Sunday, March 20, 2011

House Omnibus Bill Summary. You'll probably be pelted with information regarding the House and Senate omnibus education bills due to be heard in their respective committees this week, but I put together this quick summary as the hearings get underway.

One thing is obvious from the get-go. The House Education Finance and Education Policy Committees worked very hard on a number of bills that are fully contained in the House Omnibus Bill. While this might seem the way it should be, there have been many examples I have witnessed over the years where the process does not honor the work done at the committee level. Regardless on what one might think about a number of the provisions in the bill and whether or not one agrees with them, it is hard to argue to vehemently about the process. There are some surprises and some of them are significant, but that largely centers on the changes in Article I dealing with the de-linking of certain formula components from the general education revenue basic amount and the changes to the Integration Revenue Program, which were only discussed in concept at the committee level.

I have written on a number of these provisions in earlier blog entries, so you may want to look through the last week's worth of blog entries if you want further information.

The greatest controversy in the bill will likely center on the treatment of the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts, as the bill calls for dramatic cuts in the integration revenue program (and make the program all levy for those districts), the de-linking of the compensatory program from the general education formula basic amount, and the elimination of aid in the alternative facilities program in which Minneapolis and St. Paul participate.

I'm available for questions all day every day this week. Don't hesitate to call me on my cell at 612-220-7459 if you need further insight.

So with no further adieu, here is the bill summary.

House Omnibus Education Bill Summary

Article I—General Education

1. Formula Allowance

a. $5,155 PPU for 2011-2012 (0.6% increase)

b. $5,210 PPU for 2012-2013 (1.1% increase)

c. $5,250 PPU for 2013-2014 and Beyond (0.8% increase)

2. Compensatory, Elementary and Secondary Sparsity, and Transportation Sparsity De-Linked

3. Small Schools Revenue Funding Category Created

4. Total Operating Capital Equalizing Factor Increased from $10,700 PPU to $12,790 PPU

5. Multiplier for Extended Time Revenue Increased from $4,601 PPU to $5,124 PPU

6. Maintenance of Effort for School Support Staff (Counselors, Social Workers, School Nurses) Repealed (HF 511)

7. Staff Development Set-Aside and Distribution Formula Repealed (Staff Development Set-Aside Re-established without Distribution Formula in Article X Language)(HF 511)

8. January 15 Negotiating Deadline and Penalty Repealed (HF 511)

9. Early Graduation Achievement Scholarship Program Created (HF 257)

Article II—Education Excellence

1. Grad Test Exemption Eliminated/New High Stakes Text Framework Created (HF 568/HF 655)

2. District and Charter School Grading System and School Recognition Program Created (HF 638)

3. Qualified Economic Offer Established as Bargaining Option (HF 269)

4. All Districts/Charter Schools Required to Adopt Q-Comp (HF 947)

5. 403(b) Vendors Decided by District (HF 511)

6. Annual Principal Evaluations Established (HF 879)

7. Enrollment Options for Students at Persistently Low-Performing Public Schools (HF 273)—Bill is Limited to Cities of the First Class

8. Integration Revenue Program Re-named Innovation Revenue Program

a. Minneapolis Reduced from $480 PPU to $168.50 PPU (All Levy)

b. St. Paul Reduced from $445 PPU to $133.50 PPU (All Levy)

c. All Other Districts Currently Receiving Integration Revenue Receive at Current Levles with a Cap of $129 PPU (70% Aid/30% Levy)

9. New Bargaining Framework That Ensures No Bargaining During Months School is in Session Created (HF 339)

Article III—Special Education

1. Special Education Revenue Growth Factors Repealed

2. Third-Party Re-imbursement Program Established (HF 535)

3. Districts Not Required to Provide Educational Services to Non-Special Education Students from Other States Unless Tuition Agreement in Place (HF 360)

Article IV—Facilities and Technology

1. Alternative Facilities Program Made All Levy

2. School Districts With Maximum Effort Loan Awarded Prior to January 1, 1997, May Pay Full Outstanding Principal on the Loan Prior to July 1, 2012, and the Liability of the District on the Loan is Satisified (HF 782)

Article V—Nutrition and Accounting

1. Levy Recognition Based on Pre-Credit Amounts

2. Commissioner Must Approve All Fund Transfer Requests Provided Transfer Does Not Increase Property Taxes (Debt Service Fund Exempted Due to Tax Increase Provision or from either Community Service or Food Service Funds)

Article VI—Libraries

1. No Language Changes, Proposed Appropriations at Current Law Levels

Article VII—Early Childhood

1. Minnesota Early Childcare Program Reorganized/Reformed (HF 669) Provisions include:

a. Parent Aware

b. Early Childhood Education Scholarships

c. Commissioner of Education Required to Report by January 15, 2013, on Recommendations to Streamline Minnesota’s Early Childhood Education Delivery System

Article VIII—Prevention

1. School District Population Requirement for Community Education Director Raised from 2,000 to 10,000 (HF 511)

Article IX—Self-Sufficiency and Lifelong Learning

1. Adult Basic Education Set at $44,550,000

Article X—State Agencies

1. Teacher Evaluation/Tenure Reform Program Established (HF 945)

2. Perpich Center for Arts Education Dissolved/Converted to Charter School (HF 1078)

Article XI—Forecast Adjustments

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