Association of Metropolitan School Districts

Association of Metropolitan School Districts

Every week, Executive Director Scott Croonquist updates members with information on the legislature, relevant events and current news.

Association of Metropolitan School Districts Update

February 24, 2017

February Forecast Coming Tuesday

The February Budget and Economic Forecast is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, February 28.  This forecast will provide the budgetary numbers that the Governor and legislators will use to adopt the 2018-19 state biennial budget.  Soon after the forecast is released, House and Senate leadership will establish their respective spending targets — the level of funding they will allocate to each of the finance committees, including the Education Finance Committees. Please continue your communications to your local legislators and legislative leadership urging them to at least match the level of E-12 Education investment proposed by Governor Dayton.

 

I have attached the SAMPLE letter we developed along with a leadership contact list to assist you.  I encourage you to include some local examples of the challenges your district will face if the Legislature and Governor do not address AMSD’s legislative priorities such as providing at least an inflationary increase in the formula, reducing the special education cross-subsidy and enhancing equalization of the operating referendum and debt service levies.  Please edit the sample letter to tell your personal story and focus on the importance of the House and Senate at least matching the overall level of E-12 funding proposed by the Governor.

 

Review of Legislative Committee Hearings

 

Below is a brief recap of the education committee action from the past week:

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

 

Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee

 

  • SF 709: Miller, the bill creates maximum effort loan aid payments that can be used to reduce current year property taxes levied on net tax capacity within the district, or to reduce future years’ tax levies. The bill was amended and laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • SF 13: Wiger, the bill appropriates $300,000 each year for a grant program that uses singing to improve reading. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

 

House Education Innovation Policy Committee

 

  • HF 140: Erickson, the bill contains teacher licensing and governance reforms.  The bill adopts many of the reform suggestions that were included in the Office of the Legislative Auditor’s report on teacher licensure as well recommendations included in the Educator Licensure Working Group’s report. Ryan Stromberg, Director of Human Resources, Spring Lake Park Schools, testified on behalf of the MN Association of School Personnel Administrators and AMSD in general support of the bill and offered a few recommendations to improve the bill. The bill was amended and re-referred to Government Operations and Elections Policy.

 

House Education Finance Committee

The Committee received an overview of the Compensatory Revenue program and received presentations from Anoka-Hennepin Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools. For more information about compensatory revenue, you can read AMSD’s Position Paper on Compensatory Revenue.

 

House Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee

The Committee heard HF 1067: Bernardy, a bill establishing a program to provide secondary school teachers with the postgraduate credits they need in order to teach concurrent enrollment courses. The program would be run by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and must be accessible to teachers throughout the state. Scholarships and stipends may be provided to eligible teachers in order to incentivize participation.  Mounds View Superintendent Chris Lennox testified in support of the bill. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Senate E-12 Policy Committee

  • SF 453: Chamberlain, the bill would require school districts to identify students in grade 3 or higher who demonstrate difficulty reading. School districts are directed to use screening tools to identify students similar to the state’s dyslexia and literacy specialist. Requires school districts to continue interventions after grade 2 for students identified as not reading at grade level until a student is reading at grade level. Requires a school district to provide alternate instruction that is multisensory, systematic, sequential cumulative and explicit to students that are identified as being unable to read at grade level. Funds a Dyslexia and literacy specialist with $150,000 each year from literacy incentive aid. The bill was amended and laid over for possible inclusion in a future bill.
  • SF 587: Dahms, the bill would allow school districts to renew a contract with a food service management company for up to four additional years. The bill was amended and laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

 

House Education Finance

  • HF 734: Haley, the bill establishes the education partnerships program to support coordinated education partnerships and form a network of support services in neighborhoods. The bill creates three types of grants. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee

 

  • SF 1026: Housley, the bill proposes that transportation revenue for a district or charter school equals the sum of transportation sparsity revenue and transportation cost revenue. Establishes pupil transportation cost revenue and defines pupil transportation cost revenue to be equal to the greater of zero or the difference between (1) the district’s total cost for regular and excess pupil transportation, including depreciation, for the previous year, and (2) the sum of 4.66% of the district’s basic revenue in the previous year, plus transportation sparsity revenue, plus the district’s charter transportation adjustment for the previous year. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

 

House Education Innovation Policy Committee

  • HF 1254: Baker, the bill requires the MPCA annually to set aside $1.5 million of a $47 million settlement with VW Mitigation Settlement for grants to school districts and charter schools to convert a portion of their school bus fleet to propane powered school buses. The bill was amended, passed and re-referred to the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee.
  • HF 1289: Erickson, the bill modifies the funding provisions for the program that raises academic achievement through increased student participation in pre-advanced placement, advanced placement, and international baccalaureate programs. The bill encourages districts to expand access to low-income and other disadvantaged students. The bill was amended, passed and re-referred to the House Education Finance Committee.
  • HF 1376: Erickson, this is the Governor’s prekindergarten through grade 12 education policy bill. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

