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The House Education Policy Committee and Education Finance Division held three remote informational hearings that focused on distance learning and the 2020/2021 school year.

The first meeting highlighted the voices of students, parents, our state ethnic councils and community organizations that are supporting communities during distance learning.

The second hearing  highlighted the voices of teachers, counselors, social workers, school nurses, transportation operators, & early education teachers who are supporting public school communities during distance learning.

The third hearing highlighted the voices of public school administrators, principals, school board members and the Minnesota Department of Education about their experiences with distance learning.


July 13, 2020
2nd Special Session
Today at noon at the Minnesota Legislature convened it's second special session to consider the extension of the Governor Tim Walz's peacetime emergency powers for another 30 days due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. 
Other items to be considered include a bonding bill and a tax bill. Debates or discussions that will certainly continue are whether the governor should retain emergency powers, police and public safety, and how school buildings will open in the fall.  Below are the bill introductions that reflect many of these items. 
 
Bill Introductions
SF 3 - appropriating money for school reopening grants (Benson)
SF 8 and 9 / HF 12 - establishing funding programs for distance learning equipment; establishing a grant program for telemedicine equipment purchased to deal with COVID-19 (Westrom/Eklund)
SF 11 / HF 39 - appropriating money for the safe routes to school grant program; authorizing the sale and issuance of state bonds (Senjem/Murphy)
SF 16 - relating to workers' compensation insurance; establishing a mechanism for providing reimbursement for certain COVID-19 workers' compensation costs
SF 17 / HF 44 - providing enhanced debt service equalization aid for consolidating school districts facing unique circumstances; clarifying allowed uses of long-term facilities maintenance revenue and capital levies; increasing lease levy authority for school districts that are members of cooperative units; modifying referendum equalization levy (Rarick)
SF 19 - modifying background check requirements for teacher licensure (Nelson)
SF 20 - amending eligibility for the collaborative urban and greater Minnesota educators of color grant program; providing for hiring bonuses (Nelson)
SF 21 - appropriating money for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling grants (Nelson)

HF 6 - providing for general education; education excellence; teachers; Department of Education housekeeping; nutrition; and early childhood education (Kunesh-Podein)
HF 17 - strengthening the Increase Teachers of Color Act in higher education; modifying provisions for student teacher grants and teacher shortage loan forgiveness; directing the Office of Higher Education to develop recommendations for more detailed collection of race and ethnicity data from postsecondary institutions (Noor)
HF 23 - strengthening the Increase Teachers of Color Act; seeking to increase the percentage of teachers of color and American Indian teachers in Minnesota (Kunesh-Podein)
HF 45 - appropriating money for a grant to the African American Registry (Hassan)
HF 48 - establishing curriculum review and best practices sharing; appropriating money; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 120 (Erickson)
HF 49 - authorizing school boards to implement flexible learning year programs without approval by the commissioner of education (Erickson)
HF 50 - suspending academic standards review cycle (Erickson)
HF 51 - codifying teacher code of ethics in statute and repealing code of ethics in rule; requiring school district ethics complaints procedures (Erickson)
HF 56 - individual income; modifying the K-12 education expense credit and subtraction (Erickson)
HF 57 - creating a choice scholarship program with enrollment options for students; authorizing general education revenue for nonpublic school use for a transfer student (Gruenhagen)
HF 58 - modifying innovation zone provisions (Bennett)
HF 59 - authorizing school boards to establish a school attendance model for the 2020-2021 school year; establishing a parent-based distance learning program for the 2020-2021 school year; modifying the school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year; extending school district fund transfer flexibility; defining distance learning (Kresha)
HF 60 - a bill for an act proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article XIII, section 1; providing for a fundamental right to quality public education for all children (Kresha)
HF 61 - income; providing a credit for donations to fund K-12 scholarships (Kresha)
HF 62 - individual income; expanding the definition of education-related expenses for the education expenses subtraction and credit to include certain broadband subscription expenses (Erickson)

Upcoming Meetings 
Committee meetings will be very fluid this week. Please see the combined calendar for daily committee meetings and floor sessions. 
 
Action Alert
MSBA encourages you to reach out to your legislators and leadership - Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Gazelka. Ask them to support SF 8 & 9 and HF 12, the $15 million for distance learning wireless needs and expenditures for our students.
  
Question
MSBA would like to know if your district has a legislative advocacy committee or if you are interested in forming a group.  
 
 
Please continue watch Twitter for updates. 
Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 | msba@mnmsba.org
145 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103