Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Still Catching Up!

I only managed to get the Senate bills from the past two weeks entered during my last blogging session, so here are the House bills for the same period.  As I said in that missive, there are a fair number of bills that were introduced, heard, and passed last session that became part of the ill-fated omnibus supplemental appropriations and policy bill vetoed by the Governor that are resurfacing.

House Introductions

Monday, January 14

HF 55 (Jurgens)--Modifyies school lunch provisions.

HF 57 (Erickson)--Education statutes clean-up bill repealing obsolete provisions and making nonsubstantive language changes.

HF 72 (Gunther)--Allows districts to used long term facilities maintenance revenue for building demolition and material removal.

HF 73 (Gunther)--Expands definition of extended time revenue to students enrolled in career and technical courses.

Thursday, January 17

HF 114 (Lucero)--Creates minimum aid guarantee for low per pupil revenue school districts.

HF 115 (Lucero)--Creates new categorical revenue program for districts with low per pupil revenue and low per pupil property wealth.

HF 116 (Freiburg)--Allows school district board to automatically renew existing referendum levy authority.

HF 125 (Bennett)--Establishes evidence-based grant standard for any legislative grant given to an organizations providing services to pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students.

HF 151 (Urdahl)--Establishes working group to study possible changes to Minnesota's education funding system.

HF 152 (Lueck)--Appropriates money based on general fund forecast to compensate permanent school fund for certain lands.

HF 163 (Youakim)--Makes technical changes to school board vacancy statute.

HF 169 (Daniels)--Modifies charter school admission lotteries.

HF 193 (Murphy)-- Increases special education funding for school districts, reduces the tuition billbacks to resident school districts and adds operating referendum revenue to general education revenue for charter schools

HF 194 (Murphy)--Appears to be identical to HF 193.

HF 196 (Freiburg)--Requires seat belts on newly-purchased school buses.

Tuesday, January 22

HF 207 (O'Neill)--Modifies Monticello special education aid adjustment.

HF 208 (Kunesh-Podein)--Establishes deadline for teacher contract negotiations.

HF 209 (Kunesh-Podein)--Requires schools for report on testing material expenditures.

HF 224 (Sundin)--Requires child safety curriculum.

HF 244 (Claflin)--Requires radon testing for school buildings.

HF 246 (Bennett)--Establishes vocational enrichment program.

HF 247 (Kunesh-Podein)--Establishes grant program to increase student access to licensed media specialists.

HF 248 (Erickson)--Creates grant program to broaden access to music education in rural Minnesota.

HF 249 (Urdahl)--Changes graduation requirements to ensure students are prepared to be capable citizens and participate in the political process.

HF 250 (Kunesh-Podein)--Requires affirmative consent instruction.

Thursday, January 24

HF 292 (Kunesh-Podein)--Provides grant to Girl Scouts River Valley for ConnectZ program.

HF 314 (Youakim)--Allows school districts to start before Labor Day.

HF 323 (Garofalo)--Creates charter school enrollment preference for students living in or near Castle Rock township.

HF 328 (Runbeck)--Requires teacher preparation programs to include instruction on dyslexia.

HF 329 (Runbeck)--Modifies duties of dyslexia specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education.

HF 337 (Davnie)--Authorizes districts to transfer surplus in community education fund to general fund with approval of the Minnesota Commissioner of Education.

In other news.  Erin Golden has been doing some really great reporting for the Minneapolis StarTribune on the education issues that will likely emerge during the 2019 legislative session.  Two weeks ago, she wrote a piece on special education funding (or lack thereof) and just yesterday, she wrote a piece outlining Governor Walz' concern about increasing reliance on voter-approved referendum levies.

The special education article is pretty straightforward (plus includes a quote from me) and the second article recalls the debate we had within SEE during the 1990s as to whether the state should concentrate on making certain that general education revenue was more sufficient to meet districts' needs and greatly limit voter-approved levies while leaving them largely unequalized or to continue to work on equalizing the referendum and debt service levies to provide greater--and fairer--access to voter-approved levies.  The latter approach carried the day in those debates, but I sense in the article that the Governor may want to re-visit that discussion.  Regardless of the direction, the property tax is going to be central if adequate resources are going to be available and SEE will continue to fight for fairness in the application of the property tax.  I'm looking forward to seeing the Governor's recommendations and I am eager to work with him and the Commissioner of Education on making Minnesota's education system both adequate and equitable.

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