In April, 2013, then-Speaker Paul Thissen issued this statement bragging about their “historic investment in education.” Back then, Thissen wrote “We’re making 2013 the ‘education session’ because we know that a world-class education system is the gateway to a world-class economy. The House DFL budget keeps our promise to Minnesotans by paying back the $850 million owed to our schools while investing in our future and putting our kids on the path to the world’s best workforce.”

That’s when the DFL was strutting, telling whoever would listen that they’d finally straightened out Minnesota’s budget, which they blamed on Minnesota Republicans. A year after that, I wrote this post about the St. Cloud School Board and the Princeton School Board raising property taxes. In Thissen’s statement in 2013, he predicted that the DFL’s “education budget’ would ‘reduce property taxes.'”

Apparently, math wasn’t Thissen’s specialty:

St. Cloud school district has imposed its largest tax levy increase in six years for 2015. The district’s property-tax levy will increase by $3.3 million, or 14.75 percent, to nearly $26 million. The school board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve the 2015 levy. District officials say the increase is needed to pay for a spate of improvements to facilities.

That property tax increase was preceded by Princeton’s property tax increase:

The Princeton School Board, in a split vote on Dec. 16, increased the school district tax levy by 25.16 percent for taxes payable 2015 to fund the 2015-16 school year. This was a departure from the board’s originally proposed 33.87 percent hike. The total levy will be a little more than $6.091 million, a $300,000 increase over this year’s levy. The original proposal would have increased the levy $724,000.

You’re likely wondering where I’m going with this. Here’s where I’m heading with this:

Gov. Mark Dayton is calling for $138 million in emergency funding for Minnesota schools as districts across the state grapple with budget shortfalls. Dayton unveiled his request to lawmakers Tuesday as the Legislature heads toward a mandatory May 22 adjournment. The Democratic governor’s proposal would increase the state’s per-pupil funding formula by 2 percent.

How is this possible? The DFL told us that they’d made an historic investment in education. Less than a year later, people were getting hit with gigantic property tax hits. Question: how historic could the investment be if it disappeared less than a year later?


Let’s be blunt. The DFL’s ‘investment’ did nothing except encourage school districts to spend like drunken sailors. The lesson to be learned from this is that raising taxes and spending only leads to increased taxes and increased reckless spending.

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