Governor Tim Walz and legislative leaders have agreed on the biggest component of the state budget — the E-12 education funding bill — with final votes possible later in the week or by the weekend.  Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain from Lino Lakes says it’s the biggest increase for public schools in 15 years (about 2.5 percent the first year, and an additional two percent the second):

“It’s gonna be over a billion dollars — a billion dollars in four years just on the formula for the classroom funding — and that was our goal:  get as much in there as we could.”

Democratic Representative Jim Davnie takes issue with Republicans’ claim that they went to bat for public schools:

“We had two-percent increases in the General Education Formula both years.   The Senate had zero dollars on the formula.”

Aside from who gets credit, Davnie says it’s still a “strong and solid increase” in the education funding formula.