Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent: Dayton Preschool Proposal Could Create Space Crunch
SAUK RAPIDS - Governor Mark Dayton vetoed an education funding bill on Tuesday, saying it wasn't big enough and didn't include preschool funding for four-year-olds in the state.
Locally, Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Dan Bittman says he supports the idea of early education and preschool, but adds the district would run into space concerns if the state required it for four-year-olds.
"I certainly recognize the importance of having early learning opportunities and certainly understand the benefits of that. However, one of the things that we would need to spend time thinking about is space and facilities-we have 550 more students than we did five years ago."
Increasing enrollment in the Sauk Rapids-Rice district is already leading to potential space crunches in their buildings. Bittman says he's excited about the possiblity of more families moving to the community, but has concerns on the amout of resources available for universal preschool.
"By providing additional universal preschool we recognize that would bring more families to the district-which we're excited about. But we also recognize that because we have limitations in our buildings and programs that we would need to be thinking about."
A special session of the Minnesota Legislature will need to be held to pass another education bill. In his veto letter, Dayton says the proposed $400 million for public schooling wasn't enough given the state's $2 billion surplus.
-This story was written with information from the Associated Press-