The Weekly Advocate

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Governor's Budget Proposal
The Governor released his supplementary budget proposal earlier this session. His top education priorities are safe schools and mental health grants ($21 million) and special education ($17 million).    
House Target Set
The House released its budget adjustment target Thursday afternoon allocating $30 million to address school safety improvements and mental health programming.
Left on the bottom line will be $50.6 million that will most likely be slotted to address other issues such as pensions and special education.

Senate Target to be Released Soon
2018 Legislative Session
Week Nine - April 16, 2018

Legislative Update and Alert
Special Education
Governor Dayton's budget proposal includes approximately $19 million to provide school districts across Minnesota relief with the special education cross-subsidy. This proposal would benefit ALL 332 school districts.

Nearly 200 school districts across Minnesota have passed resolutions to reduce the special education cross-subsidy.
Ask your state representative and senator to match Governor Dayton's proposal of $19 million toward reducing the special education cross-subsidy. Ask Governor Dayton to stand firm on his proposal and share how the added revenue would impact your district.

Safe Schools
The House, Senate and the Governor have allocated funding for safe schools, but in different ways. Grace Keliher, MSBA Director of Government Relations, testified on the Senate safe schools bill last week.

Ask your legislators to take a multifaceted approach to safe schools funding. A combination of proposals is needed for each district to determine and respond to local needs. A multifaceted approach would include:
  • an increase in the safe schools revenue, allowing for the most flexibility in spending. Share how funds would be spent in your district (school counselors, facility improvements, mental health, etc.)   
  • an expanded use of Long-Term Facilities Management (LTFM) to include options such as building security upgrades, emergency communications, etc. Share how this would look in your district. 
  • the increase in revenue and expansion of mental health grants to include telemental health. Share the needs for mental health your district is experiencing.
Academic Star-Rating System 
A new star-rating system, proposed by both the House and Senate, would establish a separate accountability system using measures that differ from World's Best Workforce and the Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA).
Ask your state representative, senator and Governor Dayton to oppose the proposed star-rating system. The World's Best Workforce and the state's ESSA plan have already been approved and are in place. Multiple reporting measures, that differ, lead to confusion and frustration with families and communities.  

Omnibus Education Policy Bills
Despite a short session these bills have significant policy changes --- more concerning, there are more mandates. These changes impact student discipline, data privacy, and new curriculum requirements.
Ask your state representative and senator to restrain from adding any new curriculum, discipline or data privacy requirements on school districts.

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