A Mankato lawmaker is not pleased with House budget targets when it comes to education.
The House omnibus budget bill calls for $30 million in spending on K-12 education, and Representative Jack Considine said he voted against it, in part because of a provision that changes pre-kindergarten funding into a grant program. He added, “The people that are doing pre-k and doing it rather successfully, yeah, they’re going to kind of pull the rug out from underneath their feet and that doesn’t make sense to me.”
Considine said higher education fares even worse in the spending proposal, with spending of, “Five million dollars, $1 million of which was earmarked specifically just for Metro State for a cyber-security program.”
Last year, Minnesota State University-Mankato and the six other MSU locations increased their average tuition by $272, to $7,288 a year, and the University of Minnesota raised in-state tuition by 1 to 2 percent on its five campuses.
Considine such tuition hikes are increasingly a burden too large for many to bear. He has spoken with many, “Low income students that are not quite low enough to qualify for grants and help but they are nor rich enough to afford college on their own and they are desperately wanting to hold the line on tuition.”
Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal would spend $30 million on the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State systems, which would mostly go toward freezing tuition increases for the next school year.