Emmer releases second part of budget proposal

The plan would keep current K-12 education spending levels at $13.8 billion.

by James Nord

Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer released the second installment of his budget proposal Friday, focusing on education reform.

The plan discusses reforms at the K-12 level, but higher education was absent from the proposal entirely.

âÄúI donâÄôt know all of the contents of it, but weâÄôll be discussing more of the reforms over the next week,âÄù Emmer spokesman Chris Van Guilder said.

Van Guilder couldnâÄôt confirm if plans for higher education would be included in the forthcoming announcements.

Although the plan contains few specific details, Emmer revealed that he would keep education spending at its current level, $13.8 billion, this fiscal year.

The $1.4 billion spending shift enacted by the Legislature last session would be tackled beginning in fiscal year 2014 under EmmerâÄôs plan. Repayment could start sooner, Emmer said, if his jobs proposal was to raise state revenue at an unexpected rate.

âÄúWe will [repay the shifts] faster by growing our economy and putting Minnesotans back to work,âÄù Emmer said in a statement. âÄúWhich is why we must enact our jobs creation agenda.âÄù

Emmer would also increase school districtsâÄô autonomy by reducing state mandates and reassigning funds from state childcare programs to early childhood education.