The Legislature can close opportunity gaps by reworking policy to balance state accountability and local control:
- Streamline and reduce school district reporting requirements under the World’s Best Workforce statute and allow districts to use alternative models of student achievement strategic plans.
- Repeal the school calendar start date requirement so local communities can set the learning year for their students.
Local School Learning Year and Calendar Flexibility
In Minnesota, state statute requires schools to begin their learning year after the Labor Day Holiday. There has been considerable discussion recently about school district flexibility in creating their local school year calendars given the late Labor Day Holiday and start dates for school years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
If the state-mandated learning year start date is of concern to a district, MREA suggests local school boards adopt a resolution to start the local learning year before September 8, 2015 and to request their legislators enter a bill on behalf of their school district, working with district leadership. The more districts that pass these resolutions and then contact their legislators, the more effective the strategy will be.
A model resolution is provided below that may be presented for adoption at a district School Board meeting. Before distribution and publication, it should be modified to align with a district’s intent and plans. It is very important the resolution authorize district leaders to work with legislators on behalf of the school district.