Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday's Hearings.  The day started with the House Education Innovation Policy Committee holding its hearing, which featured testimony from several groups along that will have issues before the committee in 2015.  The Senate Education Finance/Policy Committee's hearing dealt with the World's Best Workforce initiative that was passed in 2013 and was implemented last year.  Several school districts along with the Minnesota School Boards Association and the Association of Metropolitan School Districts testified with their impressions on the bill.  There is no doubt that the law has required school districts to perform a number of tasks that they would not have performed in the absence of the legislation and much of the work is redundant (or at least the merging of previously performed studies and gathered measurements into one document), but I believe there is a consensus that if provided support and clarification, districts will glean some value from the work involved.  The House Education Finance Committee met in the afternoon and its meeting picked up where it left off on Wednesday with testimony from various educational organizations outlining their priorities for the 2015 legislative session.

Star Tribune on Teacher Evaluation Bill.  Here's a link to an article in the StarTribune on Senator Terry Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) and her introduction of a bill that would eliminate seniority as the basis for unrequested leave-of-absence decisions.  This is also known as the elimination of "last in/first out" in layoff decisions.  The bill referenced in the article was introduced on Thursday and will be among those listed in the link of today's bill introductions below.  Here is a link to the article:

Bernadeia Johnson Interview.  To say most everyone was shocked when Dr. Bernadeia Johnson resigned as superintendent of the Minneapolis School District last month would be an understatement.  Dr. Johnson gives us a synopsis of went into her decision in this interview published today in MinnPost.  Here is a link to the interview:

As Promised.  Bill Introductions for Thursday, January 15.  


SF 88 -- Skoe -- Requires Commissioner to reauthorize existing four-day school week plans --

SF 97 -- Bonoff -- Modifies requirements for placing teachers on unrequested leave of absence (bill referenced in news story above) --

SF 105 -- Bonoff -- Grants school construction funds to the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shing Native American school --

SF 115 -- Wiger -- Allows schools to start the school year before Labor Day --

SF 126 -- Housley -- Makes Forest Lake ISD #831 eligible for the Alternative Facilities Program --

SF 133 -- Dahle -- Provides teacher development and evaluation revenue to educational cooperatives and education districts --

SF 145 -- Schmit -- Directs the commissioner of education to provide guidance to school districts regarding certain technology initiatives --

SF 155 -- Wiger -- Increases school readiness aid --

SF 157 -- Saxhaug -- Provides full funding for K-12 pupil transportation --


SF 194 -- Slocum -- Establishes additional accountability measures for charter schools serving at-risk populations --

SF 197 -- Miller -- Authorizes school boards to implement flexible learning-year programs --

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