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Please mark your calendars to join us for Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.


Leadership Conference - Thank you for attending.  
 
Grace Keliher, director of Government Relations, provided an overview of MSBA's Legislative Agenda and a preview of the 2019 Legislative Session.

2019 Legislative Session
Week Three - January 21, 2019
MSBA and New Ulm Participate in Press Conference Introducing Special Education Paperwork Mandate Reduction Bills
"If we truly want to see all students succeed, we need to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and other requirements so our teachers and students can be successful," said Jeff Bertrang, Superintendent of New Ulm Public Schools.

Sen. Eric Pratt called a press conference last Thursday with a group of bipartisan senators to announce a series of bills designed to reduce special education mandated paperwork. Click on photo to watch the entire press conference.

Sen. Eric Pratt, chair of the E-12 Policy Committee in 2018, asked for specific solutions to streamline and improve special education services for students.

MSBA solicited ideas in the Weekly Advocate and New Ulm Public Schools submitted six proposals. The proposals were initiated by the district's special education team.

In their analysis, the New Ulm team quantified the number of hours that potentially could be saved by a special education teacher annually. "Over 50 percent of a teacher's time can be taken up with paperwork and mandated procedures. And it was cited as one of the key factors to teacher burnout," Pratt said. "All of the policies with special education that were implemented were done with the best of intentions. But the process has become so complex that we're taking away valuable time, teacher time, from that student." 

Sen. Pratt has worked with MSBA to draft several bills based on the New Ulm proposal. Bills began dropping last Friday and should be heard in the Senate E-12 Finance and Policy Committee soon.

The press conference received much attention from social media to a story on TPT's Almanac focusing on bipartisanship. MPR published an article on the how the DFL and GOP lawmakers want to trim special education paperwork.

There is definitely momentum to keep special education funding and mandate reduction front and center at the Capitol this session. Once all the New Ulm bills are introduced, we will provide a comprehensive list with an action alert.
Education Bill Introductions
House
H.F. 114 - creating a minimum revenue guarantee for low
revenue school districts.
H.F. 115 - creating a new source of state aid for school districts with low general education revenue and low property wealth per pupil.
H.F. 116 - authorizing school districts to renew expiring referendums by action of school board. (MSBA Platform)
H.F. 152 -appropriating money based on general fund
forecast to compensate permanent school fund for certain lands.
H.F. 193 - increasing special education funding for school
districts; reducing the tuition billbacks to resident school districts; adding operating referendum revenue to general education revenue for charter schools. (MSBA Platform)
H.F. 194 -increasing special education funding for school
districts; reducing the tuition billbacks to resident school districts; adding local optional revenue and operating referendum revenue to general education revenue
for charter schools.
H.F. 196 - requiring seat belts on newly purchased school
buses.

Senate
S.F. 148 - requiring a school counselor in every school.
S.F. 177 - requiring school safety assessment teams.
S.F. 188 - requiring affirmative consent instruction.
S.F. 193 - providing for cursive instruction in elementary school.
S.F. 196 - requiring teacher preparation programs to include instruction on dyslexia.
S.F. 201 - requiring school districts to conduct radon testing.
S.F. 218 - creating a state fund to pay for unreimbursed special education costs. (MSBA Platform)
S.F. 246 - providing a temporary refundable credit for teachers of concurrent enrollment students. (MSBA Policy)

Other Bills of Interest
S.F. 186 - proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article I, by adding a section; providing for gender equality under the law.
Government Relations Survey
Thanks to those who have completed the survey. We will share the results shortly.
Upcoming Meetings and Events
House
Early Childhood Finance and Policy Division
Tuesday, January 22 - No Meeting
 
Thursday, January 24  8:00 AM  
Room: Capitol 120
Agenda: Presentation: The First 1,000 Days Matter
Aaron Sojourner, PhD University of Minnesota and 2018 Minnesota KIDS COUNT Data Book

Education Finance Division
Wednesday, January 23 and Thursday January 24 9:45 AM    
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda: Presentations from House Research

Education Policy Division
Tuesday, January 22 2:30 PM      
Room: State Capitol Building Room 120
Agenda:Joint Education Policy Committee and Education Finance Division Meeting
Presentations: Mental Health and Youth from National Alliance on Mental Illness - Minnesota, Minnesota School Counselors Association, Education Minnesota and PrairieCare.

Wednesday, January 23 2:30 PM      
Room: 5 State Office Building
Agenda: Presentations: What Students Bring to the Classroom

Senate  
Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy
Wednesday, January 23 3:00 PM
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda: Federal education grants in Minnesota - a presentation by MDE.
 
Mark Your Calendar
The governor's budget must be developed and presented to the Legislature on Tuesday, February 19.

The Weekly Advocate is delivered via email each Monday and is your "go-to" for education legislation.

Mark your calendars for MSBA's Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 25.
Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 | msba@mnmsba.org
145 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103