The Weekly Advocate

In This Issue
Quick Links
Legislative Action
News on MSBA's Platform Issues
Telecommunications Equity Aid

The MSBA Platform urges the Legislature to permanently and fully fund the K-12 Telecommunications Equity Aid (TEA) so every school district has affordable access to Broadband.
TEA was designed to fully fund the access to high speed internet service costs realized by MN K-12 school districts and level the playing field for all MN schools.
At the current funding levels for this program, the equity is diminished and many schools are paying more for broadband services when compared to other districts.
The current appropriation for public schools is capped at $3.75 million when the cost to fully fund the program is approximately $9.5 million.

Internet access is crucial to schools as digital content becomes more commonplace. Mobile phones, Chromebooks and other electronic devices are a must for today's students. But just as important is access by teachers and other key staff for accounting, procurement and transportation to name just a few.

MSBA is attaching the Telecommunication
Access Equity Aid runs so you can see what the reimbursed costs are for your district, as well as statewide.

Telecommunications Access Aid should be fully funded to ensure
equitable access to Internet connectivity for all students.

Please reach out to your legislators and ask them to support SF 936 and HF 881.


My Legislators

Calendar Items

Save the date! Public Conversation on Well-Rounded Education
Please join us Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. at Brooklyn Center High School for a public conversation on well-rounded education with Commissioner Cassellius. Ensuring all students have access to a well-rounded education is a core principle of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Please register to attend or see the  flier for more details. See you there!

Watch your emails for information on registration and agenda for 
Monday, April 3 for MSBA Day at the  Capitol.

Committee Deadlines Announced
1st Deadline -
Friday, March 10 at midnight.
2nd Deadline -
Friday, March 17 at midnight.
3rd Deadline -
Friday, March 31 at midnight.

Monday Legislative Briefing
February 20, 2017 - Week 8

A Message from Kirk

2% for Kids!
View our videos on YouTube

A Legislative Alert from the GR Team
Education Funding Must be the Priority this Year
We are asking you to contact
legislative leadership and let them know E-12 Education target needs to at least match the governor's target of $609 million.

We are also asking you to contact your   State Senator and State Representative  and ask for at least 2% on the per pupil formula each year of the biennium.  

For a sample letter, click here
Looking Back  
House Committee Meetings
  • School disciplinary actions modified to reinstate the word "wilfull." (H.F. 905) MSBA, together with several other education organizations wrote a letter in support of this bill that ensures the safety of students and staff while maintaining local control and the effective management for our schools.
  • Special education system cost-benefit analysis required to identify the special education requirements in Minnesota Statutes that exceed federal requirements with a cost-benefit analysis.  (H.F. 998).
  • Schools allowed to maintain a supply of asthma inhalers.(S.F. 574). MSBA testified in opposition to the bill. We believe these new responsibilities may place school personnel in a position of risk and liability.
  • Third grade students who do not read at grade level personal learning plan required. MSBA is working with MDE on a solution to this issue that addresses the issue of literacy without over-reaching.
Looking Forward
MSBA Telecommunications Bill

Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Committee on E-12 Finance will hear a bill from Sen. Weber  (S.F. 936) on  school district telecommunications. The bill requests full funding for Internet access equity aid program and renaming it to K-12 broadband equity aid program.

Denise Dittrich, Minnesota School Boards Association will testify along with two others.
  • Marc Johnson - Executive Director of the East Central MN Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC) which serves 14 school districts in East Central MN with wide area network services, distance education, data and instructional services.
  • Josh Sumption, Director of Technology at SWWC Service Cooperative, which among many other services, provides Wide Area Network and Internet services to 34 school districts in Southwest Minnesota with total enrollments ranging from less than 80 to 3,000 students
MSBA has also been working diligently on this issue and companion bill authored by Rep. Baker.

Senate Committee Meeting Topics
  • Maximum effort school capital loans additional early repayments authorization.
  • School district operating capital levy clarification.
  • Dyslexia and literacy specialist employment and grant program establishment and appropriation.
  • Pupil transportation services grant expenditures authorization.
  • School-linked mental health services funding increases with school staff and program development.
House Committee Meeting Topics

An important bill on teacher licensure will be heard Tuesday morning. The bill (H.F. 140) requires a teacher licensure system restructuring plan.

For additional bills and topics on specific days and times, please check the Combined Calendar.

In Case You Missed It
Updated Proposed Budget and Runs

The Governor has released updated runs on his proposed budget. To see the revised runs on how much your school district would receive in new funding, click here:

Broadband for Minnesota
The Governor's budget includes $60 million to further expand broadband access for Greater Minnesota households and businesses.Currently, about 22 percent of Minnesotans in rural areas lack access to
affordable, reliable broadband internet.

Bills of Interest & Impact
As session progresses, we will provide updates on significant bills that have been heard. When possible, we will provide links to the video so you can watch with us.

  H. F. 1072, A bill modifying certain gifted and talented provisions; improving transitional outcomes.

  H. F. 1105, A bill for an act relating to the open meeting law; defining meeting.

H. F. 1205, A bill increasing gifted and talented funding.

H. F. 1217, A bill increasing by five cents the state reimbursement for each school lunch served.

H. F. 1218, A bill establishing a continuing education program for career and technical education licensure.

H. F. 1266, A bill modifying nonpublic school and charter school pupil participation in certain programs.

S.F. No. 854: A bill linking extended time revenue to the basic formula allowance.

S.F. No. 856: A bill reinstating funding for the college-level examination program. 

S.F. No. 862: A bill requiring adequate levels of school counseling services.

S.F. No. 877:
A bill increasing the funding for approved credit recovery programs to include two additional approved program.  

S.F. No. 1026 : A bill fully funding pupil transportation services.

Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 |
145 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103