From Fall 2016 MACTA Conference (via Troy Haugen)

Summary of  Legislative Report on Career & Technical Educator LIcensing (Jan. 2017)

Legislative Study Group on Educator Licensing (LSGEL): http://lcc.leg.mn/lsgel/meetings.html

Career & Technical Educator Licensing Advisory Task Force: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/about/adv/active/ctelic/

MASTER_CTE Adv Task Force Prelim Considerations rev 9 22 16.pdf

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES & Ewald at the Capitol -- 2017 

Legislative Update on HF140--Teacher Licensure--May 19, 2017

Gov. Dayton's Letter of Rationale for vetoing bill

2017_05_18_GMD_Veto_Educator_Licensing_Bill_HF140.pdf

 

Legislative Update--Week of May 15, 2017

Budget Negotiations

Legislative leadership and the Governor began negotiations in earnest this week and some agreement has been reached. Apparently the Governor and legislative leaders have agreed to an agriculture finance bill but all other budget areas remain however. Yesterday, offers were made back and forth and there has been some movement on the E12 target -- it’s at least moving in the right direction. Below is a summary of the E12 and Tax offers traded yesterday. Keep in mind that the target needs to be at least $371 million in order to provide a 2% increase to the formula.  

E-12

Governor -- original budget -- $703 million 

Governor May 16th offer -- $606.2 million with $100 million for VPK

House/Senate May 9th offer -- $372 million

House/Senate May 16th offer -- $408 million 

Conference committee report/vetoed by Dayton -- $303.5 million

Teacher Licensure Bill Passes – Will Governor Sign?

Yesterday, the House and Senate passed HF140. This bill makes significant changes to the teacher licensure system and restructures the role and duties of the state Board of Teaching. The bill establishes four teacher licensure tiers and creates a new Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB). See attached summary for more details.

While agreement was reached between the House and Senate, uncertainty remains about whether or not Governor Dayton will sign the bill because of new concerns raised by Commissioner Cassellius and vocal opposition by Education Minnesota.

Legislative Update--Week of April 24, 2017

On Friday, April 28, the House and Senate Republicans announced that they have agreed to joint targets for the major areas of state budget. The timeline for construction of the proposed budget is not exactly clear at this point and much more work remains ahead. However, House and Senate leadership asked that Gov. Mark Dayton agree to the following timeline: on Monday, May 1 the conference committee reports will be finished and on Thursday, May 4 there will be budget targets released that are agreed upon by the House, Senate, and Governor.

Be mindful that the process this time of year is very unpredictable and fluid. And while the House and Senate have agreed to targets, they are very far apart from Governor Dayton. Whether or not they can find common ground is very uncertain at this point.

E12 Finance Conference Committee

While the budget conference committee met this week, negotiations are going slowly. However, that is likely to change next week. As mentioned above, the House and Senate majorities have established joint targets in order to move forward in their negotiations with the Governor.

The E12 target was set at $300 million, which was the Senate-proposed funding level. The conference committee is scheduled to meet Monday to continue with their negotiations. We are told that the conference committee will complete its work by that evening.

Teacher Licensing Bill Conferees Named

Now that both the House and Senate have passed their respective teacher licensure bills, conference committee is set to begin. On Monday the conference committee will hold the first meeting to begin resolving differences in order to send a final bill to the Governor for his signature. The members of the conference committee are:

House:  Erickson, Bennett, Mariani

Senate:  Pratt, Housley, Kent

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the bill.

What’s Going on with Pensions?

As of today, not much. However, the Pensions Commission is meeting Monday evening and will be unveiling their Omnibus Pensions Bill. And while we don’t have details, we expect provisions to be included to address the underfunding of the Teacher Retirement Association (TRA). As you recall, TRA put forward a proposal, which was included in the Governor’s budget recommendations, calling for a fix to TRA. This included a COLA adjustment as well as a funded employer contribution. More details will be provided next week.

Legislative Update--Week of April 3, 2017

Legislature Goes on Break, 45 Days Remain

The legislature has been moving at its fastest pace of the year, with every day this week featuring many bills heard on both the House and Senate floors. Just this week alone the House heard their omnibus bills on E-12, Public Safety, Legacy funding, Higher Education, Job Growth and Energy Affordability, and Taxes. Meanwhile, the Senate has heard their omnibus finance bills on E-12, Taxes, Environment and Natural Resources, Jobs, Higher Education, Health and Human Services and State Government Financing. With the passage of most major finance bills, the legislature has hit the final stretch, and only 45 days remain until the constitutional adjournment deadline of Monday, May 22.

The legislature is now on a break from Friday, April 6 through Monday, April 17, returning to the capitol on Tuesday, April 18.

Update on House and Senate Omnibus Education Budget Bills

Both the House and Senate have passed their respective omnibus budget bills. Next steps will be for a conference committee to be appointed to work out the differences. Expect that to happen shortly after they return from break.

For your reference, below are the most current versions of the House and Senate education budget bills. I’ve also attached the district runs for your reference.

House bill

House district run (see attached)

Senate bill

Senate district run

House E12 budget bill - district runs.pdf

Legislative Update--Week of March 27, 2017

This week both the House and Senate Education budget bills have been heard in all of their respective committees and are awaiting final floor action. The House is taking up the bill today and the Senate will likely take up their bill Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Since last week’s update, the House bill has been amended. To mitigate some of the impact to school districts with the loss of pre-K funding, an amendment was adopted in the House Tax Committee. The amendment reduced the formula increase from 1.5% to 1.25% per year with the savings going into school readiness. That funding would only be available for two years. When the bill was heard in the House Ways and Means committee, $5.5 million each year was added to provide some school districts additional transportation funding.

