MSBA honors Sen. Rosen and Rep. O’Driscoll


During Advocacy Tour meetings this week, MSBA officials presented the “Outstanding Legislator of the Year” awards for 2018 to Sen. Julie Rosen (left) and Rep. Tim O’Driscoll. Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial School Board member (and MSBA Board Director) Linda Leiding presented Sen. Rosen with her award Wednesday night at the MSBA office in St. Peter. MSBA Director of Government Relations Grace Keliher presented Rep. O’Driscoll with his award Tuesday night in Sartell.

MSBA recently presented Sen. Julie Rosen (Vernon Center) and Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (Sartell) with its “Outstanding Legislator of the Year” award for 2018.

MSBA officials honored Sen. Rosen and Rep. O’Driscoll for their work during the 2018 legislative session on behalf of Minnesota’s public school students by getting the omnibus retirement bill passed by the Legislature. The bill reforms and stabilizes pension funds.

Sen. Rosen, chair of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, was chief author of the Senate’s version of the retirement bill. O’Driscoll, vice chair of the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, was the chief author of the Minnesota House’s version of the retirement bill.

“Sen. Rosen and Rep. O’Driscoll both exhibited tenacity and perseverance in their efforts to get the retirement bill passed,” said MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind. “They helped improve the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) pension funds without doing harm to classrooms.”

Sen. Rosen and Rep. O’Driscoll secured bipartisan support of the retirement bill, which passed unanimously in the Minnesota House and Senate in May, before receiving Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature.

“A strong pension system supports public schools and will aid in attracting and retaining quality educators throughout Minnesota,” Schneidawind added. “Providing state funding for employer increases will allow school districts to be held harmless.”

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MDE hosting ESSA public update on September 24


The Minnesota Department of Education is hosting an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) stakeholder meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, September 24.

This meeting will be held at the MDE office located at 1500 Highway 36 West in Roseville (Rooms 15-16, Conference Center B) and will include:

  • A brief overview of the 2018 accountability results.
  • An opportunity to provide feedback on school identification and recognition.
  • A kickoff of Phase 3 of stakeholder engagement, focused on fiscal transparency reporting.

See for more information and registration access.

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Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff in observance of 9/11


Source: Office of Gov. Mark Dayton

In observance of the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all United States flags and Minnesota flags be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota from sunrise until sunset on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

As a mark of respect for the victims of this tragedy, Gov. Dayton has proclaimed Tuesday to be “Patriot Day and A Day of Service and Remembrance” in Minnesota.

In solidarity with the rest of the nation, the governor encourages all Minnesotans to observe the National Moment of Silence at 7:46 a.m. Central Daylight Time. The Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis will be lit red, white and blue on Tuesday night, in observance of the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

View Gov. Dayton’s proclamation.

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State recognizes 526 schools for excellence as part of new North Star accountability system


Today, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recognized 526 public schools across the state as top performers in multiple areas of progress in school performance.

The recognition is a key part of the state’s new North Star accountability system that aims to create more equitable and well-rounded learning opportunities for all students across the state.

Using data from the five key indicators that make up North Star — achievement and progress on state reading and math tests over time, progress toward English language proficiency, graduation rates and consistent attendance — the state is better able to identify and learn from schools that consistently perform at high levels across multiple domains.

Visit to view MDE’s complete press release and to access North Star accountability data and North Star data on the Minnesota Report Card.

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Resolutions provide board members opportunity to set MSBA’s legislative agenda


Each year, Minnesota public school boards help shape MSBA’s legislative agenda.

This grass-roots process starts with our school boards — or individual school board members, like you — writing legislative resolutions (and adopting them through board action) before sending them to MSBA.

Think of a resolution as something on your school board’s wish list — a funding or policy item that aligns with your district’s goals to better serve your students.

During the MSBA Delegate Assembly held each December, school board delegates discuss and vote on these legislative resolutions. Resolutions that receive a majority vote become the basis for the MSBA Government Relations staff’s lobbying efforts on behalf of all public school boards in the state.

In December 2017, the Delegate Assembly approved 12 legislative resolutions. For example, one resolution “urged the Legislature to create a task force to study the special education cross-subsidy with timeline and funding considerations.”

MSBA encourages YOU to consider resolutions on issues important to your school board and school district — and to other boards and districts statewide.

When developing your resolution(s), please begin with “Be it resolved that MSBA urges the Legislature to …” to explain the intent of your resolution. If you need help or assistance, contact MSBA’s Grace Keliher ( or Denise Dittrich (

See Pages 18-21 of the September-October 2018 Journal magazine for step-by-step directions on how to write a resolution. Visit to access the Journal magazine.

Visit or visit MSBA’s website to download a Word version of the 2018 Legislative Resolution Form.

Submit resolution form(s) by Friday, September 28, to Barb Hoffman at via email or by fax to 507-931-1515. Or mail to: MSBA, 1900 West Jefferson Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.

School board members’ voices and advocacy efforts matter! Advocacy is an essential duty for school board members to undertake, as noted in the Standards for School Board Leadership.

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Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff in honor of Sen. McCain


Source: Office of Gov. Mark Dayton

In honor and remembrance of United States Senator John McCain, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota, beginning immediately, until sunset on the day of Senator McCain’s interment on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

View a copy of Gov. Dayton’s proclamation.

Senator McCain, 81, dedicated his life to public service, serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate for nearly 36 years. The Arizona Senator served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Indian Affairs, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Armed Services. He also served as the Republican Party nominee for President in the 2008 election.

Senator McCain passed away on Saturday, August 25, 2018. He had been receiving treatment for a malignant brain tumor since its discovery in 2017.

Prior to his career in public office, Senator McCain dedicated 22 years of service to the United States Navy. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958 and served as a Navy aviator. In 1967, Senator McCain was taken as a prisoner of war in a bombing mission over North Vietnam, and imprisoned until his release in 1973.

Senator McCain retired from the U.S. Navy in 1981, having earned through his heroic service a Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross honors. Senator McCain is survived by his wife, seven children, and five grandchildren. He will lie in state at the United States Capitol on Friday, August 31, 2018. Senator John McCain will be ultimately laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

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Prepare to apply for school safety grant on August 29


School safety grant instructions are available on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website at

MDE will accept applications starting on Wednesday, August 29, through Survey Gizmo. The Survey Gizmo link will be available on the MDE Grants Page, but not until the application date. Until then, a Word version of the Survey Gizmo application worksheet is available for applicants to complete in order for them to copy-and-paste their answers into Survey Gizmo on the day of application.

Grants may be used to predesign, design, construct, furnish, and equip school facilities for improvements related to violence prevention and facility security for a qualifying school building. This includes renovating and expanding existing buildings and facilities.

The grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Further information on specific criteria for the grant, an outline of how MDE will award projects, and how to apply will be available in the instructions.

Please contact Tim Larson at 651-582-8451 or for further information.

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