In the House — Education Finance Committee
One day after the Gov. Mark Dayton’s education budget was presented in the House Education Finance Committee, education organizations had an opportunity Thursday to respond to the governor’s proposals.
We think it is fair to say all groups came to the table with words of appreciation for the governor’s dedication to education — most specifically to his investment to public prekindergarten.
MSBA’s Grace Keliher went on record supporting the expansion of English Language Learners program funding to seven years and additional revenue for Positive Behavior in Schools (PBIS).
Keliher shared MSBA’s concern over the proposed budget’s lack of an inflationary increase to the basic funding formula — and the absence of additional funding for teacher evaluation, school facility needs and technology costs.
In the Senate — E-12 Committee
In the wake of Minnesota Department of Education’s “Report on K-12 Students’ Experience with Physical Education in Minnesota Schools,” Sen. Susan Kent presented SF343 Thursday in the Senate E-12 Committee. The bill would substantially change how physical education is implemented.
The proposal requires two full years of physical education in high school, which would reduce the allowed electives from 7 to 5. If students don’t complete two years of physical education, they could be in danger of not graduating from high school.
Beginning in 2017-18, local school districts would have to do an annual assessment of students by doing “health-related fitness testing” which would include physical improvement and knowledge of physical education. The test results, along with the number of minutes per week students spend in physical education class, must be published in the newspaper or online. A waiver would be required for extracurricular athletic activities to count toward this physical education requirement.
MSBA’s Grace Keliher shared concerns with the committee about how this legislation is an overreach and an unfunded mandate for K-12 schools.