MSBA Participates in Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s Roundtable on Child Centered Government

This morning Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) participated in a small roundtable discussion with other early education and childcare stakeholders to discuss how working together to invest in Minnesota’s youngest students can increase equity and bridge the opportunity gap for children, youth and families.

Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan recently reintroduced the Children’s Cabinet initiative and their priority to ensure all children have a healthy start, access to affordable and quality childcare and early education, access to mental health supports and stable housing. The goal is to center government on children and families and want to work with organizations, like MSBA, to “come together and help propose and enact sound and transformational investments and policies.”

Minnesota’s Children’s Cabinet is an inter-agency partnership the Governor has charged with helping make Minnesota the best place to raise a family — for everyone.


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Federal Administrative Weekly Update

Department of Education Invites Special Ed Grant Applications

This week, the Department of Education published the following notices about discretionary grants managed by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:

  • “Applications for New Awards: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – National Technical Assistance Center for Systemic Improvement” – The purpose of this program is to “promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing TA, supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research.” This competition includes one absolute priority: National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center for Systemic Improvement. The estimated funds for this cooperative agreement total $6,250,000. Applications are due by September 9, 2019, and further information is available here.
  • “Applications for New Awards: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center for the Development and Implementation of High-Quality Instruction, Interventions, and Services for Children with Disabilities” – The focus of this grant is to create a Center that will develop resources  in order to enable children with disabilities to progress in light of each of their own circumstances;  support LEAs, CMOs, private school associations, and schools to develop high-quality individualized educational programming. The estimated available funds for this award total $2,000,000. Applications are due by September 6, 2019, and further information is available here.
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Federal Advocacy & Policy Weekly Update

Congressional Update:  While Congress has adjourned for August recess there are still a few items of interest.

Democratic Senators Express Concern about New Tax Forms Impact on Student Aid Applications

Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent aletterto Secretary DeVos highlighting how the changes to tax Form 1040 could create difficulties for students using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and questioned the Department of Education’s plans to alleviate disruptions for students.This problem is arising at a time when some states, such as Louisiana, are requiring all high school seniors to complete the FAFSA to boost postsecondary enrollment rates.



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Walz, Flanagan Announce $2.5 Million Grant to Provide Proven Drug and Alcohol Reduction Curriculum in Schools

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced that the State of Minnesota was awarded a $2.5 million grant to implement a groundbreaking, evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculum in middle schools across the state.

The grant, awarded by Arnold Ventures, will allow as many as 40 middle schools to offer the LifeSkills Training program. Based on more than 35 years of rigorous scientific research, the LifeSkills curriculum includes skills in resisting peer and media pressure to smoke, drink, or use drugs while also informing students of the consequences of substance abuse.

“We see every day the impact of substance use on Minnesota, and on our young. Too many deaths, too many damaged lives—we need to invest in evidence-based policies that have strong record of success,” said Governor Walz. “This grant from Arnold Ventures will help provide schools with a powerful tool to promote prevention and positive, long-term health of our kids.”

The LifeSkills curriculum is proven effective at helping reduce rates of anxiety, depression and physical aggression, and prevent substance abuse. Researchers at the University of Iowa and Cornell University found that high school seniors who participated in the LifeSkills Training program while in middle school were 20 percent less likely to smoke and 10 to 15 percent less likely to misuse alcohol or illicit drugs.

Results First, a unit of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), views this grant as part of its effort to identify and implement cost-effective evidence-based practice. The team also expands MMB’s capacity to use science to help policymakers understand the degree to which other services are achieving their intended results. The 2020-21 biennial budget includes $87 million for services across seven state agencies that Results First found evidence of effectiveness.

“Prevention is a smart investment,” said Myron Frans, commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget. “We are driven to support Minnesota by identifying programs that work and are cost-effective, such as LifeSkills Training. We owe it to all Minnesotans, especially those most impacted by substance use.”

The Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Management and Budget will partner to administer the grant. “This is an example of government collaborating and using proven methods to make a difference in the lives of Minnesota students,” said Acting Commissioner Pam Wheelock of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “We are excited about this partnership and look forward to seeing real results.”

