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Minnesota K-12 Bill Ups Pupil Payments, Cuts Programs

Minnesota State Capitol
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ST. PAUL  (AP) — The Minnesota House has passed a public school funding bill that increases per-pupil payments to schools while making major changes to the way that they operate.

The Republican-sponsored bill passed by a vote of 68-59 at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, after more than six hours of debate. Democrats predicted that Gov. Mark Dayton will veto the bill because it contains controversial policy changes he doesn’t support.

That includes eliminating state aid to improve integration in districts with large minority populations, a freeze on special education funds, private school vouchers for low-income families at failing public schools, scrapping teacher tenure for an evaluation-based approach and curbs on teacher bargaining rights including a ban on teacher strikes.

Dayton’s commissioner of education, Brenda Cassellius, says in a letter to the bill’s sponsor that it’s “inherently harmful to at-risk students.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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