By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced Sunday they will kick off a tour of schools across Minnesota this week.

The tour’s purpose is to “celebrate the historic investments in education included in Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget,” according to a release.

Initial stops include New Hope, Duluth, Burnsville and Mankato. The governor’s office said more locations and information on the stops will be announced later.

The education package was one of the last parts of the state’s $52 billion budget agreement to be settled. According to the governor’s office, it includes $1.2 billion in education funding over four years.

“Minnesota’s students sacrificed so much throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect their communities,” Walz said. “That’s why our budget, Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget, makes historic investments to help our students succeed.”

Walz was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning, where he mentioned the tour while touting the education budget’s focus on getting students caught up after a year of distance learning.

“I’m going to go out this week and start listening to these local communities,” he said. “But I think this is that return to normalcy that this COVID recovery budget starts to get us to.”