The new Long-Term Facility Maintenance (LTFM) program to close funding disparities between the largest school districts and rural districts was among the major victories this past legislative session.
To use this new authority now enacted in law, districts and facilities personnel need to work quickly this summer:
- The MDE should release soon a template for developing a 10-year facilities maintenance plan.
- The plan will need to be satisfactorily completed on or around Labor Day so local school boards can make decisions on the levy authority to pay for the plans.
- The levies need to be certified by the end of September.
Webinar Highlights LTFM Parameters
MREA sponsored a webinar June 29 featuring Dr. Tom Melcher from MDE, Mike Hoheisel with RW Baird, and Greg Crowe with Ehlers & Associates. They discussed the parameters and financing of the new LTFM program. We anticipate offering another webinar focused on putting together a 10-year LTFM plan.
The MREA board of directors a year ago made a strategic decision to make long-term facility maintenance its No. 1 priority for this simple reason: if MREA didn’t make it the top priority for the 2015 budget session, nobody else would.
Many thanks are due to the MREA Board, Senators Chuck Wiger and Kevin Dahle, and Rep. Ron Kresha for their work navigating this proposal into the final E-12 bill.
While major public education organizations supported this and advocated for it during session, MREA members had the most to gain by enacting it. It was recommendation No. 1 of the MDE School Facilities Task Force report.
Without board and legislative leadership and advocacy, long-term facility maintenance would not be a reality today, and we would not have progress achieving fair education funding for Greater Minnesota students.