Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday, Monday. It was a very busy Monday for yours truly; a day that included a couple of visits to SEE legislators, a little bit of legislative testimony, and visits to two SEE districts.

I had the opportunity to testify in front of the Senate Education Committeee in favor of SF 13, Senator Chuck Wiger's (DFL-North St. Paul) bill memorializing Congress to make good on its unmet commitment of providing 40% of the funding for special education programs. Whether or not this bill is successful in moving Congress toward that goal remains in question, but it is important that bills like this are passed to keep applying pressure toward that end.

St. Cloud school board member Jerry von Korff also testified in favor of the bill and did a really good job explaining the unique circumstances facing that district and providing some very good data for the committee.

The bill was approved by the committee.

I also visited both the Anoka-Hennepin and Owatonna school districts yesterday, providing a brief presentation to the Anoka-Hennepin district cabinet at noon and a presentation to the Owatonna school board Monday evening. As you know, making district visits is my favorite part of the job and I hope to get out to more districts this winter and spring.

The only education-related bill introduced on the Senate on Monday, January 8, was SF 28, another resolution introduced by Senator Wiger, this one urging Congress not to reauthorize NCLB without making revisions to the law. That bill was also heard on Monday in the Senate Education Committee and, like the resolution urging greater federal funding for special education, it passed.

The first House Files of the 2007 session were introduced on Monday and many of them appear to be companion files to legislation introduced in the Senate last Thursday. Included are HF 2 (Swails) All-Day Kindergarten; HF 3 (Marquart) Property Tax Relief; HF 5 (Bly) Early Childhood Education Funding; HF 6 (Greiling) 3% Increase in the General Education Formula; and HF 36 (Heidgerken) Modifying Integration Revenue.

The links to the bills I posted last week didn't work very well, so in this entry I will only put a link to the legislative home page.

Legislative Home Page: http:www.leg.state.mn.us

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