MSBA at the Capitol — MSBA bill would establish teacher loan forgiveness program

The House Education Innovation Policy Committee heard 12 bills Tuesday ranging from concurrent enrollment to transportation to teaching programs to data on homeless students.

MSBA’s proposal to establish a teacher loan forgiveness program (HF 1170, authored by Rep. Peggy Bennett) also was introduced to the committee.

MSBA lobbyists testified that this bill is one of the solutions to the growing issue of teacher shortage in Minnesota. This proposal encourages teacher candidates and teachers to acquire licenses and work in designated teacher-shortage areas.

For more information about this bill, click on the video below for an interview with Rep. Bennett.

The bill was passed and re-referred to the House Government Operations and Elections Policy Committee. The companion bill (SF 759, sponsored by Sen. Vicki Jensen) will be heard Tuesday, March 10, in the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.

MSBA also testified in support of the HF 887 (Rep. Tim O’Driscoll), which would transfer unclaimed prize money in the Minnesota Lottery cash flow account to the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for purposes of acquiring certain School Trust Fund Lands through condemnation.

“This bill is very important to the education and the environment communities because it attempts to correct the action or inaction taken on the school trust lands throughout the years,” said Denise Dittrich, MSBA Associate Director of Government Relations. “MSBA, along with the Minnesota Legislature and the DNR recognize the need to compensate the Permanent School Fund whenever it is not possible to generate revenue.”

Dittrich added: “For decades the DNR and the state Legislature has not given a high priority to compensating the trust fund for the use of the trust land. This bill takes a modest yet necessary step to compensate the school trust fund for land that is held in trust for the school children of this state.”

Click here to view a list of the other bills discussed Tuesday by this committee


MSBA also testified in the House Education Finance Committee Tuesday in support of two proposals to allow school boards more flexibility in the allocation of the compensatory revenue.

HF 567 (Rep. Anna Wills) would give school districts the authority to allocate up to 50 percent of the revenue according to the plan adopted by the school board.

HF 1222 (Rep. Jerry Hertaus) would allow school districts to allocate all of its compensatory revenue according to the school board-adopted plan.

Both of the bills were laid over for possible inclusion in the House omnibus education bill and will also be placed on General Register.


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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