Governor Dayton’s Budget to Protect Pre-Kindergarten Programs

Governor Dayton’s budget would protect pre-kindergarten programs from being eliminated.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – This morning Gov. Mark Dayton held a news conference calling on the Minnesota Legislature to protect pre-kindergarten programs for students across the state.

Governor Dayton has proposed permanent pre-kindergarten programs funding in his Budget for a Better Minnesota proposal.

“Voluntary pre-kindergarten programs have given more than 6,100 Minnesota four-year-old’s the high-quality early learning opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life,” said Governor Dayton. “We cannot let these programs expire for 4,000 kids, their younger siblings, and their families. I urge the Legislature to work with me this session to ensure these programs continue for thousands of children and families across Minnesota.”

The proposal would also increase funding by five percent each year for pre-kindergarten programs.

“Every day I see firsthand how transformational early learning programs are for young students,” said Sara Birkeland, pre-kindergarten teacher at Maxfield Elementary. “We are making sure that students are ready for Kindergarten, that they get a great start to their school experience. I can’t believe that we are actually facing the potential of taking this crucial opportunity away from our schools.”

Last year Minnesota Legislature rejected Gov. Dayton’s proposal of $175 million in permanent pre-kindergarten funding instead opting for a one-time $50 million funding.

Currently 59 school districts and charter schools in Minnesota are at risk of losing funding unless action is taken.

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