Modifications Proposed in Minnesota School-Aid Formula

By Alina Tugend — October 17, 1984 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A proposed change in the Minnesota school-aid formula would raise the level of state support for local districts by about 15 percent, but at the same time would reduce state-subsidized property-tax credits, thereby leaving the amount of money schools receive essentially unchanged.

Currently, the state supplies about 60 percent of local education funding; if lawmakers approve the plan, that proportion would rise to 75 percent.

The proposal, prepared jointly by a gubernatorial commission and the state departments of revenue and finance, will be presented to the legislature in January, said Ronald Hackett, school-aid analyst in the department of finance.

The plan, part of a total overhaul of the state’s tax system, would abolish a requirement that school districts levy 23.5 mills in local property tax in order to be eligible for state aid. The $700 million yielded locally each year by these mandatory levies would be replaced from the state3treasury, according to Daniel Loritz, assistant commissioner in the state department of education.

In exchange, the state will reduce or eliminate state-paid homestead and agricultural credits, according to Mr. Loritz. The amount now paid by the state for those credits, which are essentially rebates on property taxes, is almost equivalent to the amount of property-tax levies, Mr. Loritz said. Thus, a property owner’s savings from the reduced property taxes would be offset by the reduction of credits.

Tax Relief Unchanged

"[The credits] will simply be moved within the school-aid formula,” Mr. Hackett said. “The credits will be restructured so they replace what would have been paid in mills. Property-poor districts will not get any more or less, and the amount of tax-relief aid will remain unchanged. We are just reorganizing it under different headings, so we can eliminate working at cross-purposes.”

However, under the current system, if local districts vote to raise the property tax above the minimum required level, the state partially subsidizes the increase by contributing additional credits, Mr. Loritz said.

Under the new system, the state would partially subsidize increased levies within an established aid formula, but property owners would have to pick up the total cost of any extra property taxes the local district might impose to pay for an increase in education costs.

Mr. Loritz said the change in the school-aid formula would provide greater stability and would allow the education portion of the state budget to be decided at the same time as the rest of the budget, rather than a year earlier, as is currently the case.

‘Good Look Needed’

Willard Baker, executive director of the Minnesota State Boards Association, said the proposal is “worth taking a good look at.”

“It obviously increases the state participation in terms of support, which would be moving in the right direction,” he said. “But we also want to make sure we don’t become too dependent on state aid.”

A version of this article appeared in the October 17, 1984 edition of Education Week as Modifications Proposed in Minnesota School-Aid Formula

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP