Area schools ended the year 2012 by receiving some good news. Thanks to responsible budgeting by a Republican legislative majority during the past two years, all of our schools are receiving more of their state funding earlier than anticipated.
Since November 2010, Minnesota’s economy has made a remarkable turnaround. For the budget cycle that ends this summer, what was once projected to be a $6.2 billion budget deficit has now become a $2.5 billion surplus.
This improvement has taken place thanks to our decisions to hold the line on state spending, forcing government to live within its means, and refusing to raise state taxes to solve our budget crisis.
After enacting this budget, our economy responded, as incoming state revenue collections continued to exceed the expectations of our state economists. This continued surplus was used to replenish Minnesota’s budget reserves and cash flow accounts, as well as to pay back the amount that had been borrowed from our schools by the current and previous legislatures.
In 2010, a DFL legislative majority borrowed nearly $2 billion from schools in order to balance the state’s budget. In 2011, a Republican legislative majority increased the amount of the school shift. Now that the economy has turned around, the increased borrowing portion from 2011 has been repaid, and the remainder of the surplus is being used to pay off a large portion of the DFL’s original IOU.
School districts received a scheduled payment on December 15 and received another on December 28.
What does this mean locally? In Princeton, $4.72 million is being returned to the school. In Milaca, that figure is $2.58 million.
The shift payback amounts will be included in the regularly scheduled payments from the state which began with the December 15, 2012 payment and will go through June 2013.