Many of us may have missed a piece of good news this week, amid major events like MNsure launching and the federal government shutting down: Minnesota is significantly closer to repaying the funding owed to our schools.
On Monday, Minnesota Management and Budget closed the books on FY 2013 (which ended on June 30) and announced a $636 million positive balance in the general fund. The additional revenue is the result of both higher than expected tax collections and lower than expected spending.
Due to a provision passed during the 2013 Legislative Session, the entire $636 million will go to reversing the school funding shift. The money will start flowing to schools by mid-October.
The $636 million takes us very close to fully repaying our schools. The state still has $238 million to go. According to state law, the first priority for any future positive balance is to finish paying off the shift. That means if the state’s November 2013 Economic Forecast shows any additional good news, the first $238 million of any positive balance will go to school districts.