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 2020

MREA’s advocacy helped to:

  • Preserve funding for Special Education and other categorical programs despite service interruptions due to distance learning
  • Extend renewal deadlines for teacher licenses
  • Provide fund transfer authority to school boards for fiscal years 2020-21
  • Reduce youth vaping by raising the age to buy all tobacco products to 21
  • Provide maps and analysis on broadband accessibility and advocate for expediting access for distance learning with federal COVID-19 relief funds
  • Promote local flexibility and improve clarity in COVID-19 guidelines

MREA worked with the Legislature to introduce bills and actively lobbied to:

  • Continue full funding for concurrent enrollment credentialing through 2023
  • Provide school districts financial tools to address cooperative facility needs for specialized services for high need students
  • Fund three regional “Grow-Your-Own” (GYO) teacher initiatives
  • Provide enhanced debt service equalization for newly consolidating districts
  • Extend expiring operating referendums for one year in response to COVID-19

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