MREA July Board Meeting Wrap-Up

The MREA Board of Directors met in July in Detroit Lakes for a Board Meeting. The first day of the meeting was filled with updates from MDE. The second day of the meeting focused on MREA operations and updates on MREA’s advocacy, communications, operations, and finances.

MDE Update

MDE Director Erickson

MREA’s board meeting kicked off with a presentation from Cathy Erickson, Minnesota Department of Education Director of School Finance. Erickson went through a presentation highlighting different sections of the historic education bill that passed in the 2023 legislative session.

“With historic money comes new and additional responsibilities,” Erickson said. Amidst frustration from educational leadership throughout the state, the legislature is still working on operationalizing the mandates that came as part of the legislation.


  • Increase in formula and tie to CPI
  • Special education cross subsidy
  • English learner aid and cross subsidy
  • Additional VPK seats
  • Free School Meals Program (formerly Universal Meals)
  • Compensatory Revenue
  • Summer Term Unemployment
    • More direction coming in the next couple of weeks
  • American Indian Education Aid
  • Student Support Personnel Aid & Workforce Pipeline
    • Published FAQ on MDE website and in their weekly email
  • School Library Aid
  • Gender Neutral Single Stall Bathrooms

For more detailed information, check out Erickson’s full slide deck.

MDE Commissioner Jett

Next, the MREA Board met with MDE Commissioner Willie Jett and Adosh Unni, MDE Director of Government Relations.

MREA board members shared concerns and priorities with the Commissioner, including:

  • Property Tax Equalization with a Purpose – Facilities
  • Supporting Teacher Compensation & Development
  • Meaningful Minimums for categorical funding
  • Teacher shortage, including the idea of a $50,000 minimum salary for teachers

MREA will go into further detail on these ideas and issues at the upcoming Fall Member Meetings, so be sure to register to attend one, and encourage your administration and school board members to attend as well.

Survey Review

MREA’s board reviewed the annual MREA survey that was sent to all members in April. Overall, the Board was very pleased with the results and took a few takeaways:

  • Net Promoter score of 68, which is above average for education organizations and non-profits.
  • Dozens of great responses about advocacy, communications and the MREA Summit.
  • Members seek more opportunities for teachers to engage in MREA efforts.

MREA Updates

The Board of Directors also heard updates from MREA’s leadership on key areas of business – Advocacy, Communications, Operations, and the Greater Education Summit on the second day of the meeting.

Overall MREA’s Executive Director Bob Indihar feels like the team and organization as a whole is making incredible progress and doing great work in being the voice of Greater Minnesota education.

MREA’s Board of Directors is made up of Superintendents, teachers, administrators, higher education representatives, and coop representatives. Meet your Board of Directors. Watch your Insider Brief for more information on being part of MREA’s Board of Directors and board vacancies.