By Sam Walseth, MREA Lobbyist
Anti-bullying legislation has been moving through the legislative process this session. Spurred forward by an interim task force sponsored by Governor Dayton, advocates for kids who have suffered from bullying behavior in school are pushing legislation that would requires school personnel to get trained on, report on and better manage bullying among students in their schools with an aim toward creating a positive school climate.
The bill, HF 826, ran into a snag along the way as the state’s Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) agency determined through surveying school districts, that the proposed legislation could cost upwards of $30 million across the state.
After getting pushback from legislative sponsors, MMB went back to the districts they surveyed and asked them to sharpen their pencils. Metro area districts reported back that they could absorb the new administrative requirements contained in the bill. Rural districts, however, maintained for the most part that new administrative burdens would take place and they don’t have the staff to simply absorb new duties.
The latest Local Impact Note (LIN) still shows about a $20 million cost across the state to implement the new law.
On Monday afternoon, you can watch the House of Representatives debate the bill on the floor. Tuesday morning the Senate E-12 budget division will take up the companion bill SF 783. View the House live web stream. Or follow the debates here.