SARTELL (WJON News) -- Increased funding for education remains a top priority for Governor Tim Walz.

Walz has proposed major spending increases for education as part of his 2023 budget.

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Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Ridlehoover says some of the key proposals they are paying close attention too include the per-pupil funding formula and the special education cross subsidy.

That is the gap that exists between the federal mandates and what is supplied to the districts monetarily. For us that's about $3.1-million that we have to use out of general funds. So if something happens with that it would be helpful for us.

The governor's plan would add 4 percent to the per-pupil school funding formula this year and another 2 percent the following year. Walz also wants to provide free meals to all students.

The $12 billion education proposal would be the largest investment in public education in the state’s history.

As far as building improvements, the Sartell-St. Stephen school board is currently going through a bidding process for the foundation work and electrical installation to add new lighting on the four varsity athletic fields.

The district has some remaining bond dollars for improvements at the high school which include the field lighting.

Ridlehoover says right now the improvements only focus on lighting, and it may be several few years before a football stadium is built.

That was always looked at as a phase 2 option, it was never included in the original bond. Several community members did try to spearhead some of that work last year, but what we realized was getting that done would require much more conversation and action by the school board and even the community.

Ridlehoover says there were some preliminary stadium designs created last year, but that's as far as things developed.

He says the board could continue those conversations in the future, however there is no indication of that happening at this time.

Ridlehoover says their varsity football games will continue to be played at Riverview Intermediate School.





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