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2019 Legislative Session
Week Seven- February 18, 2019
MSBA Legislative Platform Moves Forward 
MSBA's Legislative Platform is a compilation of our highest priorities and guides our discussions with legislators during the legislative session. With not quite one-third of the session underway, here is an update on where the Legislature is at on those issues.   
 
In the Senate, Sen. Greg Clausen (S.F. 122), Sen. Charles Wiger (S.F. 24) and Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (S.F. 1028 ) have introduced three bills increasing general education formula by 3 percent and indexing it to inflation. The House (Rep. Julie Sandstede H.F. 882) has introduced one bill.   
 
T here has been a flurry of activity aro und            s pecial education funding this session. Between the Senate and the House there have been at least 10 bills relating to the special education funding formula.  
In addition to the bills, MSBA met with Attorney General Keith Ellison and requested he look into the possibility of suing the federal government for up to the 40 percent of funding promised in the IDEA.     
 
 
A multitude of bills have been introduced proposing dollars for school-based mental health services. Our platform asks the Legislature to raise the Safe Schools Levy, which would allow school districts to hire counselors, and other support staff to help with students. Rep. Laurie Pryor and Sen. Paul T. Anderson introduced H.F. 514 / S. F. 900 to increase the Safe Schools Levy. 
 
MSBA has advocated strongly to fund the remaining grant requests of schools who applied last year. Rep. Jim Davnie (H.F. 521), Sen. Clausen (S.F. 861) and Sen. Wiger (S.F. 50) have introduced bills to fund the remaining grants once again through the bonding bill and funds from the surplus.  
 
MSBA is pleased to see Rep. John Huot introduced a bill (H.F. 839) that would allow school boards to replace a school board member by appointment until the vacant seat could be filled during the next general election.  
 
MSBA took the New Ulm School District's plan and worked with Sen. Eric Pratt to author six bills for special education paperwork reduction. Thank you to Senate authors Sen. Pratt, Sen. Gary Dahms, Sen. Clausen, Sen. Paul Utke and and Sen. Anderson.  
Last week, the Senate E-12 Finance and Policy Committee heard six bills (see the chart below) seeking to reduce redundant paperwork. All six bills were laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate E-12 Finance and Policy Omnibus bill.    
We anticipate the House will introduce compa nion bills and hear them in committees in t he near future.    
 
Bill
Number
Author Description
S.F. 482  Pratt The individualized education program (IEP) may report
the student's performance on general state or districtwide
assessments related to the student's educational needs
S.F. 749  Dahms Eliminating a conciliation conference
S.F. 244  Anderson Amending conciliation conference requirements
S.F. 640  Utke The commissioner of education must amend Minnesota Rules,
 to remove the requirement that planning for a student's
 transition from secondary to postsecondary services must
begin in grade 9.
S.F. 717  Dahms A school district may conduct a functional behavior
 assessment (FBA) as defined in Minnesota Rules, as a
stand-alone evaluation without conducting a comprehensive
 evaluation of the student.
S.F. 159  Clausen The individualized education program (IEP) must include a
statement of short-term objectives and benchmarks
 only if the student takes alternative assessments.
 
 
For the past three years, MSBA has led the effort to fix the teac her shortage problem. There is a lack of teachers of color in classrooms -- those who reflect the students served. MSBA supports the Increase Teachers of Color Act of 2019 to help attract, develop and retain teachers across Minnesota. There are several bills working to achieve this goal. Thank you to Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein and Sen. Patricia Torres-Ray (H.F. 824/S.F. 1012).
 
MSBA believes in the core principal of local control. As locally elected officials, school boards must be allowed to meet the needs of their schools and communities. Two examples are the ability to renew an existing operating referendum and allowing schools to start prior to Labor Day. Rep. Mike Freiberg introduced his bill (H.F. 116) last week. Sen. Ann Rest and Sen. Jerry Newton have introduced bills as well to allow school boards to renew an existing referendum. Rep. Cheryl Youakim and Sen. Carla Nelson introduced the Labor Day start bill (H.F. 314/S.F. 918). MSBA is also tracking the number of mandates proposed in bills. It will be heard in the House Education Finance Committee on Wednesday, February 20.
To date, over 30 new mandates have been introduced.  
Education Bill Introductions
House
H.F. 972 - authorizing certain nonpublic students to enroll in postsecondary enrollment options in 10th grade. (Heintzeman)
H.F. 1005 - amending conciliation conference requirements. (Pryor)
H.F. 1013 - appropriating money for grants to full-service community schools. (Murphy)
H.F. 1025 - requiring that certain forecasted positive general fund balances be allocated to restore the special education aid payment percentage. (Carlson)
H.F. 1037 - modifying the calculation of school breakfast aids; increasing school breakfast aids to high-poverty school sites. (Eddleson)
H.F. 1142 - increasing state aid for debt service equalization aid. (Tabke)
H.F. 1143 - increasing state aid for the operating referendum program. (Huot)
H.F. 1162 - increasing funding for special education. (Wolgamott)
H.F. 1204 - requiring compliance with school sexual harassment and sex discrimination laws. (Pryor)

