Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
- Language allowing school boards to renew an existing levy for the same amount and term is included in the conference committee report.
- Charter school reform provisions that tighten up a number of regulations relating to charter schools, but also allows them to own buildings.
- Language that clarifies the third-party billing statutes and promotes greater use of the program.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
- Pass an education bill, and;
- Have the final education bill contain the language of Article I, Section 11, of HF 3833 as passed by the House on May 12, 2010.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Needless to say, things are going to have to start happening fairly fast and with so many possible routes to the end, my guess is the path to the finish will be a bit serpentine.
The Latest Complication. The House version of the omnibus education funding and policy bill was slated to be heard last evening in the House Ways and Means Committee, but it was scratched at the last minute. It appears that the House majority is divided over whether or not to include alternative teacher licensure in the bill. Such a move would strengthen the state's position in the Phase 2 Race to the Top competition and would make the House look less at odds with the Governor in that quest. As it stands now, the House is bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism with its stance against including portions of the Governor's suggested changes to Minnesota education policy that I outlined yesterday in its bill.
A number of House members worked on crafting a compromise today that may be discussed when the Ways and Means Committee takes up the bill tomorrow (Friday). I will keep you posted.
Senate Action. The Senate Tax Committee discussed SFs 3063 and 3064 today. They are two of the three education-finance related Senate bills (as distinguised from SF 3189--the Senate's education policy bill that contains several of the Governor's policy recommendations) any of which could serve as a vehicle bill for the Senate's education finance (and perhaps) policy provisions.
What would not be surprising is if both Houses pass policy bills and that all of the finance provisions--from all budget areas--would be rolled into one "global" agreement. Those types of agreements usually run up until the end of session, so I doubt I'll have much to report on that until next week.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
- Teacher Quality and Effectiveness
- Align teacher preparation standards with K-12 student standards.
- Require that candidates for college teacher preparation programs pass the basic skills test prior to entry into the program.
- Strengthen teacher preparation in elementary mathematics and require teaching candidates to pass a math content exam.
- Require teaching candidates to complete at least one course online and also learn how to teach an online course to their students.
- Use student performance data to monitor the effectiveness of college of education teacher and administrator programs.
- Incorporate national standards for effective school leadership, such as the standards developed by the National Institute for School Leaders, into the licensing standards for principals.
Most of the amendments offered to the bill came from legislators aiming to soften or eliminate a number of the proposals aimed at teacher-training, evaluation, and assignment. All but a couple of these amendments were defeated, leaving the legislative changes sought by the Governor intact. Still, Commissioner Seagren was quoted as saying this constitutes a "good start (emphasis mine)," meaning we've got a ways to go. Further, seeing that the House has little in its bill resembling the Governor's suggested actions, the starting line may be fairly close to the finish line.
Here is the link to SF 3189.
An engrossment including yesterday's amendments should be available later today or tomorrow and I will post it when it's available.
I have to book to the Capitol right now, but will finish this description of yesterday's activity later today. Big news. FLASH! The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled against Governor Pawlenty by declaring his unallotments from last year to be unconstitutional.