The Senate Education budget bill, released Monday, invests $300 million over current level spending. Most of this covers the cost of providing a 1.5% per year per-pupil formula increase. The Senate also provides additional funding to address teacher shortages, AP-IB, and some additional funding for early learning scholarships.

Once the budget bills pass their respective bodies, a conference committee will then meet to resolve differences. At this point, we now know everyone’s position but remember that things can and do change a lot through the conference committee process. While the formula amounts in the House and Senate bills are much lower than is needed, education organizations and many legislators are pushing to have that formula increased in the final budget agreement.

While conference committees could happen next week, they most likely will begin after the Legislature returns from their break (which is from April 8-April 17). 

Listed below is a summary of the budget and tax bills as well as appropriations tracking and district runs. 

2017 Education Budget Proposals.pdf 

House E12 appropriations.pdf

Senate E12 budget bill - appropriations.pdf

House E12 budget bill - compensatory district runs.pdf

House E12 budget bill - district runs.pdf

Senate E12 budget bill - district runs.pdf

Legislative Update--Week of March 16 2017

In a flurry of activity this week, the House and Senate unveiled their budget targets and began passing their respective budget bills.

The House Education Finance committee was first out of the gate with their budget bill. The House E12 target is $257 million, much less than the $371 million needed to provide for a 3% per pupil formula increase. The House proposal includes a 1.5% per year formula increase, complete elimination of voluntary pre-K funding and restructuring of compensatory revenue. The House invests additional dollars to address the teacher shortage act and provides additional funding for early learning scholarships.

Here is a summary of the House bill as well as a comparison to the Governor’s proposal. I’ve also attached the fiscal tracking spreadsheet. Links to other useful information are included in the summary. School district runs are not yet available.

SS-k12education_032217.pdf

2017 Education Budget Proposals.pdf

The Senate will unveil and pass their education budget bill early next week.

Legislative Update--Week of March 13, 2017

Session Reaches Halfway Point

The legislative session is 11 weeks old, which means it is over halfway over. The second committee deadline passes at Midnight of Friday, March 17, which means that a policy bill must have completed the committee process in both the House and the Senate to be eligible to be passed into law. Bills that have not been passed by committee before deadline are still able to be considered in committee next year without having to be introduced, but they cannot pass into law as a standalone bill this year.

Senate Budget Targets Announced

The Senate announced their budget targets late Friday. They announced $900 million in tax relief package.  The E-12 education budget target is a $300 million increase over the base level funding for the 2018-19 biennium. This target makes it very difficult to get a 2% per year increase on the per pupil formula - to increase the per pupil formula by 2% per year costs $371 million over the biennium. The House will release its budget targets early this week.

Dayton Sends Updated Budget and Letter to Legislature

In a letter to legislative leadership Gov. Dayton laid out his principles and expectations for the last half of the session. He stated he would not accept an “arbitrary” 10 percent reduction to the state budget without stating specific reasons for that reduction to the state budget, saying legislators must “state specifically what [they] want state government NOT to do.” He also requested agreement to set a joint conference committee budget target by Friday, April 28, which would leave more than three weeks to negotiate details of the omnibus budget bills before the deadline of Monday, May 22.

Gov. Dayton also released updated budget recommendations following the updated February budget forecast. He proposes to invest an additional $100 million in voluntary prekindergarten for as well as placing an additional $200 million in state budget reserves.

LIFO Bill Passes the House

On Thursday, March 16 the House passed HF 1478, chief authored by Rep. Jenifer Loon that would require school districts and its teachers union to negotiate a process for unrequested leave of absence rather than follow the current default to the “last in, first out” (LIFO).

Committee Updates

Committee agendas were jam packed once again as we headed into the second committee deadline and as the committees finalized hearing budget bills. 

Senate Education Finance Committee heard legislation, authored by Senate Education Finance Chair, Sen. Carla Nelson, to increase the per-pupil formula by 2% per year. 

Other bills of note include:

SF 1362 would prohibit a school board from using operating capital levy and lease levy funds to increase the district’s net instructional space within five years of the board’s final decision to close a schoolhouse and requires that proceeds from debt obligations must be spent in a manner that aligns with the projected proposal submitted for review and comment.  

SF 1252 proposes to increase the tier of referendum equalization levy from $880,00 to $950,000. 

SF 256 provides a credit for donations to foundations that distribute K-12 scholarships to students attending private schools. This bill would have extended the current K-12 tax credit to private school tuition but amendment to remove it was adopted. 

SF 1475 creates an incentive allowance for a district to increase in the participation rate in the MCA exam. Districts or charter schools with a participation rate lower than 95 percent could see a reduction in future funding. 

SF 2094 provides an additional $45 million to reduce the special education cross-subsidy.

SF 1885 creates a state aid program called Foundation and Incentive Revenue which would provide additional revenue based on a district’s proficiency on the MCAs. 

The House Education Finance Committee heard  legislation proposing changes to the PSEO program. The bill expands the definition of eligible institutions, eliminate limits on postsecondary institutions’ ability to advertise or recruit high school students, and requires a school to provide a student enrolled in PSEO and concurrent enrollment courses the same access to computers and software that it provides to other students. The committee also heard HF 1558 which makes changes to the Health Insurance Transparency Act.

