Editorial: Funding problems took years to makeThe state’s ongoing budget crisis came home to roost in a new way this week, when the number-crunchers in St. Paul announced that the state will “borrow” $423 million this spring from 231 school districts across the state.
By: Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Worthington Daily Globe
The state’s ongoing budget crisis came home to roost in a new way this week, when the number-crunchers in St. Paul announced that the state will “borrow” $423 million this spring from 231 school districts across the state.
It’s a legally mandated, short-term strategy that’s meant to help keep Minnesota afloat at a time when the state’s cash flow is slumping. Technically, this isn’t really a loan — rather, the state will simply delay aid payments to school districts that have cash reserves.
This is a high-profile problem that directly affects our children, which means the blame game is ramping up.
But no one in St. Paul has the right to point fingers at anyone else concerning this situation. Our state’s fiscal crisis and educational funding problems have been years in the making, and our legislators’ inability to work together in recent years has played a major role in bringing us to this point.
For now, we’d argue against any attempt to ban what amounts to an emergency accounting strategy. At most, we’d suggest just a slight tweak in the law, so that districts that may be forced to take out loans because of delayed aid payments — such as Pine Island — should be entitled to at least a partial reimbursement for the interest costs they incur.
Our larger concern, however, is that our legislators take action to ensure that we don’t end up in this situation again.
Post-Bulletin of Rochester