The bill is organized in four articles. Below you will find just a few highlights from each article.
Article 1: A World Class Education for Every Student
- Adds a half-credit requirement in physical education and eliminates the science elective by requiring a course in earth and space science in high school. Concerns were expressed that this would further limit high school students from exploring their interests through elective credit coursework. Also, hundreds of students are currently able to take agriculture career and technical education (CTE) in food chemistry and animal science that fulfills the science elective. That opportunity would be lost.
- Promotes culturally responsive, inclusive, and respectful learning and work environments for students, staff, families and community by modifying the World’s Best Workforce and the Achievement & Integration laws.
Article 2: Safe and Nurturing Schools for Every Student
- Clarifies that schools must provide social-emotional learning (SEL) to students. Directs MDE to develop and adopt state-level resources and standards for SEL, which school districts may use.
- Requirements to move schools towards nonexclusionary discipline policies to reduce suspensions and other actions that remove the student from the classroom or school. Prohibits suspensions or expulsions of children in public prekindergarten programs.
- Establishes respectful treatment policies for students who have unpaid lunch debt; students cannot be stigmatized or prohibited from participating in any school activity.
Article 3: Qualified Teachers for Every Student
- Sets a statewide goal for increasing the percentage of teachers of color and American Indians by at least two percentage points a year.
- Allows Tier 1 teachers to be part of the bargaining unit.
- Eliminates the pathway for Tier 2 teachers to become tenured Tier 3 and Tier 4 teachers. Currently, they must satisfy all requirements in Tier 1 and Tier 2 and have three years of successful teaching experience. With a severe teacher shortage, this could make it even harder to get quality teachers in classrooms around the state.
- Eliminates the basic skills test from teacher licensure.
- Adds Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers to the continuing contract, which, in many cases, will increase their pay.
- Requires teachers and principals to be evaluated on their cultural responsiveness as part of their continuing development and evaluations.
Article 4: Updating Definitions and Timelines
- Modifies the time families must respond to an offer of open enrollment if they applied after January 15, from 45 days to 15 days.
- Changes the timeline for when students must inform their school district or charter school of their intent to take PSEO courses in the next year from May 30 in the prior year to May 30 for fall term.