In This Issue
Quick Links
Save the Date
Please mark your calendars to join us for Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.

2019 Legislative Session
Week Five- February 4, 2019
Special Education Front and Center of House Education Finance
A panel of superintendents, representing urban, suburban and rural school districts, testified last Thursday how the lack of adequate special education funding is impacting their districts.   
Special education funding is receiving a good deal of attention this session, as it impacts too many districts across the state. Each superintendent indicated their district was at the cap.  Dr. Tom Melcher, director of finance for Minnesota Department of Education, suggests lawmakers may want to change the formula by looking at current needs and not being reliant upon the 2016 numbers.   
St. Paul Public School (SPPS) Superintendent, Joe Gothard, shared SPPS's cross-subsidy in 2017 was over $40m. Over 27 percent of SPPS staff works with special education students. He urged the committee to work to solve this issue so they can "'intervene right and intervene early."
Dr. Carlton Jenkins concurred urging lawmakers "to fund special ed without reducing the funding for general ed."  
A local group has started a website and social media campaign. FundSPEDMN is drawing attention to the individual cross-subsidies impacting school distric t
s. Their website offers a basic tutorial on the special education cross-subsidy. It also provides graphics indicating the amount of  individual school district's cross-subsidies. The graphic could be used to send a message to Governor Walz and legislators.  
In a reaction to the testimony, a freshman legislator, Rep. John Huot from Rosemount, perhaps said it best. "It's time! It's time to go after the federal government. We have to start a lawsuit." He went on to say how the lack of funding is hurting our Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). "It's so frustrating. Minnesota has to lead."
MSBA Board of Directors Meets with Congress 
New Congress. New IDEA. New Opportunities.
The MSBA Board of Directors along with Kirk Schneidawind and Denise Dittrich were in Washington, DC last week to advocate for public education.

MSBA was excited to meet with all members. It was especially important to meet with the new members of Congress.
The Advocacy Institutes' theme and focus was titled, New Congress. New IDEA. New Opportunities, which calls for the modernization and full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Other issues of importance that were discussed included teacher shortage and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) Land Exchange.
Education Bill Introductions

H.F. 438 - amending the definition of public employee to include replacement employees who are employed for more than 60 days as a replacement teacher or faculty member. (Quam)
H.F. 448 - increasing revenue for English learner programs. (Her)
H.F. 482 - creating choice scholarships for students who have dropped out of high school. (Swedzinski)
H.F. 525 - modifying the calculation of the pupil transportation adjustment; providing for a pupil transportation working group (Persell)
H.F. 532 - requiring background checks; expanding mandatory reporting (Erickson)
H.F. 576 - requiring school districts to pay the cost of a college entrance exam for all students in grade 11 or 12 (Kunesh-Podein)
H.F. 602 - ensuring students are adequately prepared to be capable citizens able to fully participate in the political process (Urdahl - 34 authors) 
H.F. 606/S.F. 661 - modifying student absence from school for religious holiday (Hassan)

S.F. 505 - expanding the use of extended time to pupils enrolled in career and technical education courses. (Rosen)
S.F. 508 - requiring school districts to adopt a policy on recess for elementary school students. (Torres-Ray)
S.F. 542 - appropriating money for school-linked mental health grants delivered by telemedicine. (Rosen)
S.F. 628 - increasing state aid for school district telecommunications projects; modifying the calculation of telecommunications equity access aid for public and nonpublic schools (Eichorn)
S.F. 651 - requiring screening for dyslexia (Chamberlain)
S.F. 706 - establishing a working group to review progress on Minnesota's school finance reform efforts (Nelson)
S.F. 733 - providing for professional development to improve reading instruction; allowing for hiring bonuses (Nelson)

MSHSL Tax Exemption - H.F. 382 - eliminating the sunset date on the sales tax exemption for admission to events sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League Fees. (Marquart)
Fees - H.F. 410 - prohibiting graduation fees; requiring a report on school district fees. (Hassan)
Teachers of Color - H.F. 434 - providing financial aid for teacher candidates of color. (Noor)
Tax - H.F. 452 - an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article VII, section 1; allowing owners of agricultural land, real property that is both nonhomesteaded and noncommercial, or small business property to vote on levy or bond referendums where the property is located. (Quam)
Firearms - H.F. 455 -permitting certain retired law enforcement officers to carry firearms in schools. (Grossell)
School Credit - H.F. 471 - allowing school boards to give school credit for serving as a trainee election judge; requiring appointing authorities to recruit bilingual high school students to serve as trainee election judge. (Hassen)
Consent - H.F. 491 - establishing penalties for school employees and independent contractors who have sexual relationships with students. (Demuth)
Sick Time - S.F. 528 -providing for earned sick and safe time. (Pappas)
School Trust Lands - S.F. 617 - appropriating money based on general fund forecast to compensate permanent school fund for certain lands (Newton) H.F. 192 (Lueck)
Religious Holiday -   S.F. 661 - modifying student absence from school for religious holidays; requiring employee leave for religious holidays (Carlson)

Upcoming Meetings and Events
Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division
Monday, February 4 8:00 AM      
Room: Capitol 120
Agenda: Presentation on Overviews on Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Early Childhood Screening and School Readiness

Thursday, February 7 8:00 AM
Room: Capitol 120
Agenda: Presentation on OLA 2018 Evaluation Report on Early Childhood Programs

Education Finance Division
Tuesday, February 5 9:45 AM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda: Informational hearing on school nutrition

Wednesday, February 6 9:45 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda: Presentations on English learner programs
HF448 (Her) English learner programs revenue increase

Education Policy Division
Tuesday, February 5 2:30 PM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda: Presentation on Special Education Programming
Minnesota Department of Education and Presentation: Special Education Teachers and Administrators

Wednesday, February 6 2:30 PM
Room: 200 State Office Building
Joint Health and Human Services Policy and Education Policy Committee Meeting
Agenda:Presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in Minnesota

Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy
Monday, February 4 3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 15 - Military, skilled trades and manufacturing career options access by school districts requirement. (Goggin)
S.F. 295 - P-TECH schools establishment and appropriation. (Nelson)
S.F. 293 - Construction and skilled trades career counseling commissioner of education collaboration requirement; safety of youth in skilled trades report requirement. (Nelson)
S.F. 94 - Postsecondary enrollment options (PSEO) nonpublic 10th grade student enrollment authorization and appropriation. (Eichorn)
S.F. 19 - Personal finance course for high school graduation requirement. (Cwodzinski)

Wednesday, February 6  3:00 PM
*** Agenda change***
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 651 - Dyslexia screening requirement. (Chamberlain)
S.F. 116 - Dyslexia teacher training requirement for instructional strategies implementation for students with dyslexia. (Clausen)
S.F. 229 - Minnesota reading and math corps programs at American Indian-controlled tribal contract and grant schools appropriation. (Eichorn)
S.F. 772 - Dyslexia training for teachers appropriation. (Eichorn)
S.F. 733 - School district professional development revenue use for reading instruction improvement authorization; hiring bonuses for teachers working in shortage areas; literacy incentive aid use for staff development authorization. (Nelson)
S.F. 196 - Teacher preparation programs instruction on dyslexia requirement.(Clausen)

Mark Your Calendar
The governor's budget must be developed and presented to the Legislature on Tuesday, February 19.

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.

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.

Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 |
145 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103