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Please send or call  each House Education Policy member and urge them to support the bills heard to reduce special education paperwork.
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Please mark your calendars to join us for Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.

2019 Legislative Session
Week Eight- February 25, 2019
MSBA Special Education Paperwork Reduction Bills Heard in the House
Bills laid over for possible inclusion in House Education Policy Omnibus bill or move forward.  
The six bills to seeking to reduce special education paperwork made way through the House Education Policy Committee Monday morning.    
Bill authors and testifiers, both for and against, shared stories with committee members and a packed hearing room of how paperwork impacts their lives.  
The bill authors submit the proposals bring specific areas into alignment with federal regulations. 45 Minnesota statutes have at least 19 provisions that exceed federal requirements.  
Denise Dittrich, associate director of Government Relations for MSBA put some historical context for the discussions. "The Individual Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was introduced 44-years ago to insure students are provided a free and appropriate public education, otherwise known as FAPE, " said Dittrich. "14-years ago, Congress took proactive steps when it reauthorized IDEA to intentionally reduce the paperwork burden on school personnel." Minnesota did not follow suit and has retained its special education laws and rules.  
Andrew Heidemann_ Anoka Hennepin SPED teacher
Testifiers included a myriad of professionals who work with special education students - teachers, directors, superintendents and an attorney. All of who wholeheartedly believe providing students the best education is the priority. They also recognize, and heard testimony, that special education teachers are leaving the classroom because of the over abundance of paperwork.  
The bills were either laid over for possible inclusion in the House Education Policy Committee or move to another committee for a hearing.  
This does not mean our work is done. This is a sensitive topic and committee members are hearing from constituents - parents of children receiving special education services.  
Please take a moment and send an email or make a phone call to committee members telling them why you believe there is too much paperwork for teachers and how it is impacting your district/teachers. It would also be wonderful if you would ask your special education director/coordinator or teachers to do the same. Our legislators are hearing from the other side and if we don't speak out, this will not move forward.

Governor Walz Releases Budget
Last week Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan released the first budget of their administration - Budget for One Minnesota. The proposed budget for 2020-21 is approximately $2 billion, of which almost one-third ($733 million) is dedicated to E-12 education.
Increase basic education formula by 3 percent and 2 percent in the biennium.
$523 million
Maintain funding for voluntary prekindergarten for 4,000 students.
$59 million
Special education:
  • Adds a new cross subsidy reduction formula that would cover a percent of the prior year's cross-subsidy.
  • Adjusts the growth cap.
  • Reduces the annual inflation adjustment by 0.2 percent per year.
  • Updates tuition billing rate paid by the resident district for open enrolled students from 90 percent to 85 percent.
 $77 million
Provide school boards to authority to renew an existing operating referendum approved by voters after July1, 2019, provided the ballot question notifies voters that the board will have the authority to renew. The board authority could be revoked through a reverse referendum - where 25% of voters sign a petition and an election would be held asking voters if they wanted to revoke the board authority to renew.
 Cost-savings for school districts.
Increases and equalizes the safe school levy from $36/pupil to $45/pupil with a minimum increase of $18,750 per district.
$26 million
Expands services for target schools at the Minnesota's Regional Centers of Excellence.
$8 million
Expand full-service community schools.
$2 million
Creates a "second change agency director" to focus on preventing incarceration or recidivism and develop pathways to success.
Establishes a new grant program for districts to support students experiencing homelessness.
$2 million
Stabilize and equalize support for American Indian Tribal Schools.
$3.6 million
Streamline data collection related to student data.
$1.6 million
Creates a new position at MDE to conduct stakeholder engagement to draft a plan to double National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT).
Funding to recruit and retain quality educators (Grow Your Own, "Introduction to Teaching", etc).
$8 million
Legal costs for MDE and the legislature who are named defendants in two significant cases.
$4.7 million
Other supports for education in Human Services area to strengthen school-linked mental health.
$9.3 million
$70 million (one-time, not in Education budget)

