School Finance Working Group discusses current funding system, trends during inaugural meeting

School Finance Working Group discusses current funding system, trends during inaugural meeting


The School Finance Working Group held its first meeting Saturday, September 21, at the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in Roseville.

After introductions and establishing expectations, the working group discussed its broader charge — to generate a proposal focused on preparing our public school students for college, career and life, while using MDE’s commitment to equity as a guide for their decision-making.

The working group was recently established by Minnesota Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker — not a result of a legislative requirement.

One of the group’s big goals is to prepare school finance recommendations for the state’s next budget session in 2021.

The group’s first meeting focused on the current school funding system and an overview of recent school finance trends.

MSBA has appointed two school board members to the work group — John Vento (Robbinsdale Area) and Michelle Borchardt (Tri-City United).

The group will meet monthly over the next year. The next meeting will be held 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 17, at the MDE office in Roseville.

Visit the School Finance Working Group webpage to learn more about this group.

The School Finance Working Group is comprised of the following members:

  • Amy Nelson (Bloomington)
  • Bernie Burnham (Duluth)
  • Cathy Erickson (Duluth)
  • Cathy Nathan (Bloomington)
  • Cheryl Johnson (Goodhue County)
  • Chris Leinen (Bemidji Area)
  • Christine Osorio (North St Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale)
  • Sen. Charles Wiger
  • Don McNeil (Bloomington)
  • Eugene Piccolo (Minnesota Association of Charter Schools)
  • Fred Nolan (MREA)
  • Janey Atchison (St. Paul)
  • Jennifer Murray (Cloquet)
  • Rep. Jim Davnie
  • John Carlson (Rochester)
  • John Vento (Robbinsdale Area and MSBA)
  • Les Fujitake (Bloomington)
  • LuAnn Alexander (Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop)
  • Mary Doug (St Paul)
  • Michelle Borchardt (Tri-City United and MSBA)
  • Nicola Alexander (Minneapolis)
  • Ryan Vernosh (Roseville)
  • Steve Massey (Forest Lake Area and Schools for Equity in Education)
  • Ternesha Burroughs (Osseo Area)
  • Tilley Gitchuway (Minneapolis)

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