and inequalities.

So some schools get more money than others based on factors like location, and percentage of minority students.

On top of this...schools get money that is tied to specific iniatives and can only be used in specific ways.

The session addressed the idea of how to bring more control of how money is spent to the school district itself.

The meeting was one of many the task force is holding throughout the state of Minnesota and provided the opportunity for Rochester residents to bring up local issues

Rochester residents also discussed the importance of special education and recently downsized programs like phys ed, home ec, and technical classes.

The issues brought up in this meeting and the others throughout the state will be used to create a list of suggestions for the governor about how to improve school funding in Minnesota.

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