Monday, January 09, 2017

First Hearing of the Year.  The Senate E-12 Funding Committee had its first meeting of the year and it was also the first hearing for any education-related committee this session.  The agenda featured testimony from Amelia Cruver from Minnesota Management and Budget and Dr. Tom Melcher from the Minnesota Department of Education.  Their testimony dealt with the increases in the base budget for E-12 education in the coming biennium and where the increases are coming from.  The two biggest drivers of increased funding in the budget is the third year phase-in of the Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue program and pupil growth.  Dr. Melcher also discussed the Governor's proposal to increase debt service equalization by lowering the second-tier eligibility threshold.  A number of SEE districts do very well with this proposed change and as I said in a blog entry last week, SEE is extremely appreciative of the Governor's decision to include this provision in his tax proposal.

There will be three education-related hearings tomorrow.  The House Education Innovation Policy Committee meets tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM.  The House E-12 Funding Committee meets at 1:00 PM.  The day wraps up with the Senate Education Policy Committee at 3:00 PM.  The policy committees will be taking testimony from a variety of education organizations outlining their priorities for the 2017 legislative session.

Bill Introductions--January 9, 2017



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