ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Governor Mark Dayton is turning up the heat on state Minnesota lawmakers to pass emergency funding for Minnesota schools.
The Democratic Governor revealed this week that unexpected budget shortfalls in dozens of schools will likely mean teacher layoffs and program cuts. One fourth grade teacher says a $3 million dollar deficit in his Winona district means his class size next year will rise from 17 to 28 students.
“My first year teaching, 19 years ago, I had 29 fourth graders. That’s what it could be like for me next year. Having nearly 30 8-year olds in a classroom. It’s going to be crowded, it’s going to be difficult to teach,” Matt Reuter of Goodview Elementary School said.
Republican lawmakers are not sure if this is an emergency. Some say expensive new early childhood programs and teacher contracts are the reasons for a shortfall.