MSBA Action Alert — Urge your local legislators to support funding formula increase, eliminate LIFO

Dear MSBA Members:

The Minnesota Legislature is taking its Easter/Passover break from March 28 to April 6. During this time, we encourage you to use your “home-field advantage” and meet with your local legislators regarding two critical issues — education funding and the teacher layoff system.

Please urge your local legislators to support an increase to the basic general education funding formula each of the next two fiscal years. The governor and the Legislature need to hear from YOU while they are back at home on spring break.

An inflationary increase each year would help school districts avoid steep budget cuts, continue work on teacher evaluation, integrate technology into teaching, make progress on World’s Best Workforce goals, aid in capital facilities maintenance, and much more.

  • The general education funding formula is the source of revenue all of our school districts depend on to provide appropriate educational services to our students.
  • The general education formula is the fairest, most equitable funding.
  • This approach would benefits all of the 850,000 students who attend our public schools — they are our state’s future workforce.

The House set target includes funding from last year that may seem as “new funding” such as: $170 million in general education funding, $185 million for all-day kindergarten, $250 million for special education and $236 million for pupil growth. Spending from last year should not be claimed as “new spending” in these targets.

After past programs are accounted for, the true increase in the House target is $156 million.

***

Also, please ask your local legislators to support proposals that would end the “last in, first out” (LIFO) approach to teacher layoffs.

Tell them to support Sen. Terri Bonoff’s SF 97, Sen. Eric Pratt’s SF 473 and the LIFO-related provisions within Rep. Jenifer Loon’s HF 2

  • These bill allow school board members the ability to retain the best teachers when teacher layoffs are required.
  • School board members are responsible for hiring teachers — and for the painful job of letting go teachers when layoffs are required.
  • When layoffs are required, school boards need the ability to retain the excellent teachers that best fit the needs of the school district and students today and in the future.

Please contact us with any questions.

Sincerely,

MSBA Government Relations staff

Grace Keliher (gkeliher@mnmsba.org) | Denise Dittrich (ddittrich@mnmsba.org) | Snezhana Bessonov (sbessonov@mnmsba.org)

Visit http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts to find who represents you.

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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