Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Other Education-Related Items. The omnibus education funding and policy bill may have gone the way of the dinosaur (2010 style), but a number of other items of interest to the education community did pass. Here's a brief synopsis with links to each bill:

Special Session House File 1--The omnibus budget balancing bill. The education portion of the bill is found in Articles 3 and 4 (pages 8 through 23) . Article 3 contains the aid payment shift changes and the early recognition shift. Article 4 contains the forecast adjustments.

Senate File 2918, Chapter 359--The pension bill. Small benefit increases for one fund (MSRS), but the bill is devoted to bringing greater integrity to the existing funds and backing them off of the precipice.

House File 3263, Chapter 356--A bill about speed limits in work zones, it was amended on the Senate floor to contain a provision exempting school buses from having to use child restraint systems (booster seats).

House File 3329, Chapter 395--A bill that provides the Metro Deaf Charter school with cash flow assistance (because all of their money is state aid and all of their students are eligible for special education, the change in the aid payment schedule from 90%/10% to 70%/30% would put them out of business) and adjusts the debt service appropriation upward to reflect the drop in property wealth resulting from the downturn in the housing market. The drop in statewide property wealth creates a greater aid entitlement as property wealth divided by the first and second tier equalizing factors creates an a levy percentage. The lower the levy percentage, the great the amount of aid (Got that? Hard to describe without a blackboard.).

House File 2227. Chapter 398--A bill that creates a Commission on Service Innovation that will seek ways to improve collaboration between governmental units. The Minnesota Association of School Administrators are included on the commission in Article I. Also contains the language of SF 2496 (Rummel-DFL-White Bear Lake) that seeks to incorporate greater use of research in determining course of state government programs.

Senate File 2511, Chapter 319--A bill that creates a collaborative governance council that will provide legislative recommendations on how collaboration between governmental units can be improved.

Senate File 2908, Chapter 396--A seemingly unrelated bill concerning nursing home rates that become the last-minute vehicle for the statewide physical education standards and Healthy Kids Rewards Program after the omnibus E-12 funding and policy bill went down earlier Sunday evening.

I'm sure I'll find more as the weeks wear on and don't be shy about pointing out other bills you think should be included.

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