2014 Legislature produced plethora of new requirements for school districts

Gov. Dayton declared the 2014 legislative session the “Unesssion,” focusing on removing unneeded laws and clarifying existing statutes. While this was accomplished … so was much, much more. Out of the 2014 legislative session, a lot of new requirements for school board members were adopted. We think it is important that you become familiar with these new requirements (listed below).

• Collect and submit data to MDE Commissioner on the use of restrictive procedures and reasonable force.
• Create a District Advisory Committees representative of the communities racial, cultural, linguistic and economic status diversity.
• Apply for Innovation Delivery of Educational Services and Sharing (February 1)
• Per increase of ECFE allowance, district are required to do a community assessment of needs and submit annual report to MDE Commissioner that demonstrates the ECFE program response to the needs assessment.
• Requires school district to give periodic opportunities to students to demonstrate their level of language proficiency, maintain record of these students and affix a Language Proficiency Seal to the student’s diploma.
• Per adoption of the Military Children Interstate Compact, requires a school district to include a box on the enrollment form to allow students to self-identify as a “military-connected youth.”
• Per clarification of Career Pathways and Technical Education, school districts are to assist students to explore their educational, college, and career interests AND develop a transition plan to postsecondary educations or employment. Staff development plans are to include current workforce trends education, and focus on student learning goals, consistent with students’ transition plans.
• Requires staff development activities for staff to learn about workforce trends for students to develop goals and transition plans to post-secondary employment.
• School districts are to provide parents a timely written summary, in an electronic or other format, of their student’s current and longitudinal performance and progress on the state’s academic standards as measured by state assessments.
• School districts are to provide counseling services to pupils and their parents or guardian before the pupils enroll in postsecondary courses. By March 1 of each year, requires districts to provide up-to-date information on the district’s web page about the program including information about enrollment requirements and the ability to earn postsecondary credit to all pupils in grades 8 through 11.
• School districts are encouraged to provide Experiential and Applied Learning Opportunities for Students such as magnet, immersion, project-based, accelerated, college prep, career and technical education, Montessori, military, work-based and place-based learning. For districts that participate, requires districts to publicly adopt, review and publish a plan for providing a program.
• Under enrollment options, school districts does not need to approve a return of a foster home student to the school they last attended.
• Under enrollment modifications:
o The requirement is eliminated for pupil and parent meeting with resident district representative prior to submitting an open enrollment application.
o The districts are to give written notice to parents within 90 days of when an achievement and integration district transfer application is submitted.
o Districts are to hold an impartial lottery if there are more enrollment options applications than open nonresident seats. Priority in the lottery goes to siblings of currently enrolled students, and applications related to an approved integration and achievement plan
o Lottery process is to be approved by school board and be posted on district web site
o Districts are prohibited from using capacity of special education services as a basis for rejecting an enrollment options application.
• School districts are to collect and recycle at least three materials (paper, glass, plastic, metal, etc.).
• School Districts are to adopt and post a new bullying prohibition policy and post it in the administrative offices and on the website.
• Filing officer of a school district is required to make all local campaign finance reports available on the school district’s website and make link where reports can be found must be posted on the website of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
• When a teacher is discharged due to child maltreatment, the school principal must include it in the teacher’s employment record and forward all information to Board of Teaching and MDE. If requested, school districts need to make this information available to potential employers. In addition to the background check required under section 123B.03, a school board or other school hiring authority must contact the Board of Teaching and the department to determine whether the teacher’s license has been suspended or revoked.
• October is designated as Veterans’ Voices Month. Schools organizations, and communities in the state are encouraged to hold events and programs that honor veterans and educate students and citizens about the unique culture of the military.
• School Districts will have to perform an annual assessment of “personal information” maintained by the district.
• Add “familial status” to list of protected classifications in anti-discrimination policies.
• An employer that provides an employee handbook to its employees must include Wage Disclosure Protection in the handbook notice of employee rights and remedies under this section. Review and revise policies to conform to the new requirements of the Women’s Economic Security Act.
• Bring English Learner focus and reform to the following aspects of k-12 education:
Head Start; World’s Best Workforce; Regional Centers of Excellence; Reading Proficiency No Later Than End of Third Grade; Successful Postsecondary Transition; Student Growth and Performance Report; Instruction, Licensing and Preparation; Bilingual and English as a Second Language Teachers; Evaluation, Q Comp and Staff Development; Alternative Program Centers and Achievement Contracts; Early Childhood and School Readiness; Employment Transition Plan; Adult Basic Education; Definition of English Learners; Parent Involvement; and SLEDS.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
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