Other bills of note include:

HF 1963 would prohibit a school board from using operating capital levy and lease levy funds to increase the district’s net instructional space within five years of the board’s final decision to close a schoolhouse and requires that proceeds from debt obligations must be spent in a manner that aligns with the projected proposal submitted for review and comment. 

HF 2145 expands the reimbursement for nonpublic textbook requiring districts to include annual subscription costs for online books, adds course registration fees for advanced placement courses and expands reimbursable counseling costs and services to include elementary pupils.  

HF 2104 provides additional compensatory revenue to large school districts that receive less than $1,400 of compensatory revenue per free or reduced price meal eligible student. 

 HF 654 proposes to require school district special elections to be held only on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of either an even-numbered or odd-numbered year. It also would require a school district to state on both its referendum ballot and on its notice to taxpayers the amounts of any board-approved local optional revenue and board-approved. 

HF 2259 propose to create a new director of early education and development and office of early education. The director of early education and development is required to develop early education program policies, align funding streams, manage data, and coordinate evaluation of early child care and education programs. It also proposes to move voluntary prek, school readiness, and Head Start to this new division.

HF 1491 proposes to eliminate all Pathway II early learning scholarships and direct the Commissioner to award all early learning scholarships directly to qualifying families. 

HF 1684 proposes to increase school readiness by $30 million per year.

The Senate Education Policy Committee heard SF 1845, which proposes to establish an early education access fund and moves funding for some of the early education programs (voluntary prek, school readiness, Head Start, and early learning scholarships) within MDE to this fund. It also proposes to create a Director of Early Education under the Department of Administration. The bill also proposed to cap the amount a child to generate in annual aid from any of these programs.  While the bill passed out of the committee in this form, it was amended in the Senate State Government Finance committee to call for a study of the early education system.

Legislative Update--Week of March 6 2017

2017 Education Policy Provisions.pdf

2017 Teacher Licensure Provisions.pdf

Friday was the first bill deadline which meant that for a bill to become law it had to make it through the committee process of at least one of the chambers by the end of Friday, March 10. The second committee deadline is next week on Friday, March 17, so a bill that met the first deadline must pass though the committee process of the other chamber by that date t still be eligible to be voted on by the full body of either the House of Representatives of the Senate. Finally, all finance bills must complete the committee process by Friday, March 31 to still be eligible to be voted on by either chamber’s full body.

Because of Friday’s deadline, this week was the busiest of the session; dozens of committees heard hundreds of bills over the past week to meet the first committee deadline. House and Senate Education Policy and Finance committee agendas have been packed all week. We’ve also had to keep track of other committees such as Government Operations, Civil Law, Taxes and Election all of which heard education related bill.

House and Senate Committee Updates

The House Education Committee and the Senate Education Policy Committee passed their respective Omnibus Education Policy bills this week. Unlike past sessions, both bills are straight-forward and for the most part without controversial provisions.

With one exception, the Senate bill includes language to allow 9th- 12th grade students enrolled in a public school to attend courses at a nonpublic school at the student’s expense for up to one-third of the minimum hours. The district or school may agree to grant academic credit to a pupil attending a course at a nonpublic school for secondary credit if the pupil successfully completes the course. Several education organizations in testimony raising concerns about this provision.

Attached is a detailed summary, compliments of AMSD, comparing the policy proposals brought forward by MDE, the House and the Senate.

Both the House and Senate also have stand-alone bills to restructure teacher licensure which are also moving through the process, separate from their respective policy bills.

The House Education Policy Committee also heard several other bills this week. HF 1944 establishes a pilot project for high school apprenticeships coordinated with career and technical education classes. The committee passed the bill which is now headed to the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee.

The committee also heard HF 2259, which proposes to create a new Office of Early Education and Development under the Department of Administration and move several early education programs currently under MDE to this new department. Programs that would move are school readiness, Head Start, early learning scholarships and voluntary pre-K. The bill also calls for a director of early education and development who would be required to develop early education program policies, align funding streams, manage data, and coordinate evaluation of early child care and education programs. 

 While many support the concepts of the legislation, it includes concerning provisions and calls for a funding cap which could impact a family’s ability to access the early learning program of their choice.

The House Education Finance Committee heard several small, local bills this week. One bill of statewide significance the committee reviewed was HF 1024, which proposes to increase funding for the small school’s revenue program by $29 million beginning in FY2018.

The Senate Education Finance Committee heard  SF 1206 which increases debt service and referendum equalization, which is supported by the various education organizations. The committee also heard  SF 1555, the Teachers of Color act. It promotes increasing the number of teachers of color through the alternative teacher professional pay system, expanded use of staff development revenue, teacher loan forgiveness, expanding the Collaborative Urban and Greater MN Educators of color and expanding Grown Your Own pathways.

The House Government Operations and Elections Committee heard HF 654 which requires elections on city, county, and school district referenda questions only to be conducted on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of both the even or odd-numbered years, to coincide with the annual general election date. The bill also adds required ballot language stating the amount of local optional revenue the school district receives. The bill was passed and re-referred to E-12 Finance.

It’s most likely this proposal will be included in the House Omnibus Tax bill so I encourage you to express your opposition to this bill to your local legislators.

