Updates from the Government Relations team are sent periodically during the legislative session
Legislative Update - March 2, 2018
A panel from Minnesota State presented before the Senate Higher Education Finance and Policy committee on Thursday, explaining the roadmap ahead for developmental education. Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Ron Anderson told committee members that over the last three years, there has been three pieces of legislation relating to completion and developmental education.

In 2015 lawmakers required Minnesota State to submit a report detailing the system’s plan to encourage students to complete credentials. Also in 2015, legislation passed that required the Minnesota State Board of Trustees, beginning in January of 2018, to submit an annual report on its activities and achievements related to improving timely completion, including seven completion measures. And during the last session, the Legislature required Minnesota State to prepare a plan that reforms developmental education offerings.

Yesterday’s presentation provided an update of the system wide developmental education redesign, as well as an update on reports on two of the legislative requirements: the developmental education completion measures and the developmental education plan.

Pakou Yang, System Director of P-20 and College Readiness, shared with committee members that developmental education courses are credit-bearing, and students are able to use financial aid to assist in covering the cost of tuition and fees. She said that although developmental education course credits do not count toward the requirements of degrees, diplomas or certificates, the coursework is critical in addressing the readiness gaps that many students arrive with when they enter college.

Senior Vice Chancellor Anderson explained that campus innovations have been implemented in the areas of reading, English, and mathematics and include evidence-based practices such as co-requisite programs, compressed schedules, learning communities, integrated curriculum, and math pathways. He said that wrap-around academic and student support strategies are also critical to increasing the success of students in developmental education courses and campuses have implemented early alert systems, academic advising, academic support centers, and/or peer and professional tutoring.

“Almost all of our institutions have embedded developmental education within the institution’s strategic plans, many have specifically addressed developmental education as a component of master academic plans, and many also have developmental education committees. This illustrates the significance of developmental education and its critical role in our institutions’ student success plans,” Anderson said.

Craig Schoenecker, Senior System Director for Research at Minnesota State, provided data to committee members regarding students in developmental education courses. He said that developmental education enrollments across the system have declined, developmental education completion rates have increased, and college-level course completion rates have increased. Schoenecker shared with members that the number of students entering in the fall taking developmental courses at the state colleges decreased by 40 percent between fall 2009 and fall 2015. At the state universities, the number of students taking developmental courses decreased by 19 percent between fall 2009 and fall 2015. Senior Vice Chancellor Anderson said much of that progress is attributed to the curricula and support innovations that have been implemented across the campuses, as well as to the partnerships with K-12, Adult Basic Education (ABE) and other programs focused on increasing career and college readiness.

Shirley Johnson, faculty member at North Hennepin Community College, shared with the committee the work of the Developmental Education Workgroup. She said that in the past four years, the workgroup, made up of Minnesota State faculty, staff, students, administrators, and system office leadership, has been reviewing and promoting national, system wide, and campus efforts to redesign developmental education. In 2016-2017, the workgroup developed a strategic roadmap for developmental education redesign, building on research and redesign work already in progress on many of the campuses.

Ms. Johnson said the developmental education strategic roadmap is Minnesota State’s plan of re-envisioning and redesigning developmental education to best support student success statewide.

Next Week at the Capitol

Monday, March 5

10:15 a.m.
House Ways and Means
Room: 200 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jim Knoblach
Agenda: Overview of the 2018 February Forecast, Minnesota Management and Budget will present
Overview on tax conformity issues, House Research will present
Discussion on the settlement agreement in State of Minnesota vs. 3M Company, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources will present

3:00 p.m.
Senate E-12 Finance
Room: 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson
Stephen B. Young, CRT Global Executive Director: Minnesota Statutes Section 120B.232 and the challenge of character development
Prof. N. Doran Hunter, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science and Law Enforcement, Minnesota State University, Mankato: The Neuro-science of brain development and the moral sense
Stephen B. Young, Humanities Wisdom Traditions: The Moral Sense and
Katherine Kersten, Center of the American Experiment, Edina Public Schools: Citizenship and character education
Parent and student experiences
Stephen B. Young, Conclusion

