The Minnesota School Boards Association just completed the 2017 Advocacy Tour.

The Government Relations staff traveled throughout Minnesota meeting with school board members, superintendents and legislators. "It was great to watch our members engage with legislators and share with them firsthand what is needed in school districts," said Grace Keliher, MSBA Director of Government Relations. In all, 10 meetings were held across the state with more than 150 attendees.

The meetings provided a brief update of the 2017 legislative session and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a look ahead to the 2018 legislative session. Members also took part in a casual poll of what the top three issues should be for the upcoming session. Here were the poll results:
  1. Special education cross-subsidy
  2. Teacher Retirement Association
  3. Basic funding formula increase: 1 percent on formula in fiscal year 2019
As one board member so aptly stated, "All of the proposed issues are critical and it is difficult to put into a ranking order." Close behind were debt service equalization and the need for school counselors for mental health support.