The House Government Operations and Elections Committee also heard HF 1585, a bill to require that special elections conducted by local units of government (including counties, cities, towns, and school districts) be held on one of five possible dates: the second Tuesday in March, the second Tuesday in April, the second Tuesday in May, the second Tuesday in August (the standard state primary date, in even years), or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (the standard state general election date, in even years). The bill was amended and laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

Legislative Update--Week of February 27 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, the MN Management and Budget Department (MMB) released the updated budget forecast. This forecast provides the most current state budget estimates which the Legislature will use when determining their budget targets and priorities. The November forecast had the state budget surplus at $1.4 billion over the next two years. On Tuesday MMB announced the surplus has risen to $1.65 billion. The increased revenue is due to higher-than-expected returns on sales tax, and a shrinking unemployment rate.

Both legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton expressed caution when asked about what they intend to do with the additional funds. Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka both stated they will prioritize tax relief, K-12 education, and roads and bridges in their budgets. Next Gov. Dayton will provide an updated 2017-2018 budget proposal based on the updated forecast and House and Senate Republicans will release their budget targets for each of their respective finance committees, which will determine how much of the state budget each area receives in the final budget.

Committee deadlines

The first committee deadline is next Friday, March 10 which means any policy bill hoping to move forward must be heard in its respective committees in one body. The next deadline is the following Friday, March 17 which means any policy bill hoping to move forward must be heard in its respective committees in one the other body.

The House Education Policy Committee will release their Omnibus Education Policy Bill on Monday, March 6. The committee will review the bill and take testimony on Tuesday and consider amendments to the bill later in the week. No word yet on the schedule for the Senate Omnibus Education Policy Bill.

Committee updates

House Education Committee

This week the committee heard HF 1478  which would require a school board and exclusive representative of teachers to negotiate unrequested leave of absence plans and repeals statutory provisions for LIFO. The committee also heard legislation (HF 1421) which proposes to allow a school district to plan for up to five days of instruction provided through online instruction due to inclement weather.

Efforts to help school districts to address the teacher shortage continue this session. Legislators have introduced several bills to address teacher shortages. This week the House heard the Teacher Shortage Act (HF 1663) authored by Rep. Sondra Erickson. This bill expands eligibility for teacher loan forgiveness and the concurrent enrollment training program, provides funding for teacher development and evaluation, expands Q-comp statewide and creates a teacher shortage task force. The bill will head next to the House Education Finance Committee.

House Education Finance Committee

The committee heard two bills (authored by Rep. Loon and Rep. Mariani) to link extended time revenue to the per-pupil formula.

Senate Education Finance Committee

This week the committee heard legislation is increase the general community education formula. The committee also heard a bill to link extended time revenue to the per-pupil formula.

Senate Education Policy Committee  

This week the committee heard legislation, authored by Sen. Wiger, to replace the MCAs with a nationally-recognized college entrance exam. The committee also heard a bill to require one credit in civics in either 11th or 12th grade to the social studies graduation requirement.

The committee also heard a bill creating an academic and behavioral strategist license for special education teachers and the Senate proposal to restructure the Board of Teaching and requirements for teacher licensure.

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 1716 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing the basic formula allowance by two percent per year

H. F. 1727 (Zerwas): A bill for an act relating to energy; requiring public schools to maintain monthly utility consumption data

H. F. 1768 (Fenton): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying alternative teacher preparation program requirements; establishing an alternative teacher preparation grant program

H. F. 1846 (Thissen): A bill for an act relating to health; requiring lead testing of water in public school buildings

H. F. 1874 (Poston): A bill for an act relating to education finance; appropriating money for the collaborative urban educator program

H. F. 1903 (Urdahl): A bill for an act relating to education finance; providing funding for the Increase Teachers of Color Act; seeking to double the number of teachers of color and teachers who are American Indian in Minnesota from four percent to eight percent while ensuring that by 2020 at least 20 percent of candidates in pathways to becoming a teacher are of color or are American Indian; requiring a report; appropriating money

H. F. 1906 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying certain Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act provisions; amending the graduation incentives program

H. F. 1920 (Kresha): A bill for an act relating to education; affecting student inclusion and engagement; making nonexclusionary policies and practices a central focus of pupil discipline; appropriating money

H. F. 1927 (Heintzeman): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing local optional levy equalization for certain districts with seasonal recreational property

H. F. 1944 (Nash): A bill for an act relating to taxation; providing for career and technical education; establishing a high school apprenticeship pilot program with a refundable income tax credit for employers; appropriating money; requiring a report

H. F. 1958 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to state government; education finance; establishing the early education access fund in the Department of Administration; establishing a director of early education and development within the early education access fund; providing for enhanced coordination of early education and development programs; authorizing early education resource hubs; requiring a report; transferring certain early education programs to the director of early education and development; appropriating money

H. F. 1963 (Lohmer): A bill for an act relating to education finance; clarifying the use of school district bond proceeds

H. F. 1966 (Peterson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying school performance reports; creating a school rating system

H. F. 1970 (Thissen): A bill for an act relating to education; creating an Early Care and Learning Commission; coordinating early care and learning activities across Minnesota; authorizing early care and learning funds to be reallocated; appropriating money

H. F. 2021 (Knoblach): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing funding for special education activities; appropriating money

H. F. 2041 (Davnie): A bill for an act relating to education; directing the Board of Teaching to adopt standards for an endorsement enabling licensed high school teachers to provide dual enrollment instruction at a high school

S.F. No. 1405 (Anderson): A bill for an act relating to education finance; appropriating money for the collaborative urban educator program

S.F. No. 1415
(Anderson): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing funding for the paraprofessional pathway to teacher licensure

