Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Education Committee Update. The various legislative education panels are meeting today--Tuesday, January 11--and there's been interesting discussion in all of them.

The House Education Reform Committee's meeting this morning was dedicated to teacher licensure, with presentations from both the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Board of Teaching. The discussion didn't touch so much on the issue of alternative licensure as that will be discussed later this week (see bill introductions for two House bills related to alternative licensure).

The House Education Funding Committee meeting featured veteran House staff members Greg Crowe of the House Ways and Means Committee and Tim Strom from House Research providing a detailed description of Minnesota's education funding system.

The first meeting of the Senate Education Committee chaired by Senator Gen Olson was dedicated to a presentation by Cecilia Retelle, staff at the Minnesota Chamber, on the Chamber's recently-issued report "Wanted: Prepared Workforce; Needed: Education Reform." The report is not available on the internet yet, but Ms. Retelle informed me that it will be available soon. When that happens, I will post a link to the report.

Bill Introductions. Monday's floor sessions featured the first bill introductions of the year. A mere 20 bills were introduced in the Senate (I'm sure the rate will increase) with 66 bills introduced in the House.

Only 2 of the Senate's 20 bill introductions deal with education, SFs 19 and 20, both introduced by Senator Chuck Wiger and both mandating an increase in the compulsory attendance age to 18.

The House bill introductions include several bills that aim to reduce mandates on local units of government, including a number of that affect education. HF 7, introduced by Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), repeals a number of mandates related to K-12 education, including the January 15th bargaining deadline, the 2% staff development set-aside, the 50%/25%/25% distribution formula for staff development revenue, and restricted use of Learning and Development (Class-size reduction) Revenue.

HF 7: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_results.php?body=House&search=basic&session=0872011&location=House&bill=7&bill_type=bill&rev_number=&submit_bill=GO&keyword_type=all&keyword=&keyword_field_text=1&titleword=

Represenatitive Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester) has introduced HF 41, which repeals the maintenance of effort requirements for school guidance counselors and social workers as it relates to expenditure of revenue reserved for these purposes within the safe schools levy.

HF 41: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_results.php?body=House&search=basic&session=0872011&location=House&bill=41&bill_type=bill&rev_number=&submit_bill=GO&keyword_type=all&keyword=&keyword_field_text=1&titleword=

There are two bills relating to alternative teacher licensure included in the Monday's House bill introductions. The first--HF 3--is authored by Representative Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul), is almost identical to legislation introduced by Representative Mariani last session when he was Chair of the House Education Policy Committee.

The second bill is HF 63, introduced by Representatives Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton). It takes a different tack than the Mariani bill and I will provide in-depth analysis of the bills once I digest how they differ. It is important to note that Representatives Erickson and Garofalo are the respective Chairs of the House Education Reform and House Education Finance Committees.

HF 3: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_results.php?body=House&search=basic&session=0872011&location=House&bill=3&bill_type=bill&rev_number=&submit_bill=GO&keyword_type=all&keyword=&keyword_field_text=1&titleword=

HF 63: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_results.php?body=House&search=basic&session=0872011&location=House&bill=63&bill_type=bill&rev_number=&submit_bill=GO&keyword_type=all&keyword=&keyword_field_text=1&titleword=

Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have regarding these early, yet important, days of the 2011 Legislative Session. I always look forward to hearing from you.

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