Following his participation in a roundtable discussion at the Apollo School for special needs children in St. Cloud, Tuesday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton briefed reporters on the government shutdown and the current political impasse over funding.
“I’m asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay more in taxes so that children with special needs don’t have to be denied services, and that’s what’s at stake,” said Dayton. “That’s a Minnesota value.” Dayton added that 129,000 children statewide need special education and would experience cuts under the Republican budget proposal.
Asked what he learned from his visit to St. Cloud, Dayton said he learned how school districts have the same level of funding for special education now — $26 million — as they spent seven years ago. Yet they’re dealing with twice as many children. And the number of English learning children has increased by over 300 percent over last decade.