This column is a thirty-thousand foot view of school finance and is in response to questions that come up in the community from time to time. I will start with a short synopsis on how schools in Minnesota are funded. Tax dollars are received by the state and dispersed to districts in the form of aids and levies. There is a basic formula determined by the state which gives greater funding weight to older students than it does to younger students.
The COVID-19 pandemic generated new, one-time funding sources for schools as we addressed the demands for personal protective equipment, sanitizing/disinfecting supplies and technology to assist and support distance learning which included chromebooks and mobile hotspots. Other programs that emerged during the pandemic to support students and families were targeting food and nutrition.