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 10, 2017

 

 

Call Your Legislators and Legislative Leaders

 

It is not too early to be contacting legislative leadership and your local legislators to urge them to make E-12 Education a top priority as they establish their budget targets.  While the official targets likely won’t be set until after the February State Budget and Economic forecast is released on February 28, legislative leaders are already engaged in discussions with committee chairs and their respective caucus members about their priorities.  Governor Dayton has proposed a $604 million investment in E-12 education.  I encourage you to email or call legislative leaders and your local legislators to urge them to at least match the level of investment proposed by the Governor.  I am attaching a document with a list of the legislative leaders including their contact information for your convenience.  In addition, calls or emails to Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius thanking them for their proposed investment in public education would be helpful.

 

 

Review of Legislative Committee Hearings

 

Below is a brief recap of the education committee action from the past week including links to some of the bills, presentations and handouts.

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

 

Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee

 

 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

 

House Education Innovation Policy Committee

 
  • HF 602: Anderson, the bill would extend 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 passed and re-referred to the House Education Finance Committee.
  • HF 574: Urdahl, the bill creates 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 amended, passed and re-referred to the House Education Finance Committee.
  • HF 731: Erickson, the bill adds citizenship to the list of subject areas for compulsory instruction. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

House Education Finance

The Committee continued their overview of the Governor’s proposed education budget and took public testimony on the bill. Governor’s Education Budget documents and district runs. Testimony included Dr. David Heistad

executive director of research, evaluation & assessment, Bloomington Public Schools and Scott Croonquist, executive director, AMSD.

 

Senate E-12 Policy Committee

The Committee received presentations on the OLA Teacher Licensure report and the Teacher Licensure Legislative Working Group report.

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

House Education Finance

The Committee continued to take testimony on the Governor’s Education Budget.

 

Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee

  • SF 189: Kiffmeyer, the bill creates a new state aid for school districts with low general education revenue per pupil and low property wealth per pupil, and money appropriated. Testimony in support included Superintendent Bruce Watkins, Elk River, and Superintendent Jay Haugen, Farmington. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • SF 186: Wiger, the bill creates grants to support the planning and implementation of transition teams to assist students in their transition to high school. The bill was amended and laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill. Testimony included Superintendent Christine Osorio,  North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, and Superintendent Mark Larson, Mahtomedi.
  • SF 442: Anderson, the bill increases funding for the Minnesota Math corps. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.
  • SF 718: Nelson, the bill is the Governor’s Education Budget proposal. The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in a future omnibus bill.

 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

 

House Education Innovation Policy Committee

The Committee received an update from Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts on student conduct and disciplinary issues. Testifiers included Superintendent Ed Graff, Minneapolis Public Schools, and Superintendent John Thein, St. Paul Public Schools. The Committee also received a presentation on the Student Discipline Working Group report.

 

The Committee also heard HF 836: Erickson, a bill relating to character development education. The bill was passed to the general register.

 

Focus on Five and Under Working Group

The Focus on Five and Under Working Group reviewed the Dakota County and Hennepin County proposals on Data sharing.

 House Education Finance

Bills of note on the Committee’s agenda:

  • HF 255: Anderson, the bill would increase the maximum K-12 education expense 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. The bill also adjusts the income level at which the credit begins to phase out annually for inflation, beginning in tax year 2018. The bill was passed and re-referred to the Tax Committee.
  • HF 386: Kresha, the bill would allow individual income and corporate franchise tax credits equal to 70 percent of the amount contributed to foundations that award scholarships to eligible K-12 students, make grants to charter schools, or support public schools. The maximum credit statewide is $35 million per year. The bill extends the existing K-12 education tax credit to include expenses spent on tuition. The bill also indexes the existing K-12 education tax credit amount and income threshold to increases in inflation. The bill was amended, passed on a roll call vote of 12 to 8 and was re-referred to the Tax Committee.
  • HF 387: Knoblach the bill would increase 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 $47,500, and decreases the rate of the phase-out, 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 passed on a roll call vote of 12 to 8 and was re-referred to the Tax Committee.

I joined several other education groups in speaking in opposition to HF 386 and HF 387.  Here is a link to AMSD’s Position Paper on Vouchers.

