Schools for Equity in Education

Brad's Blog

Month: May 2022

Disappointing End to Once-Promising Regular Session

So Close . . . Yet So Far Away.  I may as well start with the Hall & Oates’ song that sums up how many are feeling given the Legislature’s failure to come to agreement on a broad range of funding bills that spelled doom not only for spending in a variety of budget areas, but also dooming the tax bill whose passage was contingent on reaching agreement on the spending side of the equation. 


All (Fairly) Quiet on the Western, Oops, Legislative Front

Education Conference Committee Meets Briefly on Wednesday Morning.  The Education finance and policy conference committee met briefly this morning to discuss the House’s offer that was posted last evening.  Under that offer, the House has increased its commitment to reduction of the special education cross-subsidy by reducing or eliminating proposed appropriations for a number of programs and moving the savings to cross-subsidy reduction.  Even with these changes, the House’s cross-subsidy appropriation is markedly less than the


Senate Offer on E-12 Bill Issued

Senate Returns Serve.  The Senate responded to the House’s offer late this afternoon with an offer of its own.  The Senate offer increased their proposed LETRS appropriation of $30 million to $52.5 million and proposes to use the remainder of the $320 million at their disposal to reduce the special education cross-subsidy by $265 million for the coming fiscal year (2022-2023 school year) and an additional $676,000 over the next biennium.  The offer also increases MDE’s


House Presents Offer

First Post-Agreement Offer Presented.  The E-12 conference committee met this morning and heard testimony on a variety of programs aimed at closing the achievement and opportunity gaps that exist in Minnesota schools.  After those presentations, the discussion turned to the budget agreement announced this morning by the Governor and legislative leadership that calls for $4 billion in tax cuts, $ 4 billion in new spending, and $4 billion being rolled into the next biennium as a


Budget Deal Outline Established!

Big News on the Budget Front.  The details have yet to be ironed out, but the Minnesota Reformer is reporting that an accord has been reached between Governor Walz and legislative leadership on the parameters of the budget deal for the 2022 legislative session.  As it sits right now, the agreement stipulates that the target for new spending is $4 billion, the target for tax cuts is $4 billion, and $4 billion will be left on


Wednesday Conference Committee Wrap-Up

Mental Health and Special Education Discussed.  The House had the gavel today and covered two issue areas that are featured in the House version of the omnibus education funding and policy bill.  It was the first meeting of the conference committee where the committee had to return for an early evening session to complete testimony that time prevented from being heard during the morning session.  The House bill makes considerable investments in a variety of mental


Side-By-Side Covered in Education Funding and Policy Conference Committee

Tuesday’s Conference Committee Proceedings. The Education Funding and Policy Conference Committee did the annual ritual of comparing the provisions in House’s and Senate’s respective bills by going through what is called a side-by-side comparison with staff from each body describing the various provisions that comprise their body’s version of the omnibus education funding and policy bill.  As has been stated a number of times, the House bill is much larger and far-reaching than the Senate


Mental Health Discussed in Initial Conference Committee Meeting

Conference Committee Kicks Off.  The House had the gavel and so set the agenda for the first day of the 2022 education finance and policy conference committee.  The House version of HF 4300 has a number of provisions aimed at better meeting the mental health needs of students and staff.  There were a number of witnesses who outlined the problem–and stressed that mental health needs were in place prior to the onset of the COVID-19


Conference Committee Starts Tomorrow

Education Conference Committee Starts Tomorrow.  The education conference committee begins its deliberations on HF 4300 tomorrow morning.  The bills are radically different.  The House bill spends $1.2 billion in the coming fiscal year on a variety of initiatives, most notably an investment in addressing the special education cross-subsidy.  Conversely, the Senate bill has a $30 million appropriation that is solely dedicated to providing extensive professional development to teachers to increase literacy scores for Minnesota students.  I