Schools for Equity in Education

– Legislative Update

The phrase has become a bit shopworn, but it bears repeating that the 2023 Legislative Session is commencing at a breakneck speed.

The House checked another item off their list of high priorities with the passage on Thursday night of the Paid Family and Medical Leave HF19 bill on a party-line vote. The bill has also been moving in the Senate and it currently sits in the Senate Finance Committee. It will likely hit the Senate floor within the next couple of weeks.

On the education front, one high-profile hit the committee front this week. On Wednesday, the House Education Finance Committee heard HF 439, Representative Matt Norris’ bill that would increase the general education basic formula by 5% in each of the next two years and tie future increases to the rate of inflation. SEE Legislative Chair Jeff Holmberg was one of the testifiers in favor of the bill, which has wide and ardent support from all corners of the education lobbying community.

A bill that was heard in both the House and Senate relates to the Teachers of Color Act. HF 320/SF619 would increase the financial commitment to the program and the bill also contains provisions relating to ethnic studies and a program that aims to close the educational achievement and opportunity gap. The Senate debate in committee was spirited, with some questioning whether including the ethnic studies curriculum is appropriate in a bill that aims to increase the number of teachers of color. Those issues weren’t raised in the House, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be raised in the future.

The week ahead will feature—in addition to a foot or foot-and-a-half of snow—presentation of four bills that are related to equalization of the operating referendum and debt service levies, an increase in Local Option Revenue, and the extension of Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue to rural cooperatives (see below)
HF879-Youkaim SF866-Westlin
HF1271-Youakim / SF1601-Hoffman
HF1457-Pursell / SF1247-Dahms
That hearing will take place on Tuesday morning at 10:30 AM in the House Education Finance Committee. The hearing will take place in Room 120 of the State Capitol and can also be viewed online. Check the House schedule for the link to view at your home or office. There’s a lot of support of increasing equalization factors and the state budget is in unprecedented great shape. That said, there are a lot of education needs and even with ample state resources, there may not be enough to invest heavily in all areas of need in the education funding universe.

As per usual, let me know what’s on your mind. I’m having some trouble with my email, but I do have an alternate email at where I can be reached. I can also be reached at 612-220-7459. I always look forward to hearing from you.


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SEE Side-by-Side Comparison

See the education funding priorities of the Governor, House, and Senate.

Education Bill Summary

An up-to-date look at education bills currently under consideration.

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