MREA is the only advocate exclusively for Greater Minnesota school districts.

 

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 a Ag2School 40% agriculture credit for school facility bonds in 2018 and now will benefit from increases to the credit percentage up to 70 percent.

Advocacy Accomplishments

We know that schools are stronger when they come together. We’ve seen the results.

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Here’s a look at some key results:

Leading Advocacy

In 2019

Led and collaborated to gain legislative approval to:

  • Increase the Ag2School bond credit percentage

  • Maintain state support for concurrent enrollment credentialing

  • Continue funding for rural Career & Technical Education consortia

  • Increase state share of operating referendum revenue

Participated in collaborative efforts to urge the legislature to:

  • Provide 2% on the Gen Ed Formula each of the next two years

  • Continue School Readiness Plus (SR+) funding

  • Freeze and reduce Special Education cross subsidies

  • Reduce number and scope of numerous new proposed mandates

  • Secure $40 million in Border-to-Border Broadband grants

  • Provide up to $30 million in school safety grants

  • Reduce Special Education paperwork

MREA led and collaborated to urge the legislature to:

  • Provide school districts with financial tools to address cooperative facility needs for specialized services for high need students

  • Extend safe schools funding to students in educational cooperatives

  • Provide annual forecasted increases of 3% on the General Education Formula

In 2018

Led and collaborated to gain legislative approval to:

  • Include cooperatives in safe schools revenue and recognition of the role of rural cooperatives

  • Address growing SPED cross subsidy issue in student funding through a re-insurance solution that maintains better equity in formula

  • Remove statutory impediments to members of rural cooperatives to remodel, lease, build, and maintain specialized school facilities for specialized instructional programs and facilities for high-need students

Participated in collaborative efforts to urge the legislature to:

  • Stabilize TRA defined-benefit retirement plan through shared responsibility of the state, teachers and retirees
  • Increase safe schools revenue, establish a minimum for smaller districts, and open avenues to remodel facilities for security, including flexibility in Long-Term Facility Maintenance and grants
  • Expand broadband grants to under served rural communities to provide home access to high-speed Internet
  • Reduce the number and scope of numerous new proposed mandates
  • Continue to fund School Readiness Plus districts past the 2018-19 school year
  • Stop proposed constitutional amendment to take a projected $362 million from the state’s general fund permanently and assign it to road projects