School Finance Working Group discusses property tax equalization, basic formula

School Finance Working Group discusses property tax equalization, basic formula


The Minnesota Department of Education’s School Finance Working Group met August 13 to dig deeper into two key financial pressure points in education funding: property tax equalization and the basic formula.

As the School Finance Working Group gets closer to finalizing their recommendations, they have focused on two changes that would create a more predictable, stable and equitable funding — adjusting the basic education formula for inflation and creating a new funding mechanism to take pressure off the property tax system.

These actions address major concerns the group identified last week that the basic formula has lost $650 per pupil to inflation since 2013. How do school districts cope? They supplement with local property taxes by passing referendums — which creates a greater disparity in education funding across the state.

The next working group meetings are scheduled for:

  • 4 p.m. Thursday, August 20
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, August 27
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, September 10
  • 4 p.m. Thursday, September 17
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, September 24

The group will continue formulating recommendations for reforming education funding over the next few weeks.

The working group’s mission is to address education-funding issues facing the state. The group reviews key funding streams, identifies options for school finance reform, and seeks consensus on recommendations for systemic change. A review of previous working group sessions is available on the School Finance Working Group webpage.

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