Concerned by the rising costs of college textbooks, lawmakers are debating whether to
require professors to be more cost-conscious in choosing their course material and make the industry justify how they price, package and revise textbooks.
A key House committee chair is proposing an income tax increase to fund Minnesota schools. Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville who chairs the K-12 Finance Committee, wants to raise the tax rate for upper-income Minnesotans.
DFL legislators and the governor agree in principle that all-day, every-day kindergarten is good for many students, but funding the program statewide carries a hefty pricetag: $160 million a year. Where should the state focus its education funds?
Pawlenty proposes more than $440 million in new spending for state-supported institutions; that's more than a 16 percent hike above current levels. But officials at the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System say the increase fails to meet basic inflationary costs.
Under the governor's budget, all public K-12 schools would get a 2 percent funding boost per student in each of the next two years, and Pawlenty would tie some additional spending to school performance.
Gov. Pawlenty outlined his general proposals for education funding during a speech Friday, acknowledging that school boards need more state money to keep up with rising costs. He also sought to dampen expectations for funding all-day kindergarten statewide.