Under the leadership of school board members, administrators, teachers and community members, MREA focuses on what puts first the education, growth and development of learners to bring about our best possible future.
In the most recent biennium, MREA led advocacy and collaborated with many partners on behalf of Greater Minnesota schools. School districts continue to benefit from MREA’s leadership and advocacy to establish and preserve Long-Term Maintenance Funding (LTMF) with a 3-year phased-in equalized levy.
This session MREA led and collaborated to gain legislative approval to:
- Create Ag2School 40% ag credit for school facility debt taxes
- Add 2% and 2% to the education formula
- Expand Voluntary Pre-K funding with new School Readiness Plus (SR+) program
- Establish tiered teacher licensure
- Expand statewide support for concurrent enrollment teacher credentialing with $375,000 annually for four years
- Expand participation eligibility for para-to-teacher program at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU)
- Secure $500,000 one-time funding for teacher loan forgiveness in FY 2018
- Secure a school district’s ability to consolidate polling places
- Gain an additional $20 million in broadband expansion grants
There were a series of provisions passed this legislative session that impacts Greater Minnesota schools on topics ranging from teacher licensure and early learning to funding facilities and broadband access. E-12 schools received $483 million in funding through the education bill and $650 million through the tax package that included Ag2Schools tax credit.
Following the legislative session, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) made its annual statewide trip to meet with school leaders on the law changes. MDE Director of Finance Tom Melcher, along with MDE government relations staff, presented the results to superintendents and business managers at regional meetings.
View the MDE slides outlining the impact.