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Dayton proposes $19 million additional special education funds

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed an additional $19 million in special education funding for next year, as such expenses rise throughout the state.

His plan would increase spending by $22 million the following year.

Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said Thursday, April 12, that rising costs limit opportunities to all students, and create constraints on programs. The proposed $19 million increase, she said, would contain growth and provide some relief.

“It will directly impact every student in those districts,” Cassellius said.

She noted that costs are rising from increased numbers of students needing services, more staff, lower staffing ratios and inflationary increases in staff salaries and benefits.

Lawmakers last increased special education funding in 2013, by $40 million.

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