The Weekly Advocate

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Legislative Action
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Monday, March 19

We will begin our day at the Capitol Ridge Hotel and then move to the Capitol Complex.

  • Welcome to Day at the Capitol
  • Advocacy
  • Update on Education Policy and Finance Issues
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Meetings and Reception with Legislators
Call the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge at 651-227-8711 and ask for the "MSBA room block" (for $139).

Note: The hotel block closes on March 5.


2018 Legislative Session
Week 2 - February 26, 2018

We will keep you informed each week through the Weekly Advocate, which will be published every Monday. Each update will have bill introductions, updates on committee hearings and other relevant topics. Please encourage your colleagues to sign up for the Weekly Advocate. Don't forget to share and retweet the it on Facebook and Twitter.

We Want Your Input!
MSBA has a number of legislative priorities to focus on this session. The topics are based on members' needs and concerns, as well as priorities the government relations team has been following.
Please take a 3-minute survey to help us better advocate on your behalf. Information from our members is key for messaging.

Special Education Update
Over 150 school districts have passed special education resolutions. This is a fantastic grass-roots effort. If you haven't passed resolutions, we urge you to do so. Resolution forms can be found on our homepage. Please email signed forms to
Let's fill this map with green!
As of 2-26-18

A number of our school districts have had newspaper articles published regarding their efforts to pass special education resolutions. The latest are:  
Sen. Pratt introduced a bill ( S.F. 2698) to establish a special education working group; requiring a report.

Legislative Updates

Denise Dittrich testified at the telecommunications meeting on Monday about an inequity that exists in our state and the work to ensure that every Minnesota school has access to scalable, high-speed and affordable high-speed internet service to provide equal digital learning opportunities for every student.

In 2009 and earlier, the Telecommunication Equity Aid (TEA) program fully funded all requests for reimbursement. At that time there was a cap of $7.5 million. In 2010, the cap was cut to $3.75 million. Since then the cost has risen to nearly $9.5 million leaving a gap of $5.75 million.
The cap was reduced by 50% and has never been restored at a time when the needs are increasing. MSBA and other stakeholders, listed at the bottom of the page, have called on the legislature to return to full funding of TEA. There is a bill, authored by Senator Weber (SF936) that would do so.  
Sen. Nelson and CA Greg Marcus review TEA numbers

Legisl ative Meetings  
Tuesday, February 27, 2018  
8:15 AM      
Education Innovation Policy 
Room: 10 State Office Building 
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson

HF2768 (Jessup) Child sexual abuse prevention instruction in a health curriculum modified. 
HF2738 (Erickson) Education commissioner required to develop child abuse awareness posters. 
HF2737 (Erickson) Directory of cross-references to statutes governing school district flexibility created.

1:00 PM      
Education Finance
Room: 5 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Jenifer Loon
Department of Human Services Overviews:
School-Linked Mental Health Grants
Intermediate School District Mental Health Innovation Grant Program (Laws 2017, First Special Session, Chapter 5)

Minnesota Department of Education Overviews:
Intermediate District and Cooperative Unit Staff Training for Level 4 Behavioral Issues (Laws 2016, Chapter 189)
Support Our Students Grants (Laws 2016, Chapter 189)
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
Use of Compensatory Revenue and Safe Schools Levy Revenue for Mental Health Services

3:00 PM   
*** Agenda Addition(s)***
Committee on E-12 Policy
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
S.F. 2465 (Anderson, P.) Educational child sexual abuse prevention curriculum expansion to include child sex trafficking prevention in academic standard.
S.F. 2352 (Anderson, P.) Office of Legislative Auditor's April 2017 evaluation report of the Minnesota State High School League recommendations implementation.
S.F. 2455 (Clausen ) Teacher training to include dyslexia instructional strategies requirement.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 
1:00 PM       
Education Finance 
Room: 5 State Office Building 
Chair: Rep. Jenifer Loon 
MDE Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Overviews

3:00 PM  
Committee on E-12 Finance
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Overview of ESSA funds and select academic improvement programs
Thursday, March 01, 2018
8:15 AM      
Education Innovation Policy
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson
HF2846 (Christensen) Special education working group established, and report required.
HF3013 (Runbeck) Teacher training required to enable a teacher to implement instructional strategies to meet the needs of students with dyslexia.
MDE Presentation of the Summary of 2018 Legislative Reports

Committee Documents:

Keep in Touch
You can track what is happening at the Capitol each week with the weekly calendar and watch hearings of interest online.
Bill Introductions
As session progresses, we will provide updates on significant bills that have been heard.

H.F. 2936 - School trust land administration transferred, school trust management account established, rule-making authorized, and report required. (Erickson)

H.F. 2958 -
Districts' safe schools levy authority increased, and school districts authorized to use levy proceeds to enhance cyber-security. (Fischer)  

H.F. 2959School districts authorized to renew expiring referendums by action of school board. (Fischer)

H.F. 2960 - School facilities improvement revenue established, and money appropriated. (Fischer)

H.F. 2961 -
Early education provisions modified, five regions for the voluntary Pre-K program established, determination of the total amount of Pathway II scholarships authorized,and school readiness plus made permanent. (Davnie)

H.F. 2988 -State assessment length limited. (Hornstein)

H.F. 3013 - Teacher training required to enable a teacher to implement instructional strategies to meet the needs of students with dyslexia. (Runbeck)

S.F. 2537 - Teacher definition clarification. (Hoffman)

S.F. 2552 - School board approved referendum authority increase and appropriation. (Housley)

S.F. 2574 - Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission governance evaluation requirement. (Wiger)

S.F. 2576 - School district referendum levies, local optional levies, and debt service levies equalization levels increase. (Wiger)

S.F. 2577 -
Water conservation programming in Minnesota schools grants authorization. (Wiger)

S.F. 2605 -
School district bond referendums requirements modifications. (Housley)

S.F. 2608Expiring school referendum renewal by action of school board authorization. (Newton)

S.F. 2620Statewide and major local public employee retirement plan benefit, contribution, adjustment rates, return assumptions, reductions, and target dates modifications. (Rosen)

S.F. 2638 -  requiring school districts to pay the cost of a college entrance exam for all students in grade 11 or 12; appropriating money to reimburse districts for college entrance exam costs. (Wiger)

S.F. 2639 -  modifying world's best workforce requirements.(Wiger)

S.F. 2652 - modifying the calculation of transportation aid for pupils enrolled in post-secondary enrollment options. (Nelson)

S.F. 2682 -  allowing for completion of nationally normed college entrance exam as high school graduation requirement. (Wiger)

S.F. 2698 - establishing a special education working group; requiring a report.(Pratt)

S.F. 2702 -  appropriating money to the Legislative Coordinating Commission to study feasibility of program to authorize school districts to borrow from permanent school fund. (Clausen)

S.F. 2737 -  transferring administration of school trust lands; establishing the school trust management account; authorizing rule-making; requiring a report. (Eichorn)
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