The Weekly Advocate

In This Issue
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Legislative Action
News on MSBA's Platform Issues
Update on 2% General Education Formula

Your voices are being heard!

The House and Senate now have bills for 2% on the per pupil education formula.

H. F. 1716, authored by House Education Finance Chair, Jenifer Loon and 34 co-authors and its companion  S.F. 1556, authored by Senate Education Finance Chair Carla Nelson were introduced this week. 

Please thank both chairs for their leadership.

If your legislator is an author, thank him/her!

Support both the chairs by contacting your legislator and urging them to hear the bill. 

Check it out! Social media has been a flurry with activity and posts; keep up the great work! Share and re-tweet!

Join us on Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and help us spread the word.

My Legislators

Calendar Items

It's not too early to make appointments with your legislators for MSBA Day at the Capitol. We ask if you would please let us know so we can follow and arrange for a photographer. Please email with "Meetings - DAC" in subject line.
To register and for hotel information, please click here.

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
March 6, 2017 - Week 10
A Message from Kirk 
Teacher Shortage Act 2.0 View our videos on YouTube 
MSBA's Summary of HF1663

A Legislative Alert from the GR Team
Support the Teacher Shortage Act 2.0
Please reach out to your legislator for support of The Teacher Shortage Act 2.0 bill (HF 1663) ( SF 1725).  Share how your district can benefit from the recruiting, preparing and retaining of teachers.    

Looking Back   
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB)
The Minnesota Management and Budget released the February Budget and Economic Forecast last Tuesday.The projected budgetary balance in the next biennium is now $1.650 billion, $250 million higher than prior estimates.

The forecast serves as the basis to create targets for the biennial budgeting process used by legislators.

Education is just shy of half of the overall state budget. MSBA hopes this surplus translates to a robust education target. Encourage leadership to use at least Governor Dayton's $609 million E-12 education budget, which is less than one-half of the state budget.
House Committee Meetings
Tuesday  morning, the House Education Innovation Committee heard a bill on unrequested leave of absence requiring districts to negotiate terms of layoffs ( HF 1478). The current law bases layoffs on seniority only. The committee heard from ten testifiers - eight in support of the bill and two in opposition.The bill will be referred to the General Register.  MSBA's Denise Dittrich testified in support of the bill and shared the bill may have implications with the Master Agreements due to bill language. Overall, MSBA supports school board authority in retaining the highest quality teachers in our classrooms by modifying an outdated ULA policy.         

Senate Committee Meetings
Bills impacting high school students were heard Tuesday afternoon 
  • The requirement of a Nationally normed college entrance exam for high school graduation requirement (S.F. 333). Testimony was provided that a nationally standardized test is not aligned with Minnesota's standards and benchmarks. MSBA supports utilizing a nationally normed college entrance exam in substitution of an existing standardized test.
  • The mandate of a civics class for high school graduation (S.F. 1061). MSBA's Grace Keliher testified that civics is already covered in the benchmarks and statute. And, we oppose new graduation mandates.
  • The Senate tax committee heard SF 802 by Senator Draheim. This bill dealt with assisting schools districts with present and existing capital bond referendums by buying down the agriculture costs associated with these levies. The provision will provide a tax credit for all agricultural lands and buildings equal to 40% of the tax on the property attributable to all school districts' capital bond levies. MSBA testified to the on-going challenge for school districts to pass referendums if they have agricultural lands and a huge benefit for farmers who have been over burdened by property taxes. 
  • HF 1966 requires school performance reports consistent with federal reporting requirements. It requires the Department of Education to assign ratings to schools based on performance and whether the schools receive funds. MSBA's Grace Keliher testified that districts have tried various rating systems in the past and with the implementation of ESSA, it is premature to try and institute another rating system.
Senate Committee Meetings
  • Teacher Licensure Overhaul- A "delete-all" amendment to S.F. 4 was heard in a crowded Senate  Education Policy Committee room. As with HF 140, two key provisions are a a part of the bill - new governance model and tiered licensure system.
New Governance - The amendment  abolishes the current Board of Teaching and establishes a new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. 
The new board would be made up of 9 members:
    • Five teachers, including at least one Charter school teacher and one teacher licensed in a geographic or license shortage area. None of whom may be serving in an administrative function, or any position with the teacher union.
    • 1 superintendent 
    • 1 Human Resource Director
    • 1 elementary or secondary principal
    • 1 public member; may be a current or former school board member.
MSBA testified in support of a single entity. However, we expressed concern of the board makeup. MSBA suggested the board should include two sitting school board members.

