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.
April 5, 2019  
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What is happening at the Capitol
The House released their education omnibus bill on Monday, which includes the education policy and the education provisions from the early learning finance and policy omnibus bills. However, notably missing was the requirement that students take a personal finance course for credit and take the civics and government course in 11th or 12th grade.
 
The education omnibus is a strong bill. The $900 million investment goes a long way, providing 3%/2% increases to the basic formula, stabilizes the special education cross subsidy (the unfunded cost of special education services) and provides additional safe school revenue, which will benefit all school districts. Equalization is increased to reduce the cost of a voter-approved referendum in low-property wealth districts. Funding for 4000 existing voluntary preK spots in 80 school districts will be maintained. Numerous programs, funded mostly through competitive grants, aims at supporting at-risk students and reducing the achievement gap. And, an effort to increase teachers of color and American Indian heritage is set in place. All good things for Minnesota students and schools.
 
You can see all the funding provisions in the House education omnibus bill in the  SEE side-by-side summary . I will add the policy provisions soon. The Senate budget and policy will also be added to the side-by-side comparison next week.
 
The House does not yet have district data runs that show the total new revenue each school district would receive under the House education omnibus bill. However, the House has broken out referendum equalization, special education, safe schools, and career and technical education into separate district data runs that you can find here .
 
What to expect next week? The answer is a rude awakening. The Senate releases their education omnibus bill on Monday, April 8. With a $206 million budget, less than a quarter of what the House proposes, the Senate version will be disappointing. Stay tuned . . .

Note: All the information on the education omnibus bills from the governor, House, and Senate, including the SEE side-by-side summary, district data runs, bill summaries, bill texts, will be posted on the Education Legislation page on the SEE website as the information becomes available.
Highest priced provisions in the House education omnibus bill include:
 
($521 million) - Increases the general education basic formula by 3% next year and 2% the following year. 
($117.9 million) - To hold the cross subsidy steady. Cross subsidy reduction aid is created to reduce a district's cross subsidy by 4.3% in FY20 and 8.6% in FY21. Adjusts the growth cap/maximum aid and the hold harmless/minimum aid calculations. Reduces the amount of unfunded special education costs that a resident district must pay for a special education student open enrolled in another district, charter school or private school from 90% to 85% in FY20 and 80% after that.   Provides state aid for charter schools to offset the impact.
($47 million) - Make the funding permanent for 4000 existing voluntary prekindergarten slots. The funding will cease at the end of this school year without legislative action.
(24.4 million) - For FY20 only, increases the safe school revenue for school districts from $36 per pupil to $45, a $9 increase, with a minimum increase of $22,500 per district, all in state aid. For FY21 and beyond, increases the safe school levy to $54 per pupil, for a total increase of $18, through local property taxes. Equalizes the levy at 151.3% of the ANTC. Provides a 50% tax credit on agricultural lands. Provides safe school revenue for charter schools, increase the revenue for intermediates and cooperatives.
($22.5 million) - Equalizes the voter-approved operating referendum, which currently is the portion between $300 per pupil to $760 per pupil by increasing the equalizing factor from $510,000 to $650,000.
($16.2 million) - Increase for early learning scholarships.
($15 million) - Increase funding for the full-service community schools grant program for schools with high concentration of students living in poverty to provide non-educational services at the school site, such as dental care, job training, mental health services etc., to support students and their families.
($14.3 million) - Requires school districts to annually provide at least 8 hours of paid training for paraprofessional and other instructions support staff working with special education student to review the student's IEP and specific needs.   The training must happen before the first day of the school year or within 30 days of hire.
($12.2 million) - Increases the percentage of career and technical education (CTE) expenses that are paid by the state from 35 to 50 percent by increasing the CTE levy equalization aid.
($10 million) - Increase for Support Our Students grants which is a match of state aid for support staff such as social workers, psychologists, school nurses, chemical dependency counselors, school counselors, and trauma coaches. The state provides fifty percent of the funding per position for four years and twenty-five percent for two years and then the district will cover the full cost.  
 
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. 

Regards,

Deb Griffiths
Schools for Equity in Education
Director of Communications and Community Outreach
612-309-0089
www.schoolsforequity.org