All public school children must have equal access to a high quality education regardless of where they live in Minnesota.

Legislative Update  
A c ommunication for education advocates in SEE districts.
June 1, 2018  
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Check out Brad's Blog for detailed information on legislative activity
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What is happening at the Capitol 
The governor signed the bonding bill and the pension bill this week.  Here is more information on both the bills.   

Legislators acknowledged that Minnesota needs to keep the promises made to its employees by stabilizing the pension plans. Every year of delay, the cost to the state grows significantly.  A clean bill, without any known provisions that could solicit a veto, was sent to the governor, which he signed. On the education side, the employers (school districts) increase to the plan is paid by the state, avoiding passing the cost to the school districts which would have competed with dollars for the classroom.  The pension bill was an important success in an otherwise disappointing legislative session. 

The bonding bill contains the only new resources for schools.  Prepare for the rhetoric that schools will receive millions of dollars for school safety.  There is $25 million for school districts to apply for grants up to $500,000 to make enhancements to their schools to increase safety.  That would equate to 50 grants, maybe a few more if some districts apply for less than $500,000.   Considering Minnesota has 331 school districts, only a small fraction (15%) of districts will receive this funding.  Tom Melcher, Finance Director for the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), strongly suggests all districts that would like to apply should be prepared to immediately submit their plans once MDE implements an application process.   S ee all  items in the bonding bill

As always, see  Brad's Blog  for more detailed information on what is happening at the Capitol.
Special Education Shortfall Clarification
Some committee chairs in the legislature have sent out legislative updates that say special education funding will be reduced by $36 million next year and $41 million the following year adding to the already high cross-subsidies if the supplemental finance omnibus bill is vetoed, which it was.  Melcher from MDE clarified the impact on school districts.  With MDE's flexibility to make adjustments, the projected shortfall in special education funding is projected at $25 million.  Districts will receive about 98.3% of expected special education funding.  That number may fluctuate slightly.  For the following year, Melcher said the funding adjustment needed could be included in the education finance bill that must be passed in the 2019 Legislative Session.  
What's next?
As all of members of the Minnesota House of Representatives, the Governor, the two Minnesota U.S. Senators and all of the eight Minnesota U.S. Congresspeople are up for reelection in November, prepare for the onslaught of political media.  It will be interesting to see who controls the Minnesota House and the Governor's office next year.  After all, it is what happens at the St. Paul Capitol that lays the foundation for the quality of education in Minnesota!

This will be the last legislative update from SEE until the 2019 Legislative Session begins in January.  Thanks to everyone who stayed engaged and particularly to those that responded to actions alerts.   Working together, we can make a difference!
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. 


Deb Griffiths
Schools for Equity in Education
Director of Communications and Community Outreach