Tiered Licensure System - establishes a four-tier licensing structure:
    • Tier 1 License: One-year duration; unlimited renewals
    • Tier 2 License: Two-year duration; two renewals per renewal requirements.
    • Tier 3 License: Three-year duration; Up to three renewals per renewal requirements.
    • Tier 4 License: Five-year duration; unlimited renewals per renewal requirements
Access more details on the governance model and tiered-licensure system .
MSBA's Denise Dittrich spoke to the flexibility Tier 1 offers school districts in hiring, especially Career and Technical teachers and Tier 3's responsiveness to removing current barriers for our of state teachers seeking licensure to teach in Minnesota.
We requested two sitting school board members be appointed to the board.
A specific highlight from Dittrich's testimony is:
"In Section 11 Subd. 3 we feel the 'assessment alternatives' is a BIG step in the right direction.  Allowing the use of the 'portfolio' or 'satisfactory evidence on the summative evaluation process' to demonstrate the candidate has attained the required skills is the flexibility school boards need to help address the teacher shortage. Classroom performance should also count for something.
Finally, we would strongly recommend if you continue to weave mentorship, TDE and summative evaluations into the tiered system - we encourage you to expand Q-Comp statewide and fully fund the Teacher Development and Evaluation System . QComp revenue is the tool that allows every district the ability to execute a high quality evaluation system."
Looking Forward
Education Policy Omnibus bills will be rolled out next week due to approaching deadlines.

Senate Committee Meetings
  • S.F. 1206 on education equalization aid modifications; debt service equalization aid program state aid increase; education referendum equalization revenue aid and levy calculation modification and appropriation.
  • S.F. 1555 Increase teachers of color act funding; American Indian teacher and teachers of color goal increase and appropriations. And, S.F. 1558 Nonpublic students aid calculation modification.
  • The elections omnibus bill will be heard Tuesday afternoon. There are two provisions that specifically impact school boards.
  House Committee Meetings
  • Office of Legislative Auditor will release the Standardized Student Testing Evaluation to the Legislative Audit Commission on Monday at 9:30 am in Room 10, State Office Building. This report will be available on the OLA website at 9:00 am on Monday. 
  • Tuesday morning in House Education Innovation Policy, Chair Erickson will roll-out her Omnibus bill, HF1376 . Also on the docket is HF1944 on Career and technical education high school apprenticeship pilot program established with a refundable income tax credit for employers.
For additional bills and topics on specific days and times, please check the Combined Calendar .

Bills of Interest & Impact
As session progresses, we will provide updates on significant bills that have been heard.

H. F. 1716, A bill increasing the basic formula allowance by two percent per year. (This bill has 35 authors in the House and it's companion bill, SF 1556, has five authors.)

H. F. 1846, A bill requiring lead testing of water in public school buildings.

H. F. 1874, A bill appropriating money for the collaborative urban educator program.

H. F. 1901, A bill increasing funding for career and technical programs and expanding incentives for students in programs leading to certificates.

H. F. 1903, A bill providing funding for the Increase Teachers of Color Act; seeking to double the number of teachers of color and teachers who are American Indian in Minnesota. (SF 1555)

H. F. 1927, A bill increasing local optional levy equalization for certain districts with seasonal recreational property.

H. F. 1937, A bill modifying open enrollment priorities.

H. F. 1944, A bill providing for career and technical education; establishing a high school apprenticeship pilot program with a refundable income tax credit for employers. (This bill has 24 House authors.)

H. F. 1964 , A bill authorizing recall elections for school board members.

S.F. No. 1468: A bill creating a responsible family life and sexuality education program. (HF 1759)

S.F. No. 1470: A bill modifying world's best workforce performance measures and reports.

S.F. No. 1471: A bill requiring student assessment results be available to school districts and teachers.

S.F. No. 1474: A bill authorizing school districts and charter schools to create innovation zones.

S.F. No. 1476: A bill allowing school board proceedings to be posted online.

S.F. No. 1629: A bill modifying the safe schools levy.

S.F. No. 1715: A bill relating to the open meeting law. 
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