ST. CLOUD -- Governor Mark Dayton continues his tour across the state Thursday pushing for Emergency School Aid with a stop in St. Cloud.

The governor is advocating for roughly $138-million in funding to help school district's across Minnesota avoid layoffs and program cuts.

 

Dayton visited the students at Talahi Community School. He says with one-time funding his proposal would provide, schools would be able to give more resources to students.

"People say schools have enough money and are not spending it wisely. Just shows they don't know the additional challenges that a diverse student population puts on our schools and they are doing their very utmost."

According to the governor's office roughly 33 school districts in greater Minnesota are facing immediate budget strains for the 2018-2019 school year.

Dayton says St. Cloud Public Schools face a $4-million budget deficit for upcoming school year.

District 742 Superintendent Willie Jett says the funding shortages not only affect staff, but students and families district wide.

"The Emergency Aid to schools proposed by the governor would serve as a much needed down payment to correct the funding shortfall."

The governor's proposal would give an additional $126 for every student in Minnesota.

Kristen Bechtold is a teacher at Talahi Community School. She says the funding could help grow some of the districts more successful programs.

"We have two teachers in every classroom during the literacy block. That gives us time to plan and provide instruction at students level. We would like to see that practice continue into Math. It's showing great results and more teachers means more time for each student."

If the governor's proposal is not approved by the end of the 2018 legislative session, hundreds of teachers and support staff could be laid off, along with significant programming cuts.

Locals schools potentially impacted by the extra funding include Athlos Acadmey, Kimball Schools, Holdingford Schools, Rocori Schools, Sartell-St. Stephen, St. Cloud Math and Science Academy and District 742.