Monday, February 11, 2013

3 Days Worth of Bills.  I didn't post last Thursday and I neglected to mention in last Wednesday's entry on Governor Dayton's State of the State address that bills were introduced during the sessions that accompanied the speech.  Here is a list of some of the higher-profile education-related bills introduced last Wednesday, last Thursday, and today:

Senate Files

SF 356 (Hoffman-DFL-Champlin):  Allows a school board to renew an expiring referendum levy if an increase is not being sought.  Link: 
SF 362 (Stumpf-DFL-Plummer):  Modifies charter school funding by allowing them to borrow on aid anticipation.  Link:

House Files

HF 364 (Bly-DFL-Northfield):  Increases aid for Area Learning Centers and Alternative Programs.  Link:
HF 383 (Benson-DFL-Minnetonka):  Creates Location Equity Index formula as part of General Education Program.  Companion to SF 221 (Bonoff-DFL-Minnetonka).  Link:
HF 393 (Morgan-DFL-Burnsville):  Allows district to use compensatory revenue for early childhood programs.  Link:
HF 416 (Radinovich-DFL-Crosby): Creates guaranteed annual inflationary increase on general education revenue basic formula.  Link:  
HF 432 (Dorholt-DFL-St. Cloud): Re-instates integration revenue program.  Link:
HF 477 (Davnie-DFL-Minneapolis):  Standardizes requirements for graduation.  Link:

Interesting and Spirited Debate.  The winner of the early-session "Spirited, Yet Polite Debate" award goes to the Senate Education Policy Committee for its discussion of Senator Chuck Wiger's (DFL-Maplewood) SF 160, a bill that would increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.  St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva is an ardent proponent of the bill and testified that she believes it would help raise the graduation rate in St. Paul as well as other school districts throughout Minnesota.  Several members of the committee disputed that by pointing to statistics that increasing the compulsory attendance age alone does little to enhance graduation rates.  In response, Dr. Silva contends that keeping students in school longer gives the district the opportunity to intervene in ways that will impress upon students the importance of earning their high school diploma.  This debate will continue throughout the session and the fact that the Senate author is the Chair of the E-12 Funding Division and the House author is the Chair of the House Education Policy Committee pretty much guarantees the bill will receive a lot of attention.  Stay tuned.

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