Minnesota’s growing economy pays back school debt in full

Old Central High School in Downtown Duluth. Howie / HowieBlog.com

Old Central High School in Downtown Duluth. Howie / HowieBlog.com

ST. PAUL — After years of irresponsible borrowing, all of the $2.8 billion that was borrowed from Minnesota schools has been repaid due to the budget surpluses generated by Minnesota’s growing economy.

A new economic forecast released today by the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget (MMB) shows that the additional $1.086 billion surplus projected for the current biennium will permit the immediate repayment of the final $246 million, still owed the schools. Changes made last session by the Legislature and Governor Mark Dayton accelerated that repayment by mandating in law that any additional surplus would go immediately to the schools.

Today’s announcement comes after Minnesota added 13,400 jobs since August and over 122,000 jobs since January 2011 — regaining all of the jobs that were lost in the Great Recession. Minnesota was recently ranked eighth in the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business,” and had, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the fifth-fastest growing state economy in the nation last year.

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