- Following the rejection of his $343 million universal preschool proposal, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton’s shot down a $17 billion education bill.
- The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member is also refusing to call a now-necessary special session until state Republicans concede and accept the pre-K program.
- Dayton's plan would have offered free, all-day class to all 4-year-olds in the state, but Republicans were concerned that there wasn't enough space for that many children — especially if existing pre-K programs wouldn't have time to prepare before the expansion.
House Republicans in the state were most skeptical about the bill because of the massive financial responsibility it put on the state by expanding the concept of K-12 to include mandatory pre-K. Dayton, however, argues that with the state's current $2 billion surplus, that reasoning doesn't make sense.
The governor's decision to take down the $17 billion ed bill is an interesting one, as it momentarily places many plans in jeopardy.
Of course, while pre-K may be costly, it is also known to be effective in getting students ready for later grades. With only 15% of the state's 4-year-olds currently enrolled in pre-K, the move is more than necessary.