There were several amendments added in the committee today that had not received much attention prior to the hearing. None of these issues are new, but it was a little surprising to see them come up today. The additions are as follows:
- A requirement that school districts teach a civics course in either 11th or 12 grade.
- A requirement that the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education, in consultation with the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, assist school districts to develop and implement a consent program to reduce instances of sexual abuse.
- Requirement that PELSB survey all teacher preparation programs to determine the availability of dyslexia instruction.
Student Discipline Debate. I don't know how many of you remember the old James J. Kilpatrick versus Shana Alexander segment on 60 Minutes called Point/Counterpoint where the conservative Kilpatrick and the liberal Alexander would hash over an issue in a brief exchange. The debate between Katherine Kersten and Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius over the proposed changes to student discipline that may come about due to concerns voiced by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights over the racial disparity in suspensions.
Here are the articles from the StarTribune, with Kersten's initial take from the Monday edition and Commissioner Cassellius' response from Tuesday.
Kersten: Undisciplined: Chaos may be coming to Minnesota classrooms, by decree
Cassellius: Counterpoint: What Katherine Kersten can't grasp about schools but readers should
Senate (Wednesday 3/21)
SF 3639--Koran--Requires districts to allow online learners access to a school site.
SF 3654--Utke--Requires that statewide tests be given after April 14.
SF 3655--Rosen--Authorizes school districts to use Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue for school safety building improvements.
SF 3664--Wiger--Requires school districts to publish a summary of its crisis management policy and establishes threat assessment teams and oversight committees.
SF 3674--Eichorn--Broadens eligibility for natural disaster debt service equalization program.
SF 3727--Franzen--Provides a definition for STEM education.
Senate (Thursday 3/22)
SF 3733--Fishbach--Allows patriotic societies the opportunity to encourage student participation.
SF 3742--Nelson--Requires credit in government and citizenship for high school graduation.
SF 3743--Nelson--Creates competitive grant program for character development education.
SF 3746--Benson--Requires school districts to adopt student mobile device policy.
SF 3768--Kent--Modifies teacher licensure requirements.
SF 3787--Senjem--Provides grant to develop a teacher preparation program that leads to a license to teach the blind or visually impaired.
House (Wednesday 3/21)
HF 4081--Sandstede--Increases transportation funding.
HF 4115--Slocum--Raises revenue for charter schools to approximate school district revenue.
HF 4117--Urdahl--Requires credit in government and citizenship for high school graduation.
HF 4119--Jessup--Requires teacher preparation programs to include instruction on dyslexia.
HF 4120--Anselmo--Establishes safe schools revenue program.
House (Thursday 3/22)
HF 4141--Gunther--Authorizes school districts to use Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue for school safety building improvements.
HF 4142--Urdahl--Creates competitive grant program for character development education.
HF 4201--Omar--Requires guidance counselor in every school.
HF 4202--Fischer--Requires school districts to publish a summary of its crisis management policy and establishes threat assessment teams and oversight committees.
HF 4207--Maye-Quade--Requires affirmative consent instruction.
HF 4208--Davnie--Creates state fund for unreimbursed special education costs.
HF 4209--Anselmo--Provides a definition for STEM education.
HF 4210--Loon--Increases number of pupil audits.