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Sharp Differences in Opinion on K-12 Education Funding [AUDIO]

District 742 parent Dan Brill speaking, while school board members Cindy Harner and Lee Green listen, along with Superintendent Bruce Watkins, and Education Association President Mary Broderick.

ST. CLOUD – Funding K-12 education is complicated.  That was very evident today (Tuesday) during a news conference at St. Cloud’s Tech High School.

The school board called the meeting to criticize the education bill, but St. Cloud’s Republican lawmakers were there too defending their vote in favor of it.  School Board member Bruce Hentges says Republicans claim that the bill will increase funding for the district is false.

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Hentges’ his biggest concern is a reform in something called compensatory funding.  He says the new legislation would shift more money to schools that do better on their third grade test scores.  He says that will hurt regional centers like St. Cloud that have a higher number of special needs students.

Meanwhile, State Representative Steve Gottwalt says it’s not that simple.

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Gottwalt says the bottom line is that Republicans have actually increased K-12 Education funding by $80 million.  Republican State Representatives King Banaian and State Senator John Pederson were also at today’s meeting.  As was Democratic State Representative Larry Hosch.

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