Senate
S.F. 1028 -  increasing general education basic formula allowance by three percentage points per year; linking future increases in general education basic formula allowance to rate of inflation. (Cwodzinski)
S.F. 1054 - authorizing school districts to use long-term facilities maintenance revenue for projects that increase the safety and security of school facilities; establishing a supplemental aid program to pay a portion of the costs for school district projects that increase the safety and security of school facilities. (Rosen)
S.F. 1057 - increasing the number of funded participants in the voluntary prekindergarten program for fiscal year 2020 and later. (Kent)
S.F. 1139 - requiring school districts and charter schools to record expenditures for voluntary prekindergarten pupils. (Nelson)
S.F. 1154 - allowing for a performance assessment for teacher licensure. (Wiger)
S.F. 1180 - modifying the calculations of referendum revenue and local optional revenue. (Chamberlain)
S.F. 1198 - modifying certain special education formulas. (Simonson)
S.F. 1230 - authorizing school districts to bond for certain security equipment; modifying the safe schools revenue program. (Pratt)
S.F. 1234 - clarifying postsecondary enrollment options eligibility. (Nelson)
S.F. 1237 - increasing state equalization aid for school district debt service and referendum levies. (Nelson)
S.F. 1238 - requiring a portion of voluntary prekindergarten participants to be served through mixed-delivery services. (Nelson)
S.F. 1300 - appropriating money for school safety grants; transferring money from the budget reserve. (Clausen)
 
Upcoming Meetings and Events
House
Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division
Tuesday, February 19 8:00 AM      
Room: Capitol 120
HF1238 - Child care assistance program provisions modified. (Pryor)

Thursday, February 21 8:00 AM
Room: Capitol 120
Agenda:
HF1226 - Programs and funding for home visits governed, and money appropriated. (Bahner)

Education Finance Division
Tuesday, February 19 9:45 AM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda:
HF813 - Suicide prevention teacher training funding provided, and money appropriated. (Richardson)

Wednesday, February 20 9:45 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda:
HF116 - School districts authorized to renew expiring referendums by action of school board. (Freiberg)

Thursday, February 21 9:45 AM **CANCELLED**
 
Friday, February 22 12:30 PM
Windom Middle High School ***Note Location Change***
Agenda:
HF1142 - Debt service equalization aid state aid increased. (Tabke)
HF1143 - Operating referendum program state aid increased, and money appropriated. (Huot)
A discussion on public education funding and the needs of rural school districts.
*Members of the public who wish to attend this public hearing may park in the East parking lot and sign in with school officials at Door 1. Please email Sarah Burt if you wish to testify: sarah.burt@house.mn

Education Policy Division
Tuesday, February 19 2:30 PM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda:
HF987 - Low-income student access to driver education programs expanded, driver education work group established, report required, and money appropriated.(Richardson)
HF508 - School board options expanded when disposing of surplus computers. (Haley)
HF525 - Pupil transportation adjustment calculation modified, pupil transportation working group provided, and report required. (Persell)
HF681 - Pregnant and parenting pupils transportation to qualified programs provided, reimbursement allowed, and money appropriated.(Tabke)
HF761 - Pupil transportation for certain homeless students authority assigned, and money appropriated. (Erickson)

Wednesday, February 19 2:30 PM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda:
HF55  - School meal provisions modified. (Jurgens)
HF575 - Unclaimed drugs or medications in schools disposal provided. (Huot)
HF576 - School districts required to pay the cost of a college course entrance exam for all students in grade 11 or 12, funding provided to reimburse districts for college entrance exam costs, and money appropriated. (Kunesh-Podein)
HF209 - Schools testing materials expenditures required, and report to the legislature required. (Kunesh-Podein)
HF20 - Intermediate school districts statutes renumbered. (Erickson)

Senate  
Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy
Monday, February 18 3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda:    
S.F. 294 - Student preparation to be capable citizens able to fully participate in the political process requirement. (Nelson)
S.F. 17 -  Government and citizenship course for graduation requirement. (Cwodzinski)
S.F. 193 -Cursive handwriting instruction in elementary school requirement and appropriation. (Rest)
S.F. 423 - Music education in rural Minnesota grant program establishment and appropriation. (Utke)
 S.F. 1243 - National Youth Leadership Council service-learning grant program appropriation. (Clausen)

Wednesday, February 20 3:00 PM
3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda:    
S.F. 292 - Community education revenue program funding increase. (Latz)
S.F. 1138 - Community education advisory council responsibilities and general community education revenue allowable uses calculation modifications; appropriation. (Nelson)
S.F. 521 - Northeast Minnesota collaborative summer intensive program appropriation. (Tomassoni)
S.F. 972 - Independent school district #276, Minnetonka; fund transfer authorization. (Anderson, P.)
S.F. 1055 - Independent school district #458, Truman; fund transfer from early childhood and family education and school readiness reserve accounts in the community service fund to the general fund. (Rosen)
S.F. 871 - Community service fund transfers authorization. (Dziedzic)

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.
 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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