The Senate E-12 Finance Committee on Thursday heard and laid over SF2027 sponsored by Sen. Tom Saxhaug (DFL-Grand Rapids) that would expand funding to more schools for Indian Ed programming. The bill mirrors the Governor’s supplemental budget with additional state funding for several programs that support public schools districts with 20 or more American Indian students and each of the state’s four tribal contract schools.
Provisions in the bill include:
- Increase by nearly $15 million funding for “Success for the Future” state Indian Education program — and transition from a competitive grant to a formula-driven program to support additional districts and schools. MREA is a strong supporter of this provision. Learn more
- Support for Gov. Dayton’s proposal to increase supplemental annual funding of BIA schools by $5.2 million
- Appropriate $1.6 million annually to create a new “Early Childhood in Tribal Communities” program that would allow all 11 tribes in Minnesota access to funds to develop community-based family engagement programs
- Create a provision that allows Minnesota to recognize additional alternative high school equivalency test options in addition to the GED.
MREA assisted Vince Beyl, Indian Education Director at Bemidji Schools, with testimony on the bill. This bill replicates Gov. Dayton’s supplemental budget request.
The Governor’s budget would invest $15 million over the next two years to replace the competitive Success for the Future grant program with a new American Indian education aid initiative. This new initiative would strengthen and expand programs to support academic achievement, decrease the dropout rate, and improve the school climate for American Indian students in a culturally appropriate manner. This proposal would benefit over 19,000 American Indian students statewide, many of whom reside in Greater Minnesota.
On Wednesday in front of the House Education Finance Committee, Beth Schwarz, Superintendent of Cook County and Fred Nolan, MREA executive director, testified in support Governor Dayton’s proposal for the expansion of Success for the Future for districts serving 20 or more AMI students. Superintendent Schwarz told the committee that the Governor’s proposal for 1&1 was inadequate and she could not protect the current smaller classes in K-2 with only 1&1 on the formula.
More AMI News
In other AMI news, MREA submitted written comments on the possible Amendment to Rules Governing School Desegregation/Integration. Learn more.