Public, private and nonprofit middle schools are eligible for training, materials, and technical assistance to implement the curriculum for three years. They will work with an independent evaluator to measure the impact of the program and evaluate its effectiveness. For more information and application, visit Selected schools will start the curriculum in Fall 2020.

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Minnesota Department of Education offering several teacher program grants


The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recently announced a number of new teacher program grant opportunities listed below.

Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color Grant

During the 2019 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature designated the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) as the administrator of the Collaborative Urban and Greater Minnesota Educators of Color (CUGMEC) Grant program, formerly known as the Collaborative Urban Educators (CUE) Grant.

Minnesota colleges and universities with PELSB-approved teacher preparation programs may apply for this grant. The application and additional materials listed below are available at

  • CUGMEC Request for Proposals
  • CUGMEC Grant Application Template
  • CUGMEC Grant Opportunity Frequently Asked Questions

Apply: Teacher preparation providers interested in submitting an application for CUGMEC grant funds must submit an Intent to Apply to Yelena Bailey at before August 1, 2019.

Due date: CUGMEC Grant applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on August 21, 2019.

Please contact Yelena Bailey at with any questions.

Grow Your Own

MDE has funding available for grants under the Grow Your Own (GYO) program to support programs that will increase and diversify the teacher workforce in the state of Minnesota. Eligible organizations may apply for one or both of the following pathways:

  • GYO Pathway 1 — Paraprofessional Pathways to Teacher Licensure
  • GYO Pathway 2 — Expanded Grow Your Own Programs for Secondary Students

Note: You will apply for each pathway separately as each pathway will be judged and scored independently of one another. However, the total amount available to grant is $1,455,000 for both pathways. If you apply for each pathway, and are awarded for both pathways, grants will be awarded independently from one another, but the total amount awarded to a single applicant may not exceed the $500,000.

Application materials:

Submit all required material to by September 6, 2019 (no later than 3:30 p.m. Central Time).

If you have any questions about this grant, please contact program representative Tyler Livingston at or 651-582-8427.

All questions must be submitted by August 28, 2019. Please check back after August 29, 2019, when MDE will publish a list of the questions and answers that were submitted to the program representative.

Minnesota Indian Teacher Training and Preparation

MDE makes this state funding available to Minnesota postsecondary institutions and school districts for joint grants that will assist American Indians in becoming teachers and to provide additional education for American Indian teachers.

Due date: August 30, 2019 (no later than 3:30 p.m. Central Time)

Application materials:

Submit all required material to

If you have any questions about this grant, please only contact program representative Guthrie Capossela at MDE will publish a list of all the questions that we received after August 22, 2019.

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Gov. Walz orders flags at half-staff in honor of victims in El Paso and Dayton


In honor and remembrance of the victims of the tragic shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and in accordance with an order issued by President Donald Trump, Gov. Tim Walz has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota, until sunset, Thursday, August 8, 2019.

The order comes after the acts of violence took place on August 3 and August 4, respectively.

View a copy of Governor Walz’s proclamation.

Source: Office of Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan

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Federal Update: Notable New K-12 Legislation


  • H.R.4108To direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to support early college high schools and dual or concurrent enrollment programs. Sponsor:Rep. Espaillat, Adriano [D-NY-13]
  • H.R.4107To authorize funding for section 619 and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Sponsor:Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]
  • H.R.3512Preventing Risky Operations from Threatening the Education and Career Trajectories of Students Act of 2019 Sponsor:Rep. Lee, Susie [D-NV-3]
  • H.R.3959To direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue rules requiring the inclusion of new safety equipment in school buses, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]
  • S.2395A bill to direct the Secretary of Education to make grants to support early college high schools and dual or concurrent enrollment programs. Sponsor:Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]
  • S.2367A bill to support the preparation and retention of outstanding educators in all fields to ensure a bright future for children and youth in under-resourced and underserved communities in the United States, and for other purposes. Sponsor:Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN]
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