Gov. Dayton orders flags at half-staff for former First Lady Barbara Bush

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Source: Office of Gov. Mark Dayton

In honor and remembrance of former First Lady Barbara Bush, and in accordance with the proclamation issued by President Donald Trump, Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. and Minnesota flags to immediately be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment, at all state and federal buildings in the state of Minnesota.

View President Trump’s proclamation.

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House committee to discuss omnibus education bill today

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Rep. Jenifer Loon (left) is the chair of the House Education Finance Committee. Photo by Paul Battaglia, Session Daily

The House Education Finance Committee released its final omnibus education bill (HF4328) on Monday, April 16. The committee is scheduled to review the bill at 1 p.m. today at the State Office Building in St. Paul.

Some highlights of the House omnibus education bill include proposals to:

  • Expand the usage of the Long-Term Facilities Maintenance Program to allow for physical modifications to school facilities.
  • Provide $16.6 million in Safe School revenue, which includes a new aid component and equalization. This provision would also establish a floor (minimum) to meet the needs of our greater Minnesota school districts.
  • Provide $5 million for school-linked mental health grants.
  • Establish a Special Education Working Group.

MSBA has concerns with some policy requirements contained within the omnibus bill, including:

  • A prescriptive new policy mandate that requires all school districts to establish a threat-assessment team — and a district team to oversee the threat-assessment team.
  • An additional academic accountability rating system.
  • Restrictions placed on the school district lunch policy.

Access the omnibus education bill language and an itemized spending spreadsheet.

Stay in touch with the MSBA Government Relations Team as the 2018 session heads to the finish line. Your voice matters. Send questions or concerns to Grace Keliher (gkeliher@mnmsba.org), Denise Dittrich (ddittrich@mnmsba.org) or Kimberley Dunn Lewis (klewis@mnmsba.org).

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Daily Education Bill Introductions — April 12, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

See the Senate and House education bill introductions below for April 12, 2018.

Visit The MSBA Advocate for updates each day bills are introduced.

House Education Bill Introductions April 12th 2018

Senate Education Bill Introductions April 12th 2018

For more information, please visit our website.

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Boundary Waters project passes first hurdle with $4 million in funding

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Source: Minnesota Office of School Trust Lands

Four million dollars in federal funding to purchase Minnesota School Trust Lands located within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) was included in the recently passed $1.3 trillion federal omnibus spending bill.

This historic milestone is part of a larger land deal that will finally see the U.S. Forest Service assume ownership of approximately 83,000 acres of School Trust Lands locked inside the Boundary Waters since 1978.

The BWCAW project began in earnest in August 2012 when the state formally proposed to exchange one-third of the school trust acres (approximately 30,000) for federal lands outside the BWCAW and sell the remaining two-thirds (53,000 acres) to the Forest Service. After unsuccessful attempts to obtain federal funds, the state-Forest Service project team created a partnership to spotlight this 50-year land management issue at the national level.

The partnership now includes Department of Natural Resources, Office of School Trust Lands, Superior National Forest, The Conservation Fund, and the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners, and has led to a revised approach known as the Private Forestland Exchange Alternative (aka “Plan B”). Plan B envisions Minnesota’s School Trust receiving valuable industrial timberland that it will manage for long-term revenue generation in exchange for its undevelopable BWCAW wilderness lands.

“This milestone evidences how successful we can be by working together in partnerships, across agencies, industries and non-profits organizations,” said Aaron Vande Linde, Director of the Office of School Trust Lands. “While we applaud this initial funding of $4 million, we also recognize that continued persistence will be necessary to ensure these transactions result in long-term benefits for Minnesota’s school trust beneficiaries. On behalf of Minnesota’s 850,000 K-12 students, I want to especially thank the state’s congressional delegation and Legislative Permanent School Fund Commission for their continued support of this critical project. ”

In parallel with the Private Forestland Exchange Alternative, the state and Superior National Forest continue to make progress on the 30,000-acre land exchange. Currently, the exchange project is undergoing a federal environmental review with an anticipated completion date and decision in December 2018.

About the Minnesota Office of School Trust Lands: The Minnesota Office of School Trust Lands was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 2012. This office advises the Governor, Executive Council, Land Exchange Board and Department of Natural Resources on school trust management activities, works on legislation to improve school trust assets, and develops long-range strategic plans to ensure the state’s school trust resources are optimally managed for current and future beneficiaries.

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Daily Education Bill Introductions — April 9, 2018

Monday, April 9, 2018

See the Senate and House education bill introductions below for April 9, 2018.

Visit The MSBA Advocate for updates each day bills are introduced.

House Education Bill Introductions April 9th 2018

Senate Education Bill Introductions April 9th 2018

For more information, please visit our website.

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Daily Education Bill Introductions — March 29, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

See the Senate and House education bill introductions below for March 29, 2018.

Visit The MSBA Advocate for updates each day bills are introduced.

House Education Bill Introductions March 29th 2018

Senate Education Bill Introductions March 29th 2018

For more information, please visit our website.

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Daily Education Bill Introductions — March 28, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

See the Senate and House education bill introductions below for March 28, 2018.

Visit The MSBA Advocate for updates each day bills are introduced.

House Education Bill Introductions March 28th 2018

No Senate bills were introduced today.

For more information, please visit our website.

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