A Communication for Education Advocates in SEE Districts - March 20, 2020
Check out Brad's Blog and Twitter for more details on what is happening at the Capitol!
What is happening?
Due to the coronavirus, Governor Tim Walz extended the time that schools remain closed until May 4.  Read more . This Monday, March 30, all school districts will begin their new distance learning models so Minnesota students can continue with their education while in safer environments. This is a monumental effort where educators, students, and parents are in uncharted waters. Certainly, not everything will go smoothly. Mistakes will happen. Still, working together with patience and understanding, we can get through this! 

MDE continues to update the very informative Q and A on School Closure for school districts and families. MDE also has a Covid-19 webpage for additional information.

The federal government will allow states to apply for a waiver so that state assessments can be canceled for the 2019-20 school year. Here is a fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) intends to apply. Hopefully, the Federal government's new "streamlined" process is indeed streamlined, so schools and students can focus on the new distance learning instruction and not have to contend with the intense disruption that administrating the MCA tests cause even in ordinary times. 

On Thursday, the House and Senate called floor sessions to pass HF4531 – a second Covid-19 bill – which spends $330 million in efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus across the state. See more details of the law . Governor Walz's proposal contained several
education-related recommendations. He included the requirement that school districts continue to pay their hourly and contract workers, who are significantly contributing to the effort to transform how education is delivered in Minnesota. Also, an effort was made to guarantee school districts' funding would not be reduced due to the coronavirus to provide more financial certainty for school districts and employees. The education proposals were not part of the final bill and will be addressed when the Legislature reconvenes later this year. 

As always, check out Brad’s Blog for additional information.  
If you have any question or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Deb

Deb Griffiths
Schools for Equity in Education (SEE)
Director of Communications and Community Outreach
612-309-0089