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Reality Check: Ad Accuses Emmer Of School Aid Cuts

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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A new television commercial by the liberal group Alliance for a Better Minnesota accuses Republican Tom Emmer of planning to cut school aid if he’s elected.

But if this were a pop quiz in class, it’d be marked “incomplete.”

“That’s why I’m worried about Tom Emmer’s education plan,” said the ABM ad. “It would slash school funding, cutting programs our children need to succeed. Doesn’t Emmer know that good schools are the key to creating jobs and rebuilding our economy?”

That’s NOT ACCURATE.

The education budget Emmer’s proposing actually increases school funding by $500 million — from $13.3 billion to $13.8 billion.

But it’s still $500 million less than schools will need, according to the state budget office.

Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW…

Emmer’s budget increases classroom funding in dollars, then freezes it.

It does not cover inflation or the higher cost of thousands of more students expected to enroll in school in the next two years. In the world of school budgets, it’s a paradox: there’s more money to spend, but it’s a cut.

“Doesn’t Emmer know that good schools are the key to creating jobs and rebuilding our economy?” the ad continues. “Mark Dayton does. He’s fighting to reduce class size, fund all-day kindergarten and pay teachers what they’re worth.”

That’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY…

Dayton has proposed all of those things and he’s promising to increase school funding. But he hasn’t attached a price tag, so we don’t know how much it will cost or if the state will *ever* be able to afford it.

Although Emmer says he supports the current level of funding increases for Minnesota, he voted against them as a legislator.

A campaign spokesman said Emmer voted no because the bill ‘lacked reform and additionally eliminated the ability to recall or revoke a referendum’.

That’s Reality Check.

To check the resources for this Reality Check, click on the links below. Alliance for a Better Minnesota

Tom Emmer For Governor
State Budget Office: K-12 Finance Division
Emmer Budget Plan, Part 2: Tom Emmer’s Promise to Minnesota’s Children
MPR: Emmer would hold education spending flat
Mark Dayton For Governor
Pioneer Press: Dayton pitches education plan – without a price tag
House Legislative Session 86: Omnibus K-12 Education Bill

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