Senate Passes Literacy Bill, Education Conference Committee is Established

Last Tuesday the Senate passed an education bill (SF 4113) focused solely on literacy training for K-5 teachers. DFLers tried to offer amendments adding money for special education, ELL services and other items, but the amendments were ruled “not germane” as the straightforward literacy bill was limited in scope. With passage of companion education bills in each body, a conference committee has been formed. HF 4300 is the official ‘vehicle’ bill for this conference committee. They have their first meeting this morning at 9am to walk through the two bills. No action is expected this week in the education conference committee as leadership negotiations on taxes and spending continue.

Education Conference Committee Members:

House: Jim Davnie, Julie Sandstede, Ruth Richardson, Hodan Hassan, Sondra Erickson

Senate: Roger Chamberlain, Justin Eichorn, Zack Duckworth, Julie Coleman, Chuck Wiger

Senate Education – Student Data Practices (SF 2307)

The Senate Education committee met last Wednesday and amended a bill related to student data privacy (SF 2307). MREA and other school organizations worked diligently on getting this bill amended to remove parental opt-out provisions of district operations, instruction, and curriculum provided through digital formats. The bill places restrictions on a district’s ability to conduct surveillance of students’ activity on district issued devices unless the surveillance is linked to complying with state, federal, and health and safety requirements. The bill places restrictions on tech company vendors use of student data and requires such data to be destroyed when the tech company no longer has a contractual relationship with the school.

The amended version of the bill will advance in the Senate and House proponents of the original bill are said to be willing to accept the Senate amendments and pass the same version, which would put it on Governor Walz’s desk for signature into law.