A Long Winding Road for the E-12 Education Omnibus Bill

With 46 hours left in the 2015 Legislative session the House and Senate E-12 conferees wrapped up their work on the HF844 Conference Committee Report in the wee hours of the morning.

The Senate and House leadership met behind closed doors for more than 15 hours on Saturday and unveiled their agreement at 2:00AM to a full room of education advocates who waited patiently all day.  As they began the walk through of the bill, Chair Wiger proudly announced that 70% of the total budget ($400M) is on the basic education formula. The formula increase is 1.5% the first year of the biennium and 2% the second year.  He made it clear that it is more than the Governor’s proposal.

He reiterated the conferees’ commitment to our state’s youngest learners by proving $30 million for school readiness and $30 million for early learning for scholarships.

He went on to emphasize the long standing inequity in school facilities across our state, highlighting the Long Term Facilities Maintenance revenue as an overdue solution ($32M) which he is very proud of.  Other finance priorities are QComp cap increase ($9.5M), increasing funding for concurrent enrollment ($4M) and extended time revenue for school districts and charter schools ($4M).

HF844 Conference Committee Report: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF844&version=0&session=ls89&session_year=2015&session_number=0&type=ccr&format=pdf

MSBA is disappointed that there’s not 3% on the formula each year and $400 million target.  However, number of provisions included in the bill match our policies and 2015 legislative agenda.

Stay tuned. The Governor has promised to veto the E-12 bill because it doesn’t include his universal pre-K proposal.

The negotiations between House, Senate and the Governor continue. We will keep you posted when the bill goes to the floor or an agreement is reached with the Governor.

With 24 hours left in the session our message to the Governor is raise the target and put it on the basic education formula.  Please join us and tell the Governor more revenue on the formula is fair for all districts and all students.

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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