Schools for Equity in Education

– Legislative Update

See House education policy bill.  What bills might get over the finish line?

The House Education Policy Committee revealed their policy omnibus bill. At over 133 pages, the bill is very ambitious. The bill intends to provide a world-class education for all students in a safe and supporting environment, particularly for historically underserved students. This House Session Daily article does an excellent job of covering the proponents’ support and notable provisions in the bill. However, most of what is in this education policy omnibus was in last year’s omnibus, which the Senate rejected. I don’t expect a different outcome this year.

The Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee does not have a policy bill. On Wednesday, they heard four bills, and then the Chair announced that the committee would not have any meetings next week. Actually, it sounded more like they heard all the bills they wanted and were done.

What might get done this session? Hard to say. However, here are some bills to watch.

SEE’s top priority bills are in play. The House heard both bills, and the Senate did not, although it has also shown interest.  The funding for both will be scaled back, and to what extent is unknown.

Provides property tax relief and reform for the referendum, location optional revenue, and debt service levies.

Eliminates the special education cross subsidy.

The following provisions have a good chance of being in it. The bills were heard in both the House and Senate and have majority authors, and the bills I noted with an * are in the House Education Policy Omnibus.

Provides grants for schools to provide emergency medical service classes. A recent report found a severe shortage of EMTs that jeopardize medical care in areas around the state.

*Promotes post-secondary education options (PSEO) where students take college-level courses at colleges or universities. School districts must remove barriers that prevent students and families from knowing about PSEO opportunities and accessing the program.

*Increases the amount that a school district can pay a school board member so the board member can work in critical shortage areas like bus driving, food service, and paraprofessionals.

Adds Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) as essential special education personnel, so school districts are reimbursed for their services.

Provides permanent funding for the Minnesota Council on Economic Education, which provides training and curriculum for teachers teaching economics.

Increases funding for the Minnesota math corps, which provides math tutors for schools.

Provides grants for K-5 teachers to take LETRS literacy training. LETRS has proven success in increasing reading proficiency in students. This is a deal-breaker for the Senate. Without funding for LETRS, I wouldn’t expect an agreement on final education bill.

Provides funding for after-school community learning programs for at-risk students.

Establishes a special education working group to make recommendations on the tuition billing program to the legislature. A district serving a special education student bills the district where the student lives for 80% of special education services. The resident school district has little say in the programming.

The bills below do not meet all the criteria of the above bills but are still worthy of watching.

Allows school boards to approve non-traditional instructional hours without the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) approval so schools can provide more educational opportunities outside of the classroom.

Adds requirements for lead testing and remediation in schools.

Requires schools to provide menstrual products at no charge in bathrooms for students in grades 4-12, Also, increases the operating capital revenue by $2 per pupil.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Deb Griffiths
Director of Communications and Community Outreach


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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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