MSBA would like to thank the school board members, superintendents and legislators who participated in the 2015 MSBA Statewide Advocacy Tour.
“These advocacy meetings are the first step to developing MSBA’s 2016 legislative platform,” said Denise Dittrich, MSBA’s Associate Director of Government Relations.
More than 250 education advocates came together in 13 different areas of the state to discuss the impact of the 2015 legislative session and look to the 2016 session.
“Listening to our members was the most important part of these meetings,” said Grace Keliher, MSBA’s Director of Government Relations.
As school board members reflected on the 2015 session, there were some common themes:
- First, the 2 percent increase each year on the basic education formula was appreciated since it helped cover some of the existing ongoing costs. However, there continues to be many unfunded demands and unmet needs in our school districts.
- Second, the new Long-term Facilities Maintenance Program will provide all school districts the ability to plan for and maintain their facilities.
As we looked to the 2016 legislative session, school districts agreed that additional money on the per pupil formula is greatly needed and preferred because it allows local school boards to determine their most pressing education needs as they continue to work toward their World’s Best Workforce goals and strategies.
Most school districts agreed that a 4-year-old early education program is a good idea — as long as the program is flexible; provides adequate and equitable resources for additional classrooms that are needed; provides transportation; allows for multiple approaches such as ECFE, school readiness and Head Start; and it is not a one size fits all approach for the whole state.
Other priorities include: equity and equity funding, technical education, short-term and long-term solutions to the teacher shortage, and repeal of the election bill.
Again, thank you to our members and legislators that attended.
We encourage school officials to continue to stay involved and make a difference!
Reminder: MSBA Legislative Resolution Forms are due by Wednesday, September 30. Visit http://www.mnmsba.org to download a Resolution Form today.