Education Bill Introductions
House Education Bills Introduced February 25
House Education Bills Introduced February 21
House Education Bills Introduced February 18
Senate Education Bills Introduced February 25
Senate Education Bills Introduced February 21
Senate Education Bills Introduced February 18
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division
Tuesday, February 26 8:00 AM **Meeting is Canceled

Thursday, February 28 8:00 AM
Room: Capitol 120
HF1238 - Child care assistance program provisions modified. (Pryor)
HF1230 - Early learning scholarships eligibility modified, and voluntary prekindergarten programs expanded to give groups. (Pinto)

Friday, March 1 1:00 PM *** Location Change
Room: Great River Regional Library - St. Cloud
Chair: Rep. Dave Pinto
Great River Regional Library - St. Cloud
Mississippi Community Room 106
1300 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Early Childhood Careers and the Economy
Early Childhood Educator Shortage Report -Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
Early Childhood Financing -First Children's Finance
Minnesota's Birth to Eight (B8) Workforce Recommendations
Early Care and Education Crisis Work Group Report -Think Small
Local Child Care Business Testimony

Education Finance Division
Tuesday, February 26 9:45 AM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1282 - Regional public library systems aid distribution modified, and money appropriated. (Murphy)
HF247 -  Student access to library media specialists grant program established, and money appropriated. (Kunesh-Podein)
Teacher of the Year Presentations

Wednesday, February 27 9:45 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF681 - Pregnant and parenting pupils transportation to qualified programs provided, reimbursement allowed, and money appropriated. (Tabke)

Thursday, February 28 9:45 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1363 - Support our students grant program funding provided, and money appropriated. (Huot)
HF514 - Safe schools levy increased. (Pryor)

Education Policy Division
Tuesday, February 26 2:30 PM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1026 - School safety technical assistance center and School Safety Technical Assistance Council extended. (Freiberg)
HF1343 -Sunscreen possession and use at school provided.(Morrison)
HF1111 - Postsecondary education enrollment options eligibility clarified. (Hassan)
HF847 - High school graduation personal finance required. (Her)
HF249 - Graduation and civics testing requirements modified to ensure students adequately prepared to be capable citizens able to fully participate in the political process. (Urdahl)

Wednesday, February 27 2:30 PM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF945 - Textbook definition modified. (Wazlawik)
HF428 - Textbook definition modified, and obsolete language deleted. (Gruenhagen)
HF835 - Minnesota Reads task force to review children and adult literacy programs established, report required, and money appropriated. (Christensen)
HF824 - Increase Teachers of Color Act funding provided,  seeking to double American Indian teacher and teachers of color, reports required, and money appropriated. (Kunesh-Podein)

Friday, March 1 10:00 AM
Room: 5 State Office Building
HF1204 - School sexual harassment and sex discrimination laws compliance required, training required, and money appropriated. (Pryor)
HF244 - School districts required to conduct radon testing. (Clafin)
HF491 - School employees, independent contractors, and persons in positions of authority who have sexual relationships with students penalties established. (Demuth)
HF1414 - Commissioner of education required to develop sexual health curriculum program, and report required. (Lippert)
HF1094 - Mental health education requirements amended. (Her)
HF532 - Background checks required on all first-time teaching applicants, and mandatory reporting expanded. (Erickson)
HF1566 - Substance misuse prevention instruction grant funding provided, report required, and money appropriated. (Kunesh-Podein)

Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy
Wednesday, February 27 3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 340 - Pregnant and parenting pupils transportation to certain qualifying educational programs requirement and appropriation. (Draheim)
S.F. 663 - Homeless students pupil transportation authority assignment and appropriation. (Chamberlain)
S.F. 238 - Pupil transportation adjustment calculation modification; pupil transportation working group establishment. (Housely)
S.F. 952 - Nonresident students within resident districts transportation provisions modification; achievement and integration district transfers modification. (Goggin)
S.F. 485 - Competency-based education plan school district or charter school adoption authorization. (Nelson) 

Mark Your Calendar
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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