No stimulus yet for MN schools

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Minnesota schools are still waiting for more than $800 million in stimulus funds delivered to the state. The money is here, but schools can’t get it until they first spend their own money and ask for reimbursement, and then wade through complicated forms. In the meantime, the money is “sitting in a state account, waiting until everyone’s ready to use it,” reports MPR.

With the governor’s plan for budget shifts to delay delivery of state funding, MN schools face double trouble. Delays in delivery of state funding mean schools may have to borrow to pay for salaries or buses or books, and that increases their expenses, because they have to pay interest on the loans. With the stimulus money sitting in a state account, I’m wondering whether the accumulating interest is also helping to balance the state budget, or whether it will — some day — be disbursed to schools. All told, this looks less like our once-vaunted Minnesota Miracle and a lot more like balancing the budget on the backs of schools.

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