Schools for Equity in Education

Brad's Blog

Month: January 2023

Committees Engaged in Big Discussions

Three Education-Related Committees Meet on Tuesday.  The day started with the Senate Education Finance Committee meeting and a bill of great interest to SEE garnered a lot of attention.  SF 613 would allow school boards to renew expiring operating levies.  This issue has been before the Legislature numerous times the past decade, but it has never found enough traction to find its way into law.  Owatonna Superintendent Jeff Elstad and Owatonna School Board Chair and Owatonna School

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Commissioner Jett Appears Before the Senate Education Policy Bill

Senate Education Policy Committee.  The Senate Education Policy Committee met today and on the top of the agenda was the confirmation of Dr. Willie Jett for the post of Minnesota Commissioner of Education.  Commissioner-designees during Governor Walz’ first term always had the proverbial Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads, especially during the pandemic when a number of commissioner-designees had to make tough–and often controversial–decisions, because the Senate was controlled by Republicans and the Senate has

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I Was Thinking About the Weekend Too Much

Missed a Day!  Things are moving at such a hectic pace at the Legislature that I totally missed the Senate’s Friday floor session that was largely centered around the debate and passage of the women’s reproductive health bill that passed the House a week earlier.  It’s rare that a January floor session runs late into the evening, but there have been several instances already this session where significant pieces of stand-alone legislation that have produced extended

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The Days Fly By

Missed One!   The days have been rocketing by so fast that I neglected to include Wednesday’s Senate introductions in yesterday’s blog entry.  So here they are: Senate Introductions–Wednesday, January 25 SF 662–Requires MDE to Develop Model Sexual Health Education Program SF 663–Increases Number of Heritage Language and Culture Teachers SF 664–Appropriates Money for Regional Library System SF 665–Expands Extended Time Revenue to All Students Placed at Residential Treatment Facilities Providing Mental Health or Juvenile

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Wednesday Bill Introductions

Just About the Only Way to Describe It! Bills are being introduced at a brisk pace with another 152 new pieces of proposed legislation hitting the starting in the House today.  The Senate did not meet, but we are seeing both bodies meeting an extra day per week to get bills started in the process this session.  Here are today’s House bill introductions that have been referred to either the House Education Finance Committee or the

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Governor’s Budget is Here!

In this Corner . . . Weighing in at over 450 pages is . . .  No, not Andre the Giant, but instead a jumbo-size education budget unveiled today by Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan.  One great thing about electronic documents is that I won’t have to be lugging around a document this size throughout the session.  I don’t know if I can manage a forklift that ably. The Governor released the highlights of his

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Monday Committee and Bill Introductions

Hectic pace continues.  The Senate Education Policy Committee was the only education-related committee that met today and they covered the Senate companion to the non-exclusionary discipline bill heard in the House last week.  Divided government stunted much of what advocates of reducing suspensions and exclusion have promoted over the past few years, but with both Houses of the Legislature and the Governor’s office supportive of some measure of change, it is likely that some of the

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A Very Busy Thursday

SEE Witness Shine!  It was a busy day with hearings in both the House and Senate and I’m glad that I was able to help get two SEE superintendents before committees to talk about bills of interest to their districts.  East Central Superintendent Stefanie Youngberg addressed the House Children and Families Finance and Policy Committee in support of HF 456 , bill authored by Representative Maria Isa Perez-Vega that would expand and make permanent the voluntary pre-kindergarten

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Wall-to-Wall Wednesday

Committee after Committee after Committee . . . The education-related committees are all scheduled to meet on Wedensdays  and all four did today with a short break at halftime to accommodate a House floor session.  The Senate Education Finance Committee heard Senator Mary Kunesh’s SF 8, a bill that provides one-time funding for transportation, EL, and special education.  The bill spends $268 million on these three funding categories, which would all be welcome.  There’s an interesting

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A Truckload of Bill Introductions

Tuesday Bill Introductions.   As it is with most every legislative session, there comes a time when a flood of bills are introduced.  There have been more early introductions this session due to the breakdown in negotiations at the end of last session.  Because of that, there were a number of ready-made bills that hadn’t crossed the finish line last session that were quickly introduced this session.  In addition to some of the unfulfilled goals of

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