Monday, March 21, 2016

Relatively Quiet Day.  You wouldn't know it from all the action, but there were no education-related committee meetings in either the House or Senate today, so things were fairly quiet on that front.

The Senate DFL caucus did release their 2016 education funding and policy priorities, which include a matching grant program for student support services (social workers, psychologists, nurses, chemical dependency counselors, and guidance counselors), programs for teacher recruitment and retention, and a voluntary pre-kindergarten program.

Here is a You Tube link to Senate Media Services coverage of these priorities:  Senate DFL Education Priorities

Things Will be Picking Up.  Healthy-sized agendas for the remainder of the week in education.  The policy bill deadline is Friday, April 1, so the policy portion of the education bill will have to be constructed by then.  It will then be combined with the funding portion of the respective education bills in each house, which will then be folded into an omnibus supplemental budget bill that will contain all budget and policy provisions in all spending areas.  At least that's how the plan was described to me awhile ago.  The question will be whether or not the House will have a supplemental budget bill.  I am confident the House will put together a bill with policy provisions, but it is unclear at this point if any of the House budget committees will receive a target for possible spending.  Targets will likely be announced when the Legislature returns from a short break of Friday through Monday early next week.  I will certainly keep you posted.

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