The Weekly Advocate

In This Issue
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Legislative Action
News on MSBA's Platform Issues

MSBA 2017 Platform

Key Platform Provisions are:
  • Investing in All of our Students
  • Ensure Every Student has a Qualified and Committed Teacher
  • Support the Work of Locally Elected School Boards
  • Equity And Student Achievement
  • 21st Century Facilities
Join us on Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and help us spread the word.

My Legislators

Calendar Items

We look forward to  you participating with us at the School Boards Day at the Capitol.

Kirk Schneidawind
, Executive Director, MSBA -Biennial Math: The Story Behind the Numbers

Statewide Education Budget Targets & What Do They Mean
Grace Keliher, Director, Government Relations

Everything You Need to Know for a Successful Day at the Capitol
Denise Dittrich, Associate Director, Government Relations

House in Session

Tax Credits: What Happens at the Intersection of Tax Credits and Education?
Paul Cummings, Tax Policy Manager, Minnesota Department of Revenue

Pensions Update: Can TRA Be Saved?
Laurie Fiori Hacking, Executive Director, Teachers Retirement Association

Senate in Session

Question and Answer with Key Education Committee Members

Lunch & Listen: Legislative Priorities for 2017 from House and Senate Leadership

Teacher Licensure Reform Proposals as Authored by Sen. Pratt and Rep. Erickson

Please note that due to the fluid nature of legislative activity, members schedules may change.

Monday Legislative Briefing
April 3, 2017 - Week 14
Today is School Boards
Day at the Capitol

Timing is of the Essence!
Participate Virtually or In Person! 
A Legislative Alert from the GR Team
 Key Messages
You Can Share with Your Legislators Today!

We hope you will join us today for the School Boards Day at the Capitol. If you can't be in St. Paul, you can still participate.
This is the best time during the legislative session to share messages with your legislator.
There are a number of issues you can share with your legislators today during School Boards Day at the Capitol.
  • 2 percent is a must on the basic education formula. With current targets, school districts will fall short immediately. Legislators need to understand what the impact is for your district.
  • Teacher shortage is a statewide issue. The Teacher Shortage Act brought forth by MSBA has strong support of other education organizations.
  • Special education still needs to be addressed. Districts are already starting from a weak point and can't continue to rob the general education fund to pay for increasing needs in special education.
  • Tax credits versus education funding.
We encourage you to email your legislators today. Even if they are on the floor, they do read and respond to emails. You can also tweet or post on social media.
Join us at the Capitol!
Day at the Capitol Advocacy Toolkit
We want to share the documents our participants in St. Paul will receive. We hope you will find them useful in your correspondence with legislators.

Agenda for Day at the Capitol

H.F. 890 - House Education Finance Omnibus  
  • House Education Finance Chair Loon presented
    Click on the photo to see more of HF 890 on the House Floor.
    her Education Finance Omnibus bill (H.F. 890) on the House Floor last Friday afternoon.  The bill passed 75-54. Some highlights and changes occurred along the way:
    • Changes in the General Education Basic Formula funding from 1.5 percent ($91 per pupil per year) to 1.25 percent ($76 per pupil per year).
    • Increases pupil transportation by $13 million for districts who don't qualify for transportation sparsity revenue.
    • Creates an office of early education and development ($400,000).
    • Delinks compensatory funding and establishes a new targeted compensatory program ($24 million/year).
    • Defunds statewide voluntary PreK programs ($47 million/year).
    • Eliminates Pathway II scholarships.
    • Increases School Readiness ($8.5 million)
    • Closes Perpich Center for the Arts and Crosswinds.
    • Repeals the seniority provision and requires negotiation for unrequested leave of absence for teachers.
    • Establishes protocol for testing schools water for lead.
  • The House Tax Omnibus bill ( H.F. 4) was heard on the House Floor Thursday. Several education organizations have testified in opposition of the private school tax subsidy provisions and the language requiring school elections to be held on General Election Day. In addition to testimony, a group of education organizations provided a letter with talking points to House Representatives on the floor.    
  Senate Committee Meetings    
  • The Committee on E-12 Finance heard Chair Nelson's Education Omnibus bill (S.F. 718).  Several amendments were offered after a walk through of the bill.  walk-through of the DE amendment for SF 718  This will be the education omnibus bill.
  • The Senate Tax Committee heard the Tax Omnibus bill (HF 2255). and the Education E-12 Policy Omnibus (S.F. 718) bill Wednesday morning.
Looking Forward

Senate Committee Meetings    
  • Senate will go into session at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
  • The Senate Education Finance omnibus bill (S.F. 718) is scheduled to be heard Tuesday. Some highlights include:
    • Increases basic general education formula by 1.5 percent for each of the next two years.
    • When/if Crosswinds sells, $10 million will partially offset the increase to school districts for the Teacher Retirement Association (TRA).
    • $2 million increase for early learning scholarships and links the program to basic formula increases.
    •  Teacher Shortage Act provisions - Provides increases or funding for several teacher recruiting and retention programs.
    • Innovation Zones
    •  Requires schools to identify students not reading at third-grade level and create an individual learning plan. Also adds dyslexia specialist.
    • Eliminates the requirement that teachers have to take additional credits to hold an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license for special education.
    • Eliminates the requirement that teachers have to take additional credits to hold an Academic and Behavioral Strategist (ABS) license for special education.
    • Creates a new governance board for teacher licensure and implements a new tiered teacher licensure system. 
House Committee Meetings
  • The House will be in Session at 10:00 a.m. Monday. On the agenda is Chair Erickson's teacher licensure bill. (HF. 140). You can watch the session; however, check for updated times as it is anticipated the House will convene then recess to the Call of the Chair.
  • House Education Innovation Policy will hear a presentation of the OLA Evaluation on the Minnesota State High School League Tuesday morning.
Conference committee members for the omnibus bills could be appointed this week.  
The Legislature will be on Spring Break from April 9 through April 17.

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

Bills of Interest & Impact
 S.F. No. 2306: A bill increasing the basic formula allowance by 2.5 percent per year
As session progresses, we will provide updates on significant bills that have been heard.

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