Gov. Walz unveils part of budget proposal with historic education funding

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Gov. Tim Walz has unveiled a portion of his budget proposal, which is mostly focused on education but would also help families with child care costs and reduce child poverty.

The governor and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan visited Adams Spanish Immersion Elementary School in St. Paul Tuesday to announce the first piece of a four-part budget proposal.

Walz says his initial $12 billion proposal would include the largest investment in public education in the state’s history.

“As a former teacher, coach, and parent, I have made it my mission to make Minnesota the best state in the country for kids to grow up. We have a historic opportunity to take bold action to deliver for Minnesotans, and we’re putting forward a budget that meets the moment,” Walz said.

“For a middle-class family with young kids, this budget would cut the cost of child care by thousands. For kids across the state, it will reduce their chances of living in poverty. And for our students, it will provide the single largest infusion of state funding in history, allowing them to provide every student, in every neighborhood, a world-class education.”

The governor’s plan includes a 4% increase in general education funding next year and 2% the year after that for a total of $717 million. Starting in the 2026-2027 budget cycle, education funding would be tied to inflation and would soar by another $1.48 billion.

The governor’s plan calls for the following: universal free school lunches, expanded access to pre-K for another 25,000 kids, more funding for alternative classes, funding to help address mental health support personnel services at schools, and a new Department of Children, Youth and Families.

Additionally, Walz aims to take some financial burden off thousands of families by offering tax credits for things like child care based upon a family’s income.

The governor is expected to introduce the other parts of his budget proposal in the next week. Check back for updates.