It looks like I haven't blogged in a bit so it's time to get back on the stick and report the goings-on at the Legislature. The first two full weeks of the 2019 session have largely been devoted to introducing new legislators (and new committee chairs) with the process and the viewpoints of the various lobbying organizations. The education-related committees in both the House and Senate have heard from all of us in the lobbying trade and two funding themes look to be emerging. The general education basic formula will always receive a lot of attention, but, in addition, special education funding--both in terms of level of funding and distribution--appears to be running neck-and-neck with the basic formula as far as priorities appear to be stacking up. In addition, there appears to be some appetite to pare back some of Minnesota's special education rules and regulations in an attempt to reduce the paperwork burden on Minnesota's special education teachers and administrators. Another item of interest is that a number of provisions from last year's vetoed omnibus supplemental budget and policy bill are being introduced again this session. Given the change in control of the House of Representatives, it will be interesting to see if all of these provisions have the same success in 2019.
Here are the bill introductions from the past two weeks.
Monday, January 14
SF 94 (Eichorn)--Allows nonpublic students to enroll in PSEO in the 10th grade.
SF 108 (Wklund)--Grant for Works Museum.
SF 109 (Rest)--Allows districts to renew existing referendum authority by board approval.
SF 116 (Clausen)--Requires teacher training to better work with students with dyslexia.
SF 122 (Clausen)--Increases general education formula by 3% and ties formula to inflation.
SF 123 (Clausen)--Requires teacher preparation programs to provide instruction on dyslexia.
SF 136 (Newton)--Allows districts to renew existing referendum authority by board approval.
Thursday, January 17
SF 148 (Dzeidzic)--Requires a school counselor in every school.
SF 159 (Clausen)--Eliminates need to short term objectives on IEPs in some instances.
SF 161 (Clausen)--Prevents public employers from reducing pay for individuals serving on PELSB.
SF 162 (Clausen)--Requires Commissioner of Education to develop child abuse awareness posters.
SF 177 (Bigham)--Requires school safety assessment teams in school districts.
SF188 (Dziedzic)--Requires affirmative consent instruction.
SF 193 (Rest)--Provides for cursive instruction in elementary schools.
SF 196 (Clausen)--Requires teacher preparation programs to include instruction on dyslexia.
SF 201 (Bigham)--Requires radon testing in school buildings.
SF 218 (Dziedzic)--Creates state fund to pay for unreimbursed special education costs.
SF 229 (Eichorn)--Provides funding for reading and math corps at American Indian controlled tribal and grant schools
SF 234 (Wiger)--Provides funding for Race2Reduce water conservation programming.
SF 238 (Housley)--Modifies pupil transportation formula and provides for a teacher transportation working group.
SF 247 (Pratt)--Provides for disposal of unclaimed drugs or medications in schools.
SF 269 (Hayden)--Expands access to driver education programs for low-income students.
Tuesday, January 22
SF 289 (Clausen)--Defines cultural competency for teacher licensure.
SF 292 (Latz)--Increases community education funding.
SF 293 (Nelson)--Requires Commissioner of Education to collaborate on construction and skilled trades counseling.
SF 294 (Nelson)--Requires students receive one course in government and citizenship in grade 11 or 12 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.
SF 295 (Nelson)--Establishes P-TECH schools.
SF 299 (Chamberlain)--Requires Commissioner of Education to develop an academic achievement rating system.
SF 313 (Bigham)--Requires schools to report on testing material expenditures.
SF 323 (Torres Ray)--Requires affirmative consent instruction.
SF 339 (Hoffman)--Requires child safety curriculum.
SF340 (Draheim)--Provides for transportation of pregnant and parenting students to qualified programs.
SF 355 (Jensen)--Amends mental health education requirements.
SF 369 (Cwodzinski)--Increases funding for school-linked mental health grants, Support our Student grants, and full-service community schools.
SF 370 (B. Anderson)--Special education aid adjustment for Monticello school district.
SF 373 (Hawj)--Requires civics class for high school graduation.
SF 380 (Bigham)--Creates bargaining deadline for teacher contracts.
SF 389 (Pratt)--Authorizes districts to conduct alternative fire drills.
Thursday, January 24
SF 400 (Ruud)--Provides grant to Girl Scouts River Valley for ConnectZ program.
SF 402 (Simonson)--Increases special education formula and reduces tuition billbacks for special education services. Also provides referendum and local option revenue to charter schools.
SF 403 (Simonson)--Looks like the same language as SF 402.
SF 411 (Kent)--Modifies school lunch provisions.
SF 423 (Utke)--Creates grant program to expand music education across Minnesota.
SF 427 (Little)--Creates enrollment preference for students living in Castle Rock township.
SF 431 (Newton)--Requires adequate levels of counseling services in schools.
SF 482 (Pratt)--Modifies IEP requirements to permit reporting of student performance on statewide assessments.
SF 484 (Rest)--Requires that certain forecasted positive fund balances be used to reduce special education proration.
SF 485 (Nelson)--Provides for competency-based education.
SF 493 (Jasinski)--Modifies charter school admission lotteries.