S.F. No. 1470 (Dahms): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying world's best workforce performance measures and reports

S.F. No. 1471
(Pratt): A bill for an act relating to education; requiring student assessment results be available to school districts and teachers

S.F. No. 1474
(Eichorn): A bill for an act relating to education; authorizing school districts and charter schools to create innovation zones

S.F. No. 1475 (Pratt): A bill for an act relating to education; creating financial incentives for school districts to help students and families understand state standards and encourage MCA and MTAS testing participation

S.F. No. 1476
(Pratt): A bill for an act relating to education; allowing school board proceedings to be posted online; modifying referendum notice requirements

S.F. No. 1510 (Goggin): A bill for an act relating to energy; requiring public schools to maintain monthly utility consumption data

S.F. No. 1534 (Hall): A bill for an act relating to education; prohibiting public school employees from using public funds and resources to advocate to pass, elect, or defeat a political candidate, ballot question, or pending legislation

S.F. No. 1554 (Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying the duties and expiration of the Online and Digital Learning Advisory Council; providing for a grant program to support digital curriculum development in Minnesota school

S.F. No. 1555 (Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education finance; providing funding for the Increase Teachers of Color Act; seeking to double the number of teachers of color and teachers who are American Indian in Minnesota from four percent to eight percent while ensuring that by 2020 at least 20 percent of candidates in pathways to becoming a teacher are of color or are American Indian; requiring a report; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1556
(Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing the basic formula allowance by two percent per year

S.F. No. 1567
(Pratt): A bill for an act relating to education; directing funding for teacher preparation; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1608 (Dahms): A bill for an act relating to education finance; clarifying the allowed uses of long-term facilities maintenance revenue and capital levies; increasing lease levy authority for school districts that are members of cooperative units

S.F. No. 1725 (Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying alternative teacher preparation and compensation programs; creating a Teacher Shortage Task Force; expanding the concurrent enrollment teacher program; requiring a report; appropriating money

Legislative Update--Week of February 20, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28, the MN Management and Budget Department will release the February Forecast. This forecast provides the most current state budget estimates which the Legislature will use when determining their budget targets and priorities.

As a reminder, the November forecast showed a budget surplus of $1.4 billion, which includes a $648 million surplus for the next biennium and $700 million remaining unspent from last session. It’s also important to note that half of this is considered to one-time funding. 

House and Senate Committee Updates

The House Education Committee heard HF140 which proposes changes to teacher licensing and restructures the Board of Teaching into a Professional Standards Board as well as the MDE Policy Bill. The House Education Finance Committee received an overview of compensatory revenue. The committee also heard legislation to increase the appropriation for teacher residency programs.

The Senate Education Finance Committee heard SF1026 which proposes to equalize transportation funding. The Senate Education Policy Committee also heard the MDE Policy Bill.

The House Tax Committee heard another bill to extend the education credit to private school tuition. The House Higher Education Committee heard legislation to establish a program to allow secondary school teachers obtain credits need to teach concurrent enrollment course under the new Higher Learning Commission requirements.

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 1420 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying world's best workforce performance measures and reports

H. F. 1421 (Drazkowski): A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing school boards to adopt policies for certain snow days; authorizing e-learning days for school days with inclement weather

H. F. 1444
(Uglem): A bill for an act relating to education finance; creating a supplemental compensatory revenue formula

H. F. 1454 (Peterson): A bill for an act relating to education; allowing targeted services to be provided during the regular school day

H. F. 1478 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying unrequested leave of absence provisions

H. F. 1491 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying the administration of the early learning scholarship program; prohibiting the commissioner from designating scholarships for use in predetermined qualifying programs

H. F. 1493
 (Loon): A bill for an act relating to early childhood education; modifying certain early learning scholarship provisions

H. F. 1507 (Lucero):  A bill for an act relating to education; creating the Student Data Privacy Act; providing penalties

H. F. 1549 (Christensen): A bill for an act relating to education; allowing school board proceedings to be posted online; modifying referendum notice requirements

H. F. 1558 (Kresha): A bill for an act relating to school district insurance; regulating coverage

H. F. 1593 (Theis): A bill for an act relating to education; allowing public school students to attend courses at nonpublic schools

H. F. 1602 (Urdahl): A bill for an act relating to education; requiring a civics class for high school graduation

H. F. 1612 (Hoppe): A bill for an act relating to education finance; fully funding pupil transportation services; appropriating money

H. F. 1639 (Peterson): A bill for an act relating to education; authorizing school districts and charter schools to create innovation zones; establishing a grant program

H. F. 1663 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying alternative teacher preparation and compensation programs; creating a Teacher Shortage Task Force; expanding the concurrent enrollment teacher program; requiring a report; appropriating money

H. F. 1667 (Peterson): A bill for an act relating to early childhood; requiring contracts for mixed delivery of services in the voluntary prekindergarten program

H. F. 1695 (Kresha): A bill for an act relating to education; establishing a program to promote educational stability for students in foster care; requiring a report

S.F. No. 1186 (Kent) A bill for an act relating to education finance; appropriating money for the support our students grant program; codifying the support our students grant program.

