Schools for Equity in Education

– Legislative Update

We are now in the final stages of the 2024 legislative session and time is getting very tight.  The Minnesota Constitution limits the Legislature to 120 legislative days (days in which business is conducted on either the House or Senate floor and not calendar days) over the biennium and today (Monday, May 6) will be the 112th legislative day.  The need one day to adjourn sine die (Latin for “without any future date”), which marks the end of the biennium and no bills can be passed on the last day of the biennium.  That leaves eight days over the next thirteen for the Legisature to finish its work.

Progress across many fronts has been frustrated by the recent arrest and charge of Senator Nicole Mitchell.  There have been procedural moves by the Republicans to remove her from office, but expulsion requires a two-thirds vote under the Minnesota Constitution and as we witnessed during the impeachment trials in 2020, it is extremely difficult to reach the two-thirds necessary to expel (or in the case of impeachment, convict).  A noticeable case where the two-thirds benchmark was reached occurred with the expulsion of United States Congressman George Santos.  Some of the difficulty stems from partisanship, but the Mitchell case revolves around immediate control of the Senate as the DFL currently has a one-vote margin of 34-33.  Motions and bills fail on a tie vote, so the absence of Senator Mitchell could—not necessarily would—lead to an on-going stalemate.  This is a year when nothing absolutely needs to pass, but there are number of items that merit passage.  In the area of education, there is additional money for the READ Act and greater time to implement and increased flexibility in the process of implementation relating to the requirements of the READ Act.

As documented in my blog entry from last Wednesday, the House passed its version of the omnibus education finance bill on Tuesday, April 30.  It was a very long debate with a long line of amendments, most of which were rejected on party-line votes.  As was the case in both the House and Senate when the omnibus education policy bill was discussed on their respective floors, the amendments revolved around items that were passed in 2023, usually framed in terms of mandates that have caused issues for school districts and eroded the historical level of funding passed last year, especially non-exclusionary discipline and the ethnic studies curriculum requirement.  Additional discussion centered around the role of the Inspector General in combating fraud, most notably the charges surrounding the Feed Our Future scandal and efforts to improve student attendance.

The Senate is taking up their version of the omnibus education finance bill today (Monday, May 6) and I expect that the amendments offered by the Senate Republicans will be similar to those offered by the House Republicans, I further expect a lot of party-line votes that will maintain the core of the bill, which largely relates the READ Act.

The omnibus education policy bill conference committee has tentatively finished its work, but has yet to convene to formally approve the conference committee report and send it to the legislative floors.  It will be interesting to see when the work is officially finished and the report heads to the floor for final consideration.

Things will be moving forward rapidly as the May 20, 2024, constitutionally mandated date of adjournment lies dead ahead and I will provide updates on the blog throughout the next two weeks.  As usual, I can be contacted at 612-220-7459 or


Receive weekly updates during the legislative session.

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.

Thank you!

Please support these businesses who boost our efforts to ensure fair and equitable school funding for all Minnesota children.