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Spring Break

Legislators will be heading home for spring break (from March 30 to April 8).

Contact your legislators to discuss some potential issues outlined in this edition of The Weekly Advocate. There is a Quick Link above for contact information for legislators. 

The Weekly Advocate will be back on Monday, April 16, 2018.

2018 Legislative Session
Week 6 - March 26, 2018

Legislative Updates 

House Education Innovation Policy Omnibus Bill
The House Education Innovation Policy Committee's omnibus bill passed out of committee Thursday, March 22. After much advocacy from MSBA and others, the special education working group was included in the bill.

Below are several requirements and additions that would impact school districts, as well as the Department of Education (MDE), if the provisions become law.

Curriculum Changes
A school district must:
  • include child sexual exploitation prevention instruction in the health curriculum;
  • include instruction for grades 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 on substance misuse prevention, including opioids, controlled substances, prescription and non-prescription medications and illegal drugs (this provision is known as Jake's Law);
  • implement a consent program, developed by MDE and the department of health, in grades 8-12. "Consent" means affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity; and,
  • include a specific government and citizenship course, in either 11th grade or 12th grade, as one credit of social studies required for graduation. 
There are several new requirements.
  • Requires MDE to:
    • include student performance on the civics test (percentage of students who graduated the previous school year and correctly answered at least 30 of 50 civics test questions) on school performance reports.
  • Requires a school district to:
    • distribute preliminary individual student performance data in achievement reports to the parents and teachers of each student no more than 30 days after the district has administered test.
    • distribute a testing report that includes the student's achievement level and track performance history to the teacher and the parent of a student before the beginning of the following school year.

Accountability Systems
  • World's Best Workforce
    • Adds performance measures from ESSA state plan to WBWF performance measures.
    • Requires  the commissioner use performance measures for identification of school sites and school districts.
  • Academic Star-Rating System
    • MDE would be required to develop an academic achievement rating system that assigns each school and district a star-rating and an academic achievement score. This provision was based on bills brought forth earlier in session. (H.F. 3178 / S.F. 2816)

Non-Exclusionary Disciplinary Policies (NDP)
The provision contains policies and practices as alternatives to removing a pupil from class or school. There are new requirements for schools and administrators for dismissing and readmitting. The provision is lengthy and is continually changing at this juncture.
  • Requires schools to use NDP before dismissal ("when appropriate" - House language only).
  • School districts must provide the pupils' parents or guardians with information on how a withdrawal agreement is recorded or reported.
  • Require school districts to review pupils' school work and grades to ensure they're on track for readmission. (House requires school districts to review pupils' school work and grades on quarterly basis to ensure readmission with peers).


Student Data Privacy
New requirements on technology providers and school contracts with technology providers. Once again, the provision is lengthy and is continually changing at this juncture. A few major pieces are:
  • Notify parents and students of its technology provider contracts within 30 days of the start of each school year.
  • Post contract with technology provider on the district website.
  • Requires districts to maintain a log of use that records information regarding when an individual accesses electronics student data.
  • Provide training for all staff to the extent practical.

Other New Requirements
A school district must
  • screen for dyslexia at the beginning of kindergarten and grade 2 and for any student in grade 2 or higher who exhibits characteristics associated with dyslexia;
  • must provide military and skilled trades and manufacturing representatives the same access as higher education schools to high school students.
Lead Testing (Governor's bill only)
  • Requires a complete water testing within two years.
  • Requires remediation or faucet shut off when lead is present.
  • Requires alternative source of water such as bottled water if another source is not in a reasonable distance.

Teacher Licensure (Governor's bill only)
  • Eliminates criteria which allows those who have three years of teaching experience volunteered to license evidence of a tier 2 teacher evaluation for tier 3.
The Senate E-12 Education Policy omnibus bill is expected to be heard this week.

The Senate Floor heard Sen. Rosen's pension Monday morning. The bill passed  66-0.

Sen. Rosen summarized the bill's provisions and praised the engagement of those who have worked for three years to bring forward a public pension sustainability package whose reforms will result in $3.4 billion in immediate savings.

According to Rosen, S.F. 2620 includes "significant benefit reforms" as well as contribution rate increases for employers and employees to help address the pension systems' unfunded liabilities. The employer portion will now be covered by the state. She explained that the bill has much work behind it -- the engagement of all stakeholders, the governor, the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget -- and reflects "true shared sacrifice."

The bill will next proceed through various committees in the House of Representatives, most likely after the Easter/Passover break.   

