Minn. Schools to Learn Amount of Back Pay by State

Updated: 09/30/2013 6:22 AM
Created: 09/29/2013 9:35 PM
By: Jay Kolls

The state of Minnesota will announce Monday how much more money it is paying back school districts as part of a loan repayment.

The state borrowed about $2.4 billion from schools in 2011 to help balance the state budget. More than half of that loan has been repaid, but $800 million still has to be paid back.

Monday's announcement is eagerly anticipated by schools all across Minnesota, but how much will be given back this week is yet to be known.

Teachers in the state's largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin, are very optimistic. But, the head of the teachers' union there calls it "cautious optimism." Anoka-Hennepin Teachers' Union President Julie Blaha says teachers are "happy to get repaid, but we do want taxpayers to know this is not a windfall of new money. This is money owed to schools, and it will be put to good use in the classroom." Blaha says you can expect some of the money to go toward teachers' salaries, technology, small class sizes and preparations for all-day, every day, kindergarten next year.

Blaha says many school districts had to make "tough budget cuts or get by with less when the legislature borrowed the money, and now we are anxious to get some of that paid back and be able to use it where it is needed most."

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