Senate E-12 Policy Committee

The Committee received an overview of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the World’s Best Workforce from Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

 

ESSA Update

 

As you may have heard, Congress has taken the first step toward overturning the federal ESSA rules recently adopted by the United States Department of Education.  Here is a link to a story from Education Week: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2017/02/house_scrap_essa_teacher_rules.html

 

In the meantime, the MDE is moving forward with several working groups and committees to develop a new state accountability plan.  The MDE will be hosting a public conversation on “What makes a well-rounded education for all students” on Saturday, February 25 at 10 a.m. at Brooklyn Center High School.  I am attaching a flyer with further details.

 

House Research Publication

 

House of Representatives Research has released an updated version of its Youth and the Law publication: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/youthlaw.pdf

This is a 129-page guidebook explaining state law and court cases which establish rights, responsibilities, and protections for youth, including information on economic protection, education, health and social services, and criminal justice.

 

 

Reimagine Minnesota

The first two World Cafe’ community conversations were held this week and both were a tremendous success!  I am attaching a flyer with further information including a schedule of the remaining community meetings.

 

Upcoming Hearings

Below is a list of some of the education related committee hearings that have been scheduled for next week.

 

Monday, February 13, 2017 – 3:00 PM

Committee on E-12 Finance

Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson

Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Agenda: S.F. 718-Nelson: Early childhood, k-12 and adult education appropriations. Following presentation of the budget bill public testimony will be taken.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Education Innovation Policy Committee

Chair: Rep. Sondra Erickson

8:15 AM to 10:00 AM

10 State Office Building

Agenda: HF675 (Quam): Schools allowed to maintain a supply of asthma inhalers.

 

HF538 (Christensen): Third grade students who do not read at grade level personal learning plan required, and student who does not meet high school standards required to be informed that admission to a public school is free until age 21.

 

HF281 (Bly): Language proficiency requirements for students studying Latin clarified.

 

HF341 (Thissen): Strategies pursued to prevent over-enrollment of minority students and English learners in special education, dismissing more minority students than other students with disabilities, or placing more minority students in settings other than general education classrooms; and cultural competency emphasized.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 – 3:00 PM
Committee on E-12 Policy
Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda: S.F. 574-Senjem: Asthma inhalers schools and districts stock supply authorization.

S.F. 504-Clausen: High school teachers dual enrollment instruction authorization.

S.F. 570-Nelson: Postsecondary enrollment options (PSEO) act provisions modifications; graduation incentives program modifications.

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement

5:30 PM               

Room:  G-15 State Capitol

Chair:  Sen. Julie A. Rosen

 Agenda:

  1. Public testimony on S.F. xxxx; H.F. 722 (Murphy, M.): TRA funding proposal.
  2. Public testimony on S.F. xxxx; H.F. xxxx (Revisor #17-2806): SPTRFA funding proposal.
  3. Motion LCPR17-M1:  Approval of actuarial assumptions for MSRS-General, MSRS-Correctional, State Patrol Plan, Legislators Plan, PERA General, PERA-Correctional, PERA-P&F, SPTRFA, and TRA.
  4. Review of actuarial assumption changes resulting from the Combined Service Annuity study.  Michael de Leon, Lead Actuary, Deloitte Consulting
  1. Alternatives to the proposals to reset the amortization period.  Michael de Leon, Lead Actuary, Deloitte Consulting
  1. S.F. 545 (Rosen); H.F. 565 (O’Driscoll):  Revised and updated 2016 Omnibus Retirement Bill.

 

 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 – 3:00 PM
Committee on E-12 Finance
Chair: Sen. Carla J. Nelson
Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.
Agenda: Testimony related to TRA funding and unfunded liabilities, adequacy of Governor’s proposed aid (in SF 718) and anticipated implications of pension debt on future K-12 committee and school district budgets.
Testimony from:
The Teacher Retirement Association;
The St Paul Teacher Retirement Fund Association;
The Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement;
The Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence

 

Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 3:00 PM

Committee on E-12 Policy

Chair: Sen. Eric R. Pratt

Room 1100 Minnesota Senate Bldg.

Agenda: S.F. 711-Pratt: Education partnerships coalition fund establishment and appropriation.

Members receive a full update, with more details.  Interested in joining AMSD?  Click here for more details!