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Interim Update
Monday, October 1, 2018

Special Education - Action Needed
Is it time to review Minnesota mandates that exceed federal requirements?
The Minnesota Legislature has long discussed special education. More often than not, talks have centered around closing the cross-subsidy gap. Recent discussions have focused on the policy side, specifically regarding mandates within the special education system -- especially where Minnesota's statutes and rules exceed federal guidelines.  
As previously reported, Sen. Eric Pratt has held several hearings for members to identify specific issues or concerns with special education. When reporting on the outcomes of the first meeting in July, MSBA asked school board members for suggestions on what policy changes could help control special education costs. New Ulm Public Schools responded with six suggestions to reduce paperwork in several specific areas.
Sen. Pratt announced that the next committee meeting will focus specifically on the proposals from New Ulm Public Schools and input from other districts.  
To ensure your voice is heard on this important issue, please complete these two simple steps:
(1) Click on the image below to review the New Ulm Public Schools proposal. 
(2) Click the image below to provide your support for your reduction of special education mandates. 
Please click to answer one question.
If your district has additional ideas, please share them with us! Suggestions or ideas can be sent to  In addition, if you would like to testify on how New Ulm's proposed reductions in paperwork would impact your district, please email no later than 3 p.m. on October 30. Public testimony may be limited.  
Special Education Meeting - Tuesday, September 25
The Senate Education Policy Committee met last Tuesday and heard from several groups on Individualized Education Plans (IEP).

The first presentation was from the Minnesota Administrators for Special Education on the identification process for special education services and the IEP process. They shared the basic timelines and used an example of two students to walk the committee through who is involved, what paperwork is required and the IEP process. PACER Center described how assistive technology plays a role in the IEP process. And MDE outlined what is required in transportation services when a student has an IEP.

The next Senate Education Policy Committee meeting is on Thursday, November 1.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update Meeting - Monday, September 24
MSBA attended the ESSA public update last Monday evening.  The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)  provided information on the first full year of ESSA implementation, including:
  • A brief overview of the 2018 accountability results. In addition to the North Star report that was released to the public a few weeks ago, the department has recognized 526 schools as top performers in multiple areas. Kickoff meetings have begun for those districts identified as needing support.
  • An opportunity to provide feedback on school identification and recognition. The North Star Report Card, with updates, will be released in December. One change is that the navigation will switch to a question-based format, which was preferred by users. 
  • A kickoff of Phase 3 of stakeholder engagement, focused on fiscal transparency reporting. Last April, MDE received stakeholder input. Upcoming stakeholder meetings will be announced to look at minimum requirements vs. what stakeholders would like to see and how to display information in an easy to understand, transparent manner.
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