MN Gets $166 Million In Federal Education Funds

Minnesota’s budget gap may be getting a little smaller. The US Department of Education has awarded Minnesota $166.7 million in funds for teachers, school counselors and other education staff.

Representative Jim Oberstar (DFL-MN) said the funding will prevent 2,400 teaching jobs in Minnesota from being cut.

Unlike applications for federal health care dollars, Minnesota was one of the first states to apply for the education funding.

Representatives Oberstar, Tim Walz (DFL-MN), Senators Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Al Franken (DFL-MN) made the announcement on Wednesday with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Click here to read the whole press release

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/09/10]—Yesterday, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (D-Minn.), Reps. Jim Oberstar and Tim Walz (D-Minn.), and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Minnesota $166.7 million in funds for teachers, school counselors and other education staff. The funds will be given to the Minnesota Department of Education, which will distribute the money to school districts according to a preset formula.

“Minnesotans have always believed in providing our students with a first-rate education, and our educators play a vital role in maintaining this standard,” said Sen. Klobuchar.  “These funds will help keep thousands of Minnesota teachers in our classrooms and provide our students with the tools and skills they need to succeed.”

“One of the gravest threats of this recession is the impact it will have on our education system and Minnesota’s children,”said Sen. Franken. “These funds will allow Minnesota to remain a leader in education, give our students the resources they need, and save thousands of jobs.”

“This funding will help Minnesota schools retain 2,400 teaching jobs that, otherwise, would have been cut,” said Rep. Oberstar.  “We are helping local school districts keep class sizes down and property taxes as low as possible during tough economic times.”

“I visited Mankato and Fairmont back-to-school teacher workshops last week and in both districts and across the state, school district leaders tell me that this funding is badly needed to keep our teachers on the job in our local schools,” said Rep. Tim Walz, who taught high school for nearly two decades before taking a leave of absence to serve in the Congress. “These critical funds are reaching our schools just in time to make a real difference for kids this school year.”

“There is a huge sense of urgency to get these funds out the door.  I commend Minnesota for being one of the first to submit their application and thank our team at the Department for making funds available within a matter of days,” said Secretary Duncan. “These education dollars will help Minnesota keep thousands of teachers in the classroom working with our students this school year.”

The $10 billion education fund will support education jobs in the 2010-11 school year and be distributed to states by a formula based on population figures. States can distribute their funding to school districts based on their own primary funding formula or districts’ relative share of federal Title I funds.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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