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 and preserve Long-Term Maintenance Funding (LTMF) with a 3-year phased-in equalized levy.

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 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

In 2017

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

Participated in collaborative efforts to urge the legislature to:

  • Fund a fix to TRA with a balanced proposal
  • Restore Debt Service Equalization with a fairer state share
  • Provide new Teacher Development and Evaluation (TDE) funding for non-Q-Comp participating school districts
  • Support young people of color to enter the teaching profession