S.F. No. 1189 (Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing a grant for academic and behavioral interventions for low-performing and chronically absent students; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1206 (Senjem): A bill for an act relating to education finance; enhancing equalization aid; increasing state aid for the debt service equalization aid program; modifying the calculation of referendum equalization revenue, aid, and levy; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1207
(Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education; third-party reimbursement for special education evaluation

S.F. No. 1252 (Chamberlain): A bill for an act relating to education finance; modifying the calculation of referendum equalization levy and aid

S.F. No. 1281 (Eichorn): A bill for an act relating to education; allowing public school students to attend courses at nonpublic schools

S.F. No. 1321 (Dahms): A bill for an act relating to school district insurance; regulating coverage

S.F. No. 1338 (Johnson): A bill for an act relating to education; special education teacher licensing

S.F. No. 1361 (Housley): A bill for an act relating to elections; authorizing recall elections for school board members 

S.F. No. 1362 (Housley): A bill for an act relating to education finance; clarifying the use of school district bond proceeds

S.F. No. 1366 (Kent): A bill for an act relating to higher education; requiring the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to establish a program allowing secondary school teachers to earn graduate credits required to teach concurrent enrollment courses; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1397 (Nelson): A bill for an act relating to education; establishing a program to promote educational stability for students in foster care; requiring a report; appropriating money

Legislative Update--Week of February 13, 2017

The pace of session continues to be slower than usual, mostly because policymakers are awaiting the release of the February forecast. However, as we near the first deadline (March 10), things will continue to pick up. As a reminder, here are important dates during the 2017 legislative session:

·         Tuesday, February 28: February budget forecast will be released

·         Friday, March 10: First committee deadline

·         Friday, March 17: Second committee deadline

·         Friday, March 31: Third committee deadline

·         Monday, April 10-Monday, April 17: Legislative spring break

·         Monday, May 22: Session adjourns

House and Senate Committee Updates

The House Education Finance Committee heard legislation to expand the education credit and deduction for prekindergarten expense as well as legislation to provide a refundable credit for individuals attaining a master’s degree in their licensure field. In addition, the committee heard an overview of Q-Comp.

The House Education Committee heard several bills which proved to be controversial. The first bill would direct schools to develop a personal learning plan for third grade students not reading at grade level. Another bill proposes to allow schools to maintain a supply of asthma inhalers. While voluntary, numerous people testified about liability concerns. Lastly, the committee heard legislation which proposed to eliminate willfulness as a requirement from grounds for dismissal or removal.

The House Tax Committee heard legislation to extend the education credit to private school tuition. Numerous education organizations and public education supporters testified in opposition to this legislation.

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 1079 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; establishing the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board; transferring all teacher licensing and support personnel licensing and credentialing authority to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board; appropriating money; requiring a report

H. F. 1217 (Kiel)A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing by five cents the state reimbursement for each school lunch served; appropriating money

H. F. 1218 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; establishing a continuing education program for career and technical education licensure; requiring a report; appropriating money

H. F. 1266 (B. Johnson): A bill for an act relating to education; modifying nonpublic school and charter school pupil participation in certain programs

H. F. 1332 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; requiring student assessment results be available to school districts and teachers

H. F. 1338 (Thissen): A bill for an act relating to education; third-party reimbursement for special education evaluation

H. F. 1376 (Erickson): A bill for an act relating to education; providing for prekindergarten through grade 12 education, including general education, education excellence, teachers, special education, self-sufficiency and lifelong learning, and libraries  - note that this is the MDE policy bill

H. F. 1380 (Fenton): A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing funding for the paraprofessional pathway to teacher licensure; appropriating money

H. F. 1381 (Fenton) A bill for an act relating to education finance; enhancing equalization aid; increasing state aid for the debt service equalization aid program; modifying the calculation of referendum equalization revenue, aid, and levy; appropriating money

S.F. No. 854 (Clausen): A bill for an act relating to education finance; linking extended time revenue to the basic formula allowance

S.F. No. 930 (Rosen): A bill for an act relating to retirement; Teachers Retirement Association financial solvency measures; increasing employer contribution rates; modifying the investment return actuarial assumption; reducing deferral amount and implementing forfeiture procedure for reemployed annuitants; extending the amortization target date; reducing postretirement adjustment increase rates; eliminating postretirement adjustment trigger procedures; authorizing additional funding for school districts to pay for higher teacher retirement employer contribution costs; modifying interest rates charged on certain payments

S.F. No. 936 (Weber): A bill for an act relating to education finance; providing full funding for school district telecommunications funding; renaming the program the K-12 broadband equity aid program; appropriating money

S.F. No. 977 (Pratt): A bill for an act relating to education; providing for innovative instruction in inclement weathe

S.F. No. 1026 (Housley): A bill for an act relating to education finance; fully funding pupil transportation services

S.F. No. 1046 (Clausen): A bill for an act relating to education; establishing a continuing education program for career and technical education licensure; requiring a report; appropriating money

S.F. No. 1070 (Dahms): A bill for an act relating to education; codifying and making permanent the innovative delivery of career and technical education pilot project

Legislative Update--Week of January 31, 2017

This week committees continued to hear testimony from Governor Mark Dayton’s administration regarding his budget recommendations, which will likely continue for the next couple weeks. The February budget forecast will be released on Tuesday, February 28, which will provide legislators with the last evaluation of the state’s fiscal picture before deciding on a two-year state budget. Once the February forecast is released, committees will receive their budget targets (meaning how much money that jurisdiction has to spend) before beginning to compile their major finance (omnibus) bills.