3:30 p.m.
House in Session

Tuesday, March 6

8:15 a.m.
House Education Innovation Policy
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
HF2795 (Jenifer Loon): Teacher code of ethics codified, background checks required, mandatory reporting expanded, grounds for teacher discharge expanded, and criminal sexual conduct offenses for persons in current or recent positions of authority of juveniles expanded.
HF2777 (Kelly Fenton): Grounds for teacher license revocation, suspension, or denial expanded; and grounds for teacher discharge expanded.
HF2794 (Jim Davnie): Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board and Board of School Administrators members and employees made mandated reporters.
HF3035 (Glenn Gruenhagen): Secondary school behavior specified for criminal sexual conduct in the third and fourth degrees.
HF3203 (Drew Christensen): Penalties for school employees and independent contractors who have sexual relationships with students established.

8:15 a.m.
House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy
Room: Basement Hearing Room
Chair: Rep. Peggy Scott
HF1609 (Smith): Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts enacted
HF2391 (Franson): Health savings and medical savings accounts regulated; and asset protection provided
HF368 (Bliss): Assignment of military pay or benefits prohibited, and penalties and remedies provided
HF1507 (Lucero): Student Data Privacy Act created, and penalties proved.

1:00 p.m.
House Education Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jenifer Loon
Hearing on School Security and Safety
Minnesota School Safety Center Overview and Presentation
Nonpartisan Staff Overview - Current Statutory Provisions
School Safety Panel:
-Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA)
-Association of Metropolitan School Boards (AMSD)
-Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA)
Bills: HFxxxx (Loon) - Authorizing use of long-term facilities maintenance revenue program for school facility safety. (pending introduction and referral)
HF3167 (Anselmo) - Suicide prevention training for teachers funding provided, and money appropriated.

3:00 p.m.
House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Bud Nornes
University of Minnesota Bonding Request Overview
Minnesota State Bonding Request Overview

3:00 p.m.
Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy
Room: 1150 Minnesota Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Bill Weber
Agenda: Homeless Day at the Capitol
S.F. 2837-Koran: Housing infrastructure bonds used to finance manufactured housing park
infrastructure for lease to low-and moderate-income manufactured home
owners authorization.
S.F. 2449-Utke: Nitrogen fertilizer rule adoption prohibition.
S.F. 2720-Johnson, M.: Nitrogen fertilizer rules not approved by law prohibition.
S.F. 2550-Weber: Agricultural research data maintained by University of Minnesota (U of M) classification.
S.F. 2549-Weber: Agricultural fertilizer research and education fee, program and council, education account, and Minnesota agricultural fertilizer research and education program extensions.

3:00 p.m.
Senate E-12 Policy
Room: 1100 Minnesota Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Eric Pratt
S.F. 2737-Eichorn: School trust lands administration transfer and school trust management account establishment.
S.F. 1961-Abeler: Student Data Privacy Act.
S.F. 2639-Wiger: World\'s best workforce requirements modification.

5:30 p.m.
Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement
Room: 1200 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Chair: Sen. Julie Rosen
Agenda: TBA
Wednesday, March 7

3:00 p.m.
House Agriculture, Rural Development and Housing Finance
Room: 1150 Minnesota Senate Building
Chair: Sen. Torrey Westrom
S.F. 2555-Goggin: Farm families and farm business operators mental health counseling appropriation.
S.F. 2551-Lang: Rural finance authority bond issue and appropriation.
Important Links:
  • Most recent bill introductions related to higher education (compiled by Government Relations team) can be found HERE (updated March 2, 2018)
  • Committee schedules can be found HERE
  • Many committee hearings and floor sessions are streamed live via the web or broadcast on television. More information and a schedule can be found HERE
Government Relations team:
Jaime Simonsen –  Jaime.Simonsen@MinnState,edu
Bernie Omann –  Bernie.Omann@MinnState,edu
Jim Grathwol – J im.Grathwol@MinnState.edu
Melissa Fahning - Melissa.Fahning@MinnState.edu
Tina Firkus - T ina.Firkus@MinnState.edu