April 7, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.

North Branch school principal helps shape school funding

North Branch school principal helps shape school funding
North Branch school principal helps shape school funding

North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) high school principal Coleman McDonough has been chosen to serve on the Minnesota Department of Education's (MDE) Commissioner's Working Group on School Funding. The working group on school funding is charged with developing recommendations for school finance reform until May 25 and will be asked to develop realistic funding options for MDE to present to the Governor. Goals of the reform proposals will be to improve the adequacy, equity and stability of pre K-12 education funding; simplify education funding; preserve local control; close the achievement gap; promote high achievement for all students, and get resources closest to the classroom - students and teachers.

"There are few districts in the state that are more negatively affected by the inequities in education funding than North Branch Area Public Schools," said Superintendent Deb Henton. "We are very fortunate to have Mr. McDonough's strong voice at the table during this process."

As a starting point for discussion, the Minnesota Department of Education has developed a preliminary set of funding reform proposals for the Working Group to review, based on recent education funding reform work by other task forces. Proposals include investing in early learning, lessening reliance on local referenda, rolling integration funding into the general education program, reforming the calculation of compensatory education revenue, simplifying education funding, re-establishing a uniform levy to support the general education formulas, allocating a portion of general education revenue to schools with outstanding levels of growth in student performance, and equitably sharing excess special education costs.

"I am humbled and honored to have been selected to participate in this very significant conversation. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring the NBAPS perspective to the table," said McDonough. "The potential to impact funding reform that could alter the pattern of continued, significant budget cuts in our district has me optimistic for a brighter future for our students."


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