As a reminder, the House and Senate have agreed to the following committee deadlines:

  • Friday, March 10 – committees must act favorably on bills in their body of origin
  • Friday, March 17 – committees must act favorably on bills, or companion bills, that met the first deadline in the other body
  • Friday, March 31 – committees must act favorably on major appropriation finance bills

For a bill to be eligible to be passed into law it must pass through either the House or Senate committee process by March 10. The bill would then have one week to be passed through the other chamber’s committee process to be eligible for a floor vote at any time before adjournment on Monday, May 22.

House and Senate Education Committee Updates

Last week, the House and Senate Education Finance Committees continued to hear overviews. This was highlighted by the Senate Education Finance committee holding two days of hearings with CTE programs from across the state. Sen. Carla Nelson, chair of the Senate committee, stated there were numerous champions of CTE on her committee. Additional topics discussed were World’s Best Work Force and special education.

This next week the Governor’s budget bill is expected to be introduced. The House and Senate Education Finance committees will hear the bill, providing us the opportunity to review the details of his budget recommendations.

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H.F. 602 (Anderson, S.) A bill for an act relating to taxation; individual income; providing that the education expense credit and deduction apply to certain expenditures for prekindergarten expenses

H.F. 603 (Drazkowski) A bill for an act relating to taxation; providing a school building bond agricultural property tax credit

H.F. 627 (Peterson) A bill for an act relating to education finance; modifying the calculation of referendum equalization revenue, aid, and levy

H. F. 689 (Erickson) A bill for an act relating to education; appropriating money for school districts to develop science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based courses.

H. F. 751 (Kresha) A bill for an act relating to education; directing funding for teacher preparation; appropriating money

H. F. 786 (Davids) A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing additional early repayments of maximum effort capital loans

S.F. No. 504  (Clausen) A bill for an act relating to education; directing the Board of Teaching to adopt standards for an endorsement enabling licensed high school teachers to provide dual enrollment instruction at a high school

S.F. No. 552 (Chamberlain) A bill for an act relating to education; regulating disposition of schoolhouses and sites following schoolhouse closings

S.F. No. 558 (Cwodzinski) A bill for an act relating to education finance; increasing appropriations for school readiness programs

S.F. No. 570 (Nelson) A bill for an act relating to education; modifying certain Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act provisions; amending the graduation incentives program

S.F. No. 587 (Dahms) A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing a school district to renew an annual food service management contract up to three additional times

S.F. No. 609 (Dahms) A bill for an act relating to education finance; authorizing additional school employees to participate in Southwest Minnesota State University's special education teacher education program

Legislative Update--Week of January 23, 2017

On Tuesday, January 24, Gov. Mark Dayton released his recommendation for the 2018-2019 budget cycle. Governor Dayton proposed a near; $46 billion budget for the next biennium. This proposal amounts to a 9.6 percent increase in state general fund spending. His recommendations, which prioritize education, health care and transportation spending, will next be introduced as bills containing the details of his recommendations, where they will be heard in the relevant finance committees. The February budget forecast will be released sometime next month and will provide legislators with one last look at the state’s revenue projections. After the budget forecast is released, the House and Senate leadership will designate budget targets to each of their finance committees, providing a look into where the priority issue areas are for both chambers.

Governor’s E-12 budget recommendations

Governor Dayton’s E-12 education budget recommendations for the FY18-19 biennium include a $609 million increase over current level spending. His proposal includes a 2% per year formula increase of 2% per year, $74 million to expand voluntary pre-kindergarten, $40 million for special education aid and $68 million to cover employer contribution increases as part of a proposal to fund the state teacher’s pension.

Attached is a summary of the recommendations as well as four excel files with runs provided by MDE on specific school district details.

2017 Governor Budget Request - E12 education.pdf

sped fy18 gov 01 24 2017.xls

sped fy19 1 24 2017 gov.xls

Copy of Gov Rec 2 Increase FY18 FY19.xls

Debt Service Eq option 2 12 29 16 tm.xls

Committee deadlines announced

There is no yearly deadline for the introduction of bills. However, each year the Legislature establishes deadlines for committee action on bills. Committee deadlines are agreed to in order to winnow the list of topics to be dealt with that session. Once a bill fails to meet a deadline, it is much more difficult to move it forward.

1st Deadline – Friday, March 10 - committees must act favorably on bills in the body of origin

2nd Deadline – Friday, March 17 - committees must act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other body

3rd Deadline – Friday, March 31 - committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills

Upcoming Committee Hearing

Next week on Thursday, February 2, the House Education Innovation committee will hold a hearing on CTE programs from across the state. They have an open invitation to CTE programs to contact the committee administrator if they would like to testify. If there is any interest please contact me and I can set it up. Please note that the testifiers will be on a first come, first serve basis, so the sooner you can reach out the better.

CTE Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 417 (Schomacker) A bill for an act relating to education; establishing the Rural Career and Technical Education Consortium; appropriating money; requiring a report

H. F. 558 (Erickson) A bill for an act relating to education; providing for innovative delivery of career and technical education programs and sharing of district resources

H. F. 574 (Urdahl) A bill for an act relating to taxation; individual income; providing a refundable credit for attaining a master's degree in teacher's licensure field

S.F. No. 310 (Weber) A bill for an act relating to education; establishing the Rural Career and Technical Education Consortium; appropriating money; requiring a report

Other Bill Introductions

H. F. 386 (Kresha) A bill for an act relating to taxation; income; providing a credit for donations to fund K-12 scholarships; extending the K-12 education credit to tuition

H. F. 387 (Knoblach) A bill for an act relating to taxation; individual income; modifying the K-12 education expense subtraction and credit; extending the credit to tuition; increasing the subtraction and credit amounts; increasing the income phaseout for the credit; adjusting the credit and subtraction amount and credit phaseout threshold for inflation

