Sunday, April 17, 2016

Something I Forgot to Mention.  When providing my summary of the Senate Education Finance bill last week, I did mention the $9-plus million put into the QComp program for the coming fiscal year.  What I neglected to mention--which is much bigger news--is that the Senate bill proposes that the cap on the QComp program be totally eliminated.  That would provide a pathway for all school districts currently not participating in QComp with the opportunity to move in that direction without the fear of running into the funding cap on the program.  As I've said (and written) many times, the largest remaining inequity in the funding system is the disparity resulting from districts receiving $260 per pupil unit in QComp funding and those who do not receive this revenue.  While the budget tails in the next biennium for this proposal run in the neighborhood of $41 million in the next biennium, making progress in this area would be a welcome development and would certainly provide a lot of help to a lot of Minnesota school districts.

Senator Bonoff Running for Congress.  Our SEE meeting was probably the last speech to an education group State Senator Terri Bonoff made before her announcement on Saturday morning that she will be running against Congressman Eric Paulsen in Minnesota's Third Congressional District.  This is going to be a very interesting year in Minnesota politics.  There is no statewide race other than the Presidential race, meaning there will likely be a lot of ad spots open.  With Senator Bonoff's decision to run against Congressman Paulsen, along with the Congressman Nolan/Stuart Mills rematch in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District and the race between DFLer Angie Craig against the Republican opponent to be determined in the August primary, there is going to be a lot of money invested in these races for political advertising that will hit the airwaves this fall.

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