Omnibus Education Policy Bills Introduced

The first bill deadline has now come and gone, and the Education Policy Committees loaded up omnibus policy bills that will be in the mix for the remainder of the session.

A $1.5 billion bonding bill, dubbed as “last year’s bonding bill” received the necessary support from Republican members and passed off the House floor last Monday. It is expected to be up for a vote in the Senate sometime in the next week or two, but it remains unclear whether any Republican senators are committed to saying “yes,” absent a tax-cut bill. Subtracting social security income from Minnesota’s income tax system is the top prize with “Walz” refund checks running in second place.

Last Week in Education Committees

Education Policy

We’re still digesting the omnibus policy bills in each chamber, HF 1269/SF 1311, but here are few areas of concern to highlight:

  • Additional course requirements and credits in the areas of civics and personal finance.
  • New reporting requirements under the World’s Best Workforce statute.
  • Requiring a written policy on curriculum. Curriculum decisions should be made by locally elected school boards.
  • Elimination of pathways to Tier 2 and Tier 3 teacher licensure.
  • Required compensation for e-learning days.
  • Changes to school discipline without the corresponding resources necessary for staffing and facilities.

It’s not all bad news. There are some items in these bills that we can support, including:

  • Greater flexibility with the required academic standards in math and science.
  • Repealing the successful completion of a teacher competency exam.
  • Creation of the short-call substitute teacher program.

Additional mandates and education policy are still possible as the committees continue work through the second bill deadline, which is Friday, March 24. There are a few more helpful education policy bills in the mix as well, that we hope will advance individually or through other omnibus bills, including:

  • HF 535/SF 613 – Board renewal of operating referendum
  • HF 1178/SF 1032 – Type III vehicle continued use
  • HF 1242/SF 1650 – Local control over 4-day week
  • HF 1267/SF 1414 – Hours of instruction, etc.

This week in Education Committees

Senate Education Finance

Senate Education Finance will discuss the following bills:

  • SF1247 (Dahms) – Coop Facilities
  • SF2552 (Kupec) – Debt Service Equalization improvements
  • SF866 (Westlin) – Local Optional Revenue improvements
  • SF1601 (Hoffman) – Operating Referendum Equalization improvements
  • SF2684 (Kunesh) – Governor’s Education Budget bill
  • SF2399 (Wiklund) – Department of Children, Youth, and Families establishment
  • SF620 (Kunesh) – pilot program to improve educational outcomes
  • SF2392 (Farnsworth) – additional LTFM revenue for school districts with facilities on the National Register of Historic Places
  • SF2010 (Maye Quade) – active shooter drill standards provision
  • SF1981 (Champion) – Erin’s Law, personal safety instruction

Senate Education Policy

Senate Education Policy will discuss the following bills:

  • SF2500 (Hoffman) – High school students’ permission to earn elective credits through employment with certain health care providers
  • SF911 (Morrison) – School-related active transportation policy provisions modificationSF1273 (Maye Quade) – The Read Act; Literacy funding and requirements
  • SF60 (Kunesh) – Educational data sharing permission with Tribal nations about Tribally enrolled or descendent students
  • SF680 (Cwodzinski) – Teacher preparation time provisions modification

House Education Policy

House Education Policy will discuss the following bills:

  • HF2097 (Frazier) – active shooter drill standards provided
  • HF160 (Freiberg) – service-learning integrated into MN education system
  • HF2297 (Kraft) – school districts and charter schools required to provide climate justice instruction
  • HF2685 (Hornstein) – Holocuast and genocide education required in social studies
  • HF2206 (Urdahl) – civics course graduation requirement

House Education Finance

House Education Finance will discuss the following bills:

  • HF995 (Berg) – student admission provisions modified
  • HF2010 (Hassan) – Junior Achievement North grant funding provided for expansion of student financial literacy activities
  • HF2056 (Her) – education partnership program modified
  • HF562 (Edelson) – due process SPED aid created for school districts
  • HF2134 (Kresha) – ISD 482, aeronautics and commercial over-the-road technical pilot program
  • HF2497 (Youakim) – Governor’s education bill
  • HF345 (Hussein) – pilot program to improve educational outcomes
  • HF1963 (Becker-Finn) – school districts authorized to carry forward American Indian education aid under certain circumstances
  • HF1875 (Keeler) – American Indian education provided for all students
  • HF1773 (Clardy) – indexing of ELL revenue to basic education revenue
  • HF1589 (Bennett) – SPED teacher pipeline program
  • HF2320 (Pinto) – Department of Children, Youth, and Families establishment
  • HF2619 (Stephenson) – gen ed basic formula allowance increase to reduce class sizes