H. F. 388 (Kresha) A bill for an act relating to taxation; income; providing a credit for donations to fund prekindergarten educational programs; requiring districts to accept scholarships funded by donations; requiring a report

H. F. 489 (Fenton) A bill for an act relating to education finance; providing a grant to the Minnesota Principals Academy; appropriating money

H. F. 494 (Wills) A bill for an act relating to education; special education teacher licensing

H. F. 538 (Christensen) A bill for an act relating to education; requiring a personal learning plan for third grade students who do not read at grade level; requiring that a student who does not meet high school standards be informed that admission to a public school is free until age 21

H. F. 553 (Dettmer) A bill for an act relating to education; regulating disposition of schoolhouses and sites following schoolhouse closings

S.F. No. 256 (Chamberlain) A bill for an act relating to taxation; income; providing a credit for donations to fund K-12 scholarships; extending the K-12 education credit to tuition

S.F. No. 333 (Wiger) A bill for an act relating to education; requiring a nationally normed college entrance exam for high school graduation

Legislative Update--Week of January 9, 2017

Legislators’ attention right now is focused on passing a federal tax conformity bill as well as a legislation to provide rebates for individuals on the state health care exchange. As a result, it’s been a quiet week in regards to the education committees. All of the education committees were focused on helping members learn the committee process and come up to speed on finance and education policy issues. MACTA and MnACTE members should note that a number of senators in the education policy committee stated they were interested in expanding and aiding Career and Technical Education in throughout the state.

Committee Hearings of Interest

Next week the House Education Innovation Policy Committee will be reviewing the Legislative Study Group on Educator Licensing Report as well as an overview and update from the Board of Teaching.

The House Education Finance Committee and the Senate E-12 Finance Committee are scheduled to hear overviews Tuesday and Wednesday on early learning.

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 140 - Directing the commissioner of education to plan for restructuring Minnesota's teacher licensure system

H. F. 149 - Establishing a working group to review progress on Minnesota's school finance reform efforts; appropriating money

H.F. 181 - Creating a new source of state aid for school districts with low general education revenue per pupil and low property wealth per pupil

S. F.0087 - Small schools revenue calculation modification

S. F.0011 - Digital student achievement backpack establishment

Legislative Update--Week of January 2, 2017

2017 Session Begins

The first week of the 2017 legislative session is now complete, with no official work being done at the capitol on Friday, January 6. A quick briefing of where the legislature stands as legislators were sworn in to office on Tuesday, the first day of session: the Senate will be controlled by the Republicans for the second time since party designation was used at the legislature, with a very narrow majority of 34 members to the Democrats’ 33 members. The House Republicans boosted their numbers in the last election and now enjoy a majority of 76 members to the Democrats’ 56. Governor Dayton continues as Governor for two more years.

The main task before the legislature and the Governor is crafting and vetting a two-year state budget for all state agencies and programs. Committee deadlines are expected be announced in the next few weeks. Gov. Mark Dayton will release his budget recommendations later this month, with the House and Senate caucuses releasing their budgets at a later date.

Gov. Dayton Releases Tax Proposal

This week, Gov. Dayton proposed a $300 million tax plan which includes federal tax conformity, the Working Family tax credit, Child Care tax credits and reducing property taxes. Most notably, the Governor included two proposals impacting school districts – an agricultural land credit and debt service equalization. His proposal includes $34 million for an agricultural property credit equal to 40 percent of their property taxes attributable to school district debt levies as well as $62 million over four years for debt service equalization.

Capitol Re-Opens!

Upon returning to the capitol building in 2017, members and public alike have been in awe of the newly renovated structure. The 112-year-old capitol has undergone a massive $310 million renovation project over the past three years. After being almost completely closed off to the public last year, it is completely open and has dropped many jaws as Minnesotans walk through the historic building.

Committee Hearings to Begin

The House and Senate education committees begin meeting this week where committee hearings will be focused on helping members learn the committee process and come up to speed on finance and education policy issue updates. Look for hearings on bills to begin the following week or two.

Below are links on the House and Senate Education Committees. Here you will see a list of committee members, committee schedules, and a list of bills referred to the committees.

House Education Finance Committee                                                Senate E-12 Finance Committee

Chair – Rep. Jenifer Loon                                                                   Chair – Sen. Carla Nelson 

House Education Innovation Policy Committee                                 Senate Education Policy Committee

Chair – Rep. Sondra Erickson                                                             Chair – Sen. Eric Pratt

Bill Introductions of Interest

Throughout session I will be providing a list of bill introduced that are of interest or of note. This is not meant to be a list of all the education bills introduced.

H. F. 4: Providing a school building bond agricultural property tax credit; modifying the state general levy; providing income tax subtractions for Social Security benefits and contributions to section 529 college savings plans; providing income tax credits for section 529 college savings plans and student loan payments; appropriating money.

H. F. 27: A bill for an act proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article VII, section 1; allowing owners of agricultural land, real property that is both non-homesteaded and noncommercial, or small business property to vote on levy or bond referendums where the property is located.

H. F. 41: Establishing the Student Physical Privacy Act.

H. F. 50: Amending the definition of public employee to include replacement employees who are employed for more than 60 days as a replacement teacher or faculty member. 

S. F. 4A bill for an act relating to education; directing the commissioner of education to plan for restructuring Minnesota's teacher licensure system.