Screen time, mental health and the wellbeing of students became the focus of Minnesota Senators evaluating policy and funding needs for E-12 schools this week.

Remote learning has posed new challenges for families everywhere, not least of all in regard to the mental and physical impact of excessive screen time required though the new digital learning frontier.

Senators heard two bills this week focused on addressing digital media and limiting screen time, especially among Minnesota’s youngest learners:

  • SF 1012 aims to promote digital well-being education and provide training for the health, mental well-being, and learning of all Minnesota students as they learn to use digital media. This bill has been authored in heavy collaboration with the organization LiveMoreScreenLess. (Chamberlain, GOP-Lino Lakes)
  • SF 237, similarly motivated, mandates a screen time limit for preschool and kindergarten students while in attendance at public pre-k and kindergarten programs. (Cwodzinski, DFL-Eden Prairie)

The mental health and wellbeing of students in their return to school has been a thematic priority this legislative session.

The Senate E-12 Committee reviewed a bill that would add a very modest $1 per pupil for safe school revenue. SF 627, introduced by Chairman Roger Chamberlain, includes the revenue for cooperative and intermediate schools.

During the hearing, Chair Chamberlain indicated he hopes to be able to add revenue to this program later in session.