Upcoming Legislative Meetings  

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 
1:00 PM      
Education Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jenifer Loon
HF3529 McDonald Charter school property exemption expanded.
HF3592 Pugh Minnetonka; Independent School District No. 276 fund transfer authorized.
HF3879 Lee Summer and after-school STEM programming funding provided, and money appropriated.
HF3001 Poston Service cooperatives included in definition of governmental units for purposes of joint powers.
HF4117 Urdahl Government and citizenship credit required for high school graduation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
1:00 PM      
Education Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jenifer Loon
HF2378 Baker Music education online access for children and students in rural Minnesota grant program created, report required, and money appropriated.
HF3600 Loon Legislative auditor requested to compare revenue generation and spending between school districts and charter schools, and report required.
HF3870 Peterson Voluntary prekindergarten participants required to be served through a mixed delivery of services.
State Academies Bonding Requests


Monday, March 26, 0218
3:00 PM    
Committee on E-12 Finance 
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson 
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg. 
S.F. 3516 Nelson Voluntary prekindergarten participants to be served through a mixed delivery of services requirement. 
S.F. 3335 Ruud Online learning providers requirement to generate online learning aid for courses offered to nonpublic pupils authorization and appropriation. 
S.F. 3125 Dahms Extended time to pupils enrolled in career and technical education courses expansion. 
S.F. 2398 Dziedzic Project SUCCESS grant authorization and appropriation. 
Project SUCCESS video (PDF)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 
3:00 PM 
*** Agenda Addition(s)***
Committee on E-12 Policy
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 3572 Chamberlain Dyslexia screening by school districts requirement.
S.F. 3030 Hoffman, J. Girls in Action program appropriation.
S.F. 3013 Eichorn Early learning scholarship program child eligibility and administration modification; targeted home visiting grant program for high-risk populations establishment; appropriation.
S.F. 2703 Anderson, P. Sanneh Foundation programs funding increase and appropriation. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 
3:00 PM 
Committee on E-12 Finance
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 2748 Pratt Teacher license revocation, suspension, denial, and teacher discharge grounds expansion; mandatory reporting expansion. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018 
3:00 PM  
Committee on E-12 Policy
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
To be announced.

Bill Introductions
Important bills introduced week of March 19 - 26

H. F. 3971 - enhancing equalization aid; increasing state aid for the debt service equalization aid program and the operating referendum revenue program. (McDonald)

H. F. 3990 - creating a deadline for teacher contracts; imposing a penalty for late contracts. (Kunesh-Podein)

H. F. 3991 - modifying the innovation research zone pilot program. (Peterson)

H. F. 4002 - requiring school boards to adopt student mobile device policies. (Runbeck)

H. F. 4060 - establishing the STEM Education Center with a focus on agriculture.(Torkelson)

H. F. 4081 - increasing pupil transportation funding. (Sandstede)

H. F. 4115 -
raising revenue for charter schools to approximate school district revenue. (Slocum)

H. F. 4117 / S.F. 3742- requiring a credit in government and citizenship for high school graduation. (Urdahl) 

H. F. 4119 / S.F. 3784- requiring teacher preparation programs to include instruction on dyslexia. (Jessup) (Clausen)

H. F. 4120 - establishing the safe schools revenue program; making charter schools eligible for safe schools revenue. (Anselmo)

H. F. 4142 / S.F. 3743-  providing incentive grants for character development education. (Urdahl) (Nelson)

H. F. 4163 - amending the notice process to students and parents of the right to opt out of having the student's contact information shared with military recruiters. (Slocum)

H. F. 4201 / S.F. 3606 - requiring a school counselor in every school. (Omar) (Dziedzic)

H. F. 4202 - providing for school safety, including requiring a school district to publish a summary of its crisis management policy, establishing school threat assessment teams and oversight committees, authorizing school boards to bond for certain security-related equipment. (Fischer)

H. F. 4207 - requiring affirmative consent instruction. (Maye Quade)

H. F. 4208 / S.F. 3807- creating a state fund to pay for unreimbursed special education costs. (Davnie)(Dziedzic)

S.F. 3572 - requiring screening for dyslexia. (Chamberlain)

S.F. 3591 -  requiring school board policy on student deaths. (Wicklund)

S.F. 3639 - requiring a district to provide online learning students access to a school site. (Koran)

S.F. 3787 -
appropriating money for a teacher preparation program leading to a license to teach the blind or visually impaired. (Senjem)

S.F. 3800 - modifying contract requirements for milk for school lunches and vocational training programs. (Anderson, P.)

S.F. 3808 - making permanent the authority for certain students with interrupted formal education to participate in an early middle college program for one additional year. (Torres-Ray)

S.F. 3810 -
appropriating money for students in alternative programs. (Torres-Ray) 

S.F. 3829  -  allowing school boards to give school credit for serving as a trainee election judge; requiring appointing authorities to recruit bilingual high school students to serve as trainee election judges. (Hawj)

S.F. 3831 - prohibiting school lunch providers from shaming students; requiring meals policies to be posted to school Web sites; creating a supplementary reserve fund. (Kent)
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