Wednesday evening, Minnesota’s top lawmakers started a new round of private talks about holding a special session of the Minnesota legislature.
The Democratic governor on Wednesday ramped up pressure on lawmakers to include funding for his No. 1 priority: a statewide pre-kindergarten program. He’ll meet as early as next Tuesday with the Republican House Speaker to hammer out the agenda for the special session.
Time is running out for Minnesota lawmakers to reach a budget deal, and money for education is the main sticking point.
A highly contentious debate over education issues kept state lawmakers working through the weekend.
At a rally outside the capitol Saturday, activists say with a $2 billion surplus, now is the time to invest in education. Republicans want to use the surplus to lower taxes.
During a visit to a Newport Elementary classroom Friday morning, Gov. Mark Dayton made his pitch for universal preschool for Minnesota 4-year-olds. The administration estimates the proposal would affect 47,300 students in its first year, eventually growing to roughly 57,000 in a few years.
In most school districts, children start school at age 5 when they go to kindergarten.