DFL lawmakers eyeing state surplus for early education investment bill

Updated: February 18, 2020 01:49 PM

Early childhood education is yet again a top priority for DFL lawmakers. As the 2020 legislative session gets underway, they're beginning public hearings on their $500 million education bill – named the 'Great Start for Minnesota Children Act.'

House members are hoping to get the cash from the state's $1.3 billion surplus, but Republicans in the Senate have said they'd like to use that money for tax cuts – specifically for Social Security – and savings.

Tuesday morning, bill sponsors and DFL lawmakers were joined by the public, educators and program leaders, who all would benefit from the bill's passing.

A few branches in education – specifically early childhood education – the money would be used for include:

  • Early learning scholarships
  • Child care assistance
  • Voluntary pre-kindergarten funding
  • Provider support

More from KSTP:

Lawmakers, advocates push to ban marriage in Minnesota for children under 18

Walz, Flanagan propose $447M for state colleges and universities

Part of the testimony was from a first-grade teacher from Fridley. She used to be in early childhood education, but said she left, "with a heavy heart," as she feared of being let go. Lack of funding fueled that fear.

DFL leaders who support this say there are a couple of big reasons to spend the money on this: it may not be there in the future, and an investment into a child's education is an investment for a better future.

Senate Republicans also want to put a focus on education. Their plan does not include using money from the surplus, but working on a reform (instead of major funding). They have said they'd like to use money from the surplus for tax cuts – specifically for Social Security –and to stash some away in savings.

Connect with KSTP

Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


Ben Henry

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Experts: Jury instructions as important as evidence in Chauvin trial

Carjacking suspect dead after shootout with police on Highway 13 in Burnsville

State Patrol: Fatal crash in Lowry Tunnel closes westbound lanes of I-94 in Minneapolis

Minnesota lawmakers propose major changes to traffic stop laws

EXCLUSIVE: Daunte Wright's family, national civil rights leaders call for change

Ohio State Highway Patrol to send troopers to Minnesota this week