Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and Council on Black Minnesotans are opposed to integration and compensatory funding cuts in House Education Finance Omnibus bill.
On March 30, 2011, 2:30 AM, the MN House passed the Omnibus Education Bill, which eliminates the rule requiring integrated schools in Minnesota, cuts integration funding for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth, and freezes special education and Adult Basic Education funding. As an example of the impact of these cuts, Minneapolis Public Schools alone would lose about $17 million or $480 per student from integration funding cuts.
Families, students, and community leaders are deeply concerned about the shifting of funds from metro area schools with high levels of poverty to other parts of the state. The integration funding and compensatory aid funds are currently used to eliminate segregation in our schools and to close the educational achievement gap. The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and Council on Black Minnesotans maintain that the proposed cuts and freezes fundamentally undermine Minnesota’s efforts to reduce our state’s achievement gap and to promote educational equity.
While we recognize that funding in education is limited and needs more accountability and effective use, we maintain that the proposed cuts and freezes in education funding is not the answer. These cuts and freezes would disproportionately impact metro area schools whose populations are largely made up students of color and low-income students. These drastic cuts and freezes should not be made at the expense of our children and their future.