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.

School districts across Greater Minnesota are seeing the benefits of the MREA-led Ag2School agriculture credit for school facility bonds, currently at 55% and scheduled to increase to 70% by 2023. Further, MREA served as a resource for schools in their continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic with training for school leaders, planning guides, news updates, legislative highlights and other key tools.

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 2021

MREA helped position and prioritize rural education for the June budget-setting Legislative Special Session including:

  • 2&2% increases on the general education formula
  • Pandemic Enrollment Aid
  • Compensatory Aid Hold Harmless
  • Oppose unfunded mandates
  • ESSER funds more evenly distributed to rural school districts
  • Continued Special Education cross-subsidy support
  • Continued funding for voluntary Pre-K slots
  • Financial tools to address cooperative facility needs for specialized services for high-need students
  • Additional funding for concurrent enrollment credentialing
  • Increased funding for Rural Career and Technical Education Consortia
  • Enhanced debt service equalization for newly consolidating districts
  • Allowing school boards to renew existing operating referendums

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