Monday Morning Legislative Briefing
A Message from Kirk on the
Teacher Retirement Association (TRA)
This week will be full of bills heard on pensions, retirement and TRA. Can TRA Be Saved? MSBA thinks it should be saved; however, what the final solution looks like is important.
MSBA believes the employer portion of the solvency plan should come from the state's general fund, not the operating funds of school districts.
Case You Missed It
The Governor's proposed budget is getting lots of attention across the state. To see how much your school district would receive in new funding, click here:
General Education Formula
Child Care (By County)
Home Visiting (By County)
MSBA thanks the Governor for a major investment in public schools.
We believe 2 percent is a good start; however, MSBA would prefer the funds cover at least the rate of inflation since this is the most equitable distribution of education money. This is important as it allows school districts to determine local needs and priorities and fund them appropriately. The proposal for special education is a small step in reducing the cross-subsidy. This underfunding has been a persistent problem and results in a structural deficit for every school district. MSBA believes this investment allows for less reliance on the general fund or raising local property taxes. We applaud the target of $603 million
feel it answers the needs and reflects
Please thank Governor Dayton for the $603 million investment in public schools and emphasize the need to hold strong on that target.
Contact your Senator and State Representatives and urge them to support a target of at least $600 million.
The Committee on E-12 Finance heard bills on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based courses; appropriations for Minnesota principals academy, the establishment of a rural career and technical education consortium and Minnesota reading corps programs. In addition, a bill to make the compensatory education revenue pilot project permanent was heard.
The House Education Innovation Policy, heard
, civics testing added to the required curriculum.
MSBA believes this bill is not necessary and may encourage a "teaching to the test" situation.
The Senate Committee on E-12 Finance heard a bill (Kiffmeyer
) on creating a new source of state aid for school districts with low general education revenue and property wealth.
supports the legislature to increase equity funding and equalization revenue to reduce
the difference between the highest and lowest funded school districts.
Thursday morning, the House Education Innovation Policy Committee heard the
Student Discipline Working Group
The groups recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature are detailed in The Advocate.
Four of the recommendations increase funding for mental health and support staff to meet the diverse needs of students. The committee overwhelmingly suggested reports of physical assault or violent behavior should not be required to be given to future teachers if after one year there is not another incident. MSBA agrees with the co-chair when she stated, "Children should not have to live with one mistake...teacher notification may taint the reputation of the student before they get in the classroom." No formal action was taken after the report was heard.
The last recommendation by the group requires more district reporting and MSBA feels current reporting is adequate.
Cathy Miller, director of legal and policy services, was a part of the 22 member panel.
Senate Education Committees will hear billd on:
- early childhood, K-12 and adult education appropriations;
- asthma inhalers in schools and high school teachers dual enrollment instruction authorization; and
- education partnerships coalition fund establishment and appropriation.
What does this mean for Minnesota? MDE continues to move forward with several working groups and committees to develop the new state accountability plan and
MSBA continues to be involved in all phases of the statewide development plan.