The Omnibus E-12 Education Bill was presented to the Senate E-12 Education Finance and Policy Committee and the House E-12 Education Finance Committee respectively on Wednesday afternoon. The committees also took public testimony from various stakeholders including Commissioner of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker, AMSD Executive Director Scott Croonquist (pictured below) and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Supt. Mary Kreger (pictured right).
The hearing primarily focused on the change items to the budget, with nonpartisan House and Senate staff providing detailed explanations of the spreadsheets that outline the budget changes. Copies of the bill, the legislative summary, spreadsheets, change items and a district run can be found on the AMSD website at:
The final Omnibus E-12 Education bill included only policy provisions that had been adopted by the conference committee, so many policy proposals, including modifications to the tiered teacher licensing law, are not included in the final bill. The vast majority of the funding is directed to the following areas:
A General Education Formula Funding Increase of 2 percent per year for a cost of just under $389 million.
Special education funding of just under $91 million. Adds a new component to the special education formula — cross-subsidy reduction aid — equal to 2.6 percent of unreimbursed costs for FY 2020 and 6.43 percent of the cross-subsidy for FY 2021 and later. The bill also reduces the portion of unreimbursed special education costs billed back to the resident district from 90 percent to 85 percent in FY 2020 and 80 percent in FY 2021 and later.
Full funding to continue the 4,000 VPK seats for two more years at a cost of just under $47 million.
One-time safe schools supplemental aid of approximately $30 million to be distributed statewide on a per pupil basis. The safe schools aid is one-time and is contingent upon a positive closing balance on June 30.
In addition, the Omnibus Tax Bill includes $9 million for referendum equalization.
Some additional funding provisions include:
$1 million for the establishment of P-TECH schools as a public-private partnership to prepare students for high-skill jobs of the future. P-TECH schools will be eligible for concurrent enrollment aid.
$1.5 million of combined, continued funding for the Statewide Concurrent Enrollment Teacher Training program and the Northwest Regional Partnership to assist concurrent enrollment instructors gain the credits needed under the accreditation standards.
A one-time grant to the City of Saint Paul for $250,000 per year for the 2020/21 biennium for a college savings account pilot program.
A one-time increase of $99,000 in FY 20 for the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color grants.
$750,000 per year for mentoring, induction and retention incentive program grants for teachers of color.
Expands the definition of regular transportation to include the transportation of pregnant teens and teen moms to and from a school program that provides academic instruction, at least four hours of parenting training a week and high quality child care on site with the capacity to serve all children of enrolled pupils.
$75,000 per year for the Reach Out & Read program in FY 20/21 only.
A one-time grant of $265,000 for a grant for suicide prevention training for teachers.
A $235,000 grant for the MN Council on Economic Education.
The bill also makes changes to dyslexia screening, adds new requirements to water testing for lead, and encourages — but does not mandate — that school districts offer a civics course for credit to 11th and 12th grade students.
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