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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 04, 2013, 04:53 PM

Minnesota schools are benefiting from $300 million windfall

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It may not be new dollars, but hey, they will take it. Better than expected tax collections in Minnesota have the state flexing its economic muscle.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- It may not be new dollars, but hey, they will take it. Better than expected tax collections in Minnesota have the state flexing its economic muscle.

That means a $300 million windfall which will benefit the schools - but it is money the state owes those school districts.

In Hawley, Minnesota today, a rocket launch marked the end of applied science and the last day of school here. As the kids head home for the summer, they are leaving their school district in good financial shape, especially after news that the state of minnesota has a $300 million windfall following healthy tax collections - dollars that the state owes the schools.

Phil Jensen - Hawley School Superintendent: "It is money we have been owed that will now show up in our bank accounts.

The windfall comes at a critical time for Minnesota schools. It is June, and that is the time school districts pay out teachers for the summer. The state was withholding money and a lot of schools had to borrow money in order to meet cash flow.

Dilworth Representative Paul Marquart is chair of the House Education Finance committee and he says this past session was one of the best in years for Minnesota schools.

Representative Paul Marquart - Dilworth(D): "Not only are you living up to a promise, but you are actually setting good budgetary practices and not relying on schools to balance your budget."

This is good news that follows years of wimpy aid payments and forced borrowing after the state helped itself to $2.8 billion of school's money. State leaders say the better than expected tax collections could be even brighter and grow more before the fiscal year ends June 30th.

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