Unemployment insurance survey shows just over $40 million in costs for schools

Unemployment insurance survey shows just over $40 million in costs for schools

Unemployment insurance survey shows just over $40 million in costs for schools 

By Kirk  Schneidawind, MSBA Executive Director 

We want to share a brief update from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) on a survey of our school districts, charter schools, intermediate school districts, and cooperatives. The survey focused on the unemployment insurance – passed during the 2023 legislative session – that was made available during the summer term for our hourly workers. 

Since the unemployment benefits were available beginning in summer 2023, school districts and charters had to pay for the unemployment costs in November 2023. MDE deployed a survey in mid-October to collect the costs for all eligible school districts, charters, intermediates, and cooperatives.  This will allow MDE to provide a metered aid payment (roughly 90 percent of entitlement) on November 30. The final reconciliation of the reported costs will happen after the close of the 2023-2024 school year (November 2024) and a final payment or adjustment will be planned for January 2025. 

The total claims from the survey results came in just over $40 million for just under 18,000 eligible staff. Our public school districts constituted the bulk of the costs at roughly $37.5 million. Intermediate school districts were just over $1 million, charter schools just under $800,000, and cooperatives were just under $700,000. MDE received responses from 99 percent of our school districts, 69 percent of charters, all of the intermediates, and 74 percent of cooperatives. MDE believes that the costs of the districts, charters, and cooperatives that did not respond would not represent a substantial increase in the total amount. 

The 2023 legislation provided $135 million to support the cost of new qualifying summer-term hourly workers who were eligible for unemployment benefits. While the benefit is permanent, the dedicated funds can be used until June 30, 2027, or until exhausted.

Posted: November 22, 2023

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