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Please send or call  each House Education Policy member and urge them to support the bills heard to reduce special education paperwork.
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Please mark your calendars to join us for Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.

2019 Legislative Session
Week Nine - March 4, 2019
State Budget Forecast Released 
Projected forecast $500 million less than November numbers
Legislators may need to adjust their thinking when it comes to education finance bills after learning the February forecast is down nearly a half-billion dollars from the November forecast.  
Minnesota Management and Budget announced Thursday the state has a budget surplus of $1.05 billion. While it is still a healthy surplus, it is $492 million less than originally thought and that may temper education chairs' provisions.

Update on Bills Traveling Through the Legislature  
Governor's education policy bill introduced 
Education committees are adding meetings in order to hear the large number of bills introduced as we approach policy deadlines. Several bills heard in the House deal with tough or in-depth subjects, several of which districts could consider unfunded mandates. Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan's education policy bill has been introduced and will be heard on Tuesday, March 5, in the House Education Policy Committee.

Sexual education -- (H.F. 1414) This bill would require the Commissioner of Education to identify one or more model sexual health education programs. School districts must either develop their own sexual health education programs and submit them to MDE for approval or implement a model program.

Civics -- Rep. Dean Urdahl brought his civics bill back to the House this year. The bill would require high school juniors or seniors to take a civics class for credit. Thus, it would most likely take an elective away from a student. In addition, schools would have to report the percentage of students who passed the test with a score of 30/50. The bill would also make this report a part of the school performance report card.

Radon testing -- A bill requiring radon testing and reporting was presented by Rep. Anne Clafin late last week in House Education Policy Committee. The bill requires radon testing in schools and reporting to the departments of health and education if high levels are found. Although the cost of test kits themselves are nominal, mitigation of radon could be a major expense to school districts.

Teachers of Color Act 2019 (H.F. 824) -- As a part of MSBA's legislative agenda, we testified in support of this bill. In particular, MSBA supports financial incentives to help individuals entering the teaching profession and a statewide marketing campaign to help encourage individuals, particularly young people, to enter teaching.
Education Bill Introductions
House Education Bills introduced Wednesday, February 27
House Education Bills Introduced Thursday, February 28
Senate Education Bills Introduced Wednesday, February 27
Senate Education Bills Introduced Thursday, February 28
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division
Tuesday, March 5   8:00 AM
Room: Capitol 120
HF1841 - Child care program drinking water requirements modified. (Olson)
HF740 -   Child care licensing requirements modified. (Quam)
HF1684 - Commissioner of human services child care licensing and background study record requirements streamline directed. (Wazlawik)
HF1665 - Office of Ombudsperson for Child Care Providers created, appointments provided, reports required, and money appropriated. (Demuth)
HF1801 - Revisor of statutes recodifying of day care facilities' rules and statues instructed. (Pinto)
HF1685 - Child care substitute providing care time increased. (Wazlawik)

Thursday, March 7   8:00 AM
Room: Capitol 120
HF1 - Early childhood; additional funding and opportunities for children ages birth to three created; programs and funding for prenatal care services, home visiting, early childhood education, and child care assistance governed; and money appropriated. (Kotyza-Witthuhn)

Education Finance Division
Tuesday, March 5   9:45 AM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1687 - Independent School District No. 270, Hopkins fund transfer authorized. (Pryor)
HF920 - Independent School District No. 279, Minnetonka; fund transfer authorized. (Morrison)
HF784 - Independent School District No. 458, Truman: authorized to transfer money from the early childhood and family education and school readiness reserve to the general fund. (Gunther)
Presentation from House Research on Fund Transfers

Education Policy Division
Monday, March 4  10:00 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1116 - Licensure requirement provisions technical changes made. (Lee)
HF1559 - Paraprofessionals paid orientation required, paraprofessional training funding provided, and money appropriated. (Youakim)
HF1415 - Teacher licensure and board composition technical changes made. (Youakim)
HF1329 - Teacher licensure requirements modified. (Kunesh-Podein)

Tuesday, March 5   2:30 PM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1496 - Dyslexia screening required in school.(Edelson)
HF1412 - Dyslexia screening required. (Daniels)
HF329 -   Dyslexia specialist duties modified. (Daniels)
HF1868 - Student journalists in grades 6 through 12 speech and press rights clarified. (Youakim)
Governor's Policy Bill

Wednesday, March 6   2:30 PM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1883 - Foster care student enrollment in school required, and foster youth school enrollment report required. (Kotyza-Witthuhn)
HF1422 - Seizure training required in schools.
HF692 -   Pupils enrolled in career and technical education courses extended time use expanded. (Poppe)
HF73 -  Pupils enrolled in career and technical education courses extended time use expanded. (Gunther)
HF246 - Vocational enrichment program established, and money appropriated. (Bennett)
HF1120 - Compulsory instruction requirements modified, and school districts required to offer kindergarten. (Youakim)

Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy
Monday, March 4   3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 1831 - Voluntary prekindergarten programs participation limits increase. ( Anderson, P.)
S.F. 1832 - Early learning scholarships eligibility modification; voluntary prekindergarten programs expansion.(Anderson, P.)
S.F. 1139 - Voluntary prekindergarten pupils expenditures school district and charter school recording requirement. (Nelson)
S.F. 1238 - Voluntary prekindergarten participants service through mixed-delivery services requirement. (Nelson)
S.F. 1306 - Early learning scholarships child and program eligibility and commissioner designation authority modifications; early childhood screening requirements for children with an early learning scholarship clarification; appropriation. (Nelson)
S.F. 1367 - Early learning scholarships eligibility modification and data sharing authorization. (Housley)
S.F. 1619 - Children's age eligibility for early learning scholarships modification. (Eken)
Wednesday, March 6   3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 993 -  Sparsity revenue calculation required minimum distance to the nearest school building modification and appropriation. (Johnson, M.)
S.F. 1704 -  Regional public library systems distribution of aid modification and appropriation. (Johnson, M.)
S.F. 628 - School district telecommunications projects state aid increase. (Eichorn)
S.F. 799 - Small schools revenue calculation modification. (Eichorn)
S.F. 670 -  School district equalized referendum levies calculation modification and appropriation. (Chamberlain)
S.F. 1237 -  State equalization aid for school district debt service and referendum levies increase and appropriation. (Nelson) 

Mark Your Calendar
Deadlines for Bills Announced
(1) The first deadline, March 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin.
(2) The second deadline, March 29, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., is for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house.
(3) The third deadline, April 12, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., is for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.
 The Governor and Legislative leaders announced three new deadlines to help move bills forward after they have been heard in the House and Senate. The three new deadlines are:
  • the House and Senate will pass all major finance bills off their respective floors and leadership will appoint conference committees by May 1;
  • the governor, Senate majority leader and House speaker will provide fiscal targets to the chairs of conference committees on major finance bills by May 6; and
  • conference committee chairs shall provide completed conference committee reports to the house of origin by May 13.
Mark your calendars for MSBA's Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.

The Weekly Advocate is delivered via email each Monday and is your "go-to" for education legislation.

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