Tax Committee

  • HF 387: Knoblach, the bill increases the maximum K-12 education deduction from $1,625 to $2,600 for each child in grades K-6, and from $2,500 to $3,900 for each child in grades 7-12, effective in tax year 2017. The bill extends the K-12 education credit to nonpublic school tuition, increases the maximum credit from $1,000 to $1,500 per child, increases the income at which the credit begins to phase out from $33,500 to $50,000, and decreases the rate of the phaseout, effective in tax year 2017. The bill adjusts the maximum deduction, maximum credit, and the income level at which the credit begins to phase out annually for inflation, beginning in tax year 2018. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • HF 602: Anderson, the bill extends the education expense deduction and the education tax credit in Minnesota’s individual income tax to prekindergarten educational programs. Current law limits the deduction and credit to education-related expenses for children in grades K-12. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • HF 574: Urdahl, the bill allows a new refundable individual income tax credit of $2,500 to K-12 teachers who complete master’s degrees in their field of licensure. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

House Education Finance

  • HF 1255: Loon, this bill provides added financial aid and grants for programs operated by intermediate school districts and other cooperative units that provide assistance to students with severe mental health and behavioral health needs. Intermediate 287 Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski testified in support of the bill. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • HF 1380: Fenton, this bill increases the $1 million per year base appropriation to $3 million per year for the existing “grow your own” teacher residency program to help paraprofessionals become licensed teachers. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Senate E-12 Policy Committee

  • SF 768: Clausen, this bill provides added financial aid and grants for programs operated by intermediate school districts and other cooperative units that provide assistance to students with severe mental health and behavioral health needs. Intermediate 287 Superintendent Sandy Lewandowski testified in support of the bill. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • SF 1222: Pratt, this is the Governor’s prekindergarten through grade 12 education policy bill. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

 

Partners for Equity Development

 

If you haven’t had a chance to do so, please check out the Partners of Equity Development website for a great listing of equity education offerings:

 

http://www.partnersforequitydevelopment.com/

 

 

AMSD Board Meeting

 

The next AMSD Board of Directors meeting is next Friday, March 3 from 7 – 9 a.m. in the Grand Hall in the TIES Conference Center.  Our guest speaker will be TRA Executive Director Laurie Fiori Hacking.  Addressing TRA’s unfunded liability is one of the major issues before the 2017 Legislature.  Laurie will provide an overview of TRA’s funding status as well as their legislative proposal.

 

Upcoming Hearings

 

Below is a list of some of the education related hearings scheduled thus far for next week:

 

Monday, February 27, 2017
Committee on E-12 Finance
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson
3 p.m.
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda: S.F. 1038-Weber: School lunch aid state reimbursement increase and appropriation.
S.F. 1033-Dahms: Regional public library systems state aid formula modification; regional public library systems and multicounty, multitype libraries appropriation increase.
S.F. 618-Dahms: Agricultural educator grant program establishment and appropriation.
S.F. 859-Senjem: Girl Scouts River Valley ConnectZ program grant appropriation.
S.F. 945-Nelson: General education aid calculation clarification.
S.F. 1356-Wiklund: The Works Museum grant appropriation.

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Education Innovation Policy

Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson

8:15 AM to 10:00 AM

10 State Office Building

Agenda: HF547 (Fenton) Child and Adult Care Food Program administration by the Health Department provided.

HF1398 (Jessup) General education development term modified.

HF149 (Urdahl) Minnesota school finance reform effort working group established, and money appropriated.

HF1478 (Loon) Unrequested leave of absence provisions modified.

 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Committee on E-12 Policy

Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt

3 p.m.

Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Agenda: S.F. 264-Franzen: Federal Every Student Succeeds Act funding for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities.

S.F. 1070-Dahms: Innovative delivery of career and technical education programs and sharing of district resources codification and permanency.

S.F. 1061-Cwodzinski: Civics class completion for high school graduation requirement.

S.F. 333-Wiger: Nationally normed college entrance exam for high school graduation requirement.

S.F. 953-Nelson: General education development term modification.

A-1 S.F. 953 (PDF)

 

Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

5:30 PM

Room:  G-15 Capitol

Chair:  Sen. Julie A. Rosen

 Agenda: Approval of February 21, 2017, meeting minutes.

Discussion of the benefits and features of MSRS-General, PERA-General, and TRA.

Staff presentation on possible benefit changes and cost savings.

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Committee on E-12 Finance

Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson

3 p.m.

Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Agenda: S.F. 7-Wiger: Full-service community schools grants appropriation.

S.F. 204-Latz: Community education revenue program increase.

S.F. 1300-Eichorn: Educational Innovation Partners Cooperative Center appropriation availability extension.

S.F. 954-Nelson: Extended time revenue charter school calculation modification.

S.F. 857-Torres Ray: Extended time revenue link to basic formula allowance.

 

 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Committee on E-12 Policy

Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt

3:00 p.m.

Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Agenda: S.F. 768-Clausen: School-linked mental health services funding increase; school staff and program development; intermediate school districts program evaluation and alternative learning centers (ALC) additional supports; appropriations.

S.F. 1222-Pratt: Prekindergarten through grade 12 education miscellaneous provisions modifications.

 

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