House committee adds a little extra funding, three surprise policy provisions to omnibus education bill

Chair Jenifer Loon unveiled the House Education Finance Committee’s Omnibus E-12 Finance Bill (HF 3858) on Tuesday.

As we reported last week, the committee was working with a budget target of zero.

RepJeniferLoon

Rep. Jenifer Loon

However, credit must be given to the committee for being resourceful. They made some cuts to recapture anticipated savings and came up with $55 million in spending (mostly one-time).

As Rep. Loon introduced the bill, she characterized the revenue as “leveraging $55 million.” In an unlikely move, they recaptured the $1.6 million online Individualized Education Program (IEP) system payment, $1 million from the Regional Centers of Excellence along with a little more than $52 million of anticipated savings by allowing school districts to repay their capital loans early.

In spite of the small target, the committee members were able to invest in some areas important to school board members and Gov. Mark Dayton:

Teacher shortage issues ($12 million-plus)
• $4.5 million Minnesota Future Teacher Grants
• $2 million Collaborative Urban Educator Grants
• $1.5 million Reading Corp
• $1.5 million Grow Your Own Residency Pilot
• $1 million Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness
• $1 million Student Teaching Stipend Grants
• $385,000 Special Education Paraprofessional Licensing
• $239,000 Statewide Educator Job Posting Board

Teacher Development ($9.750 million)
• $6 million Intermediate School Districts Staff Training
• $3 million Regional Partnerships Continuing Education
• $750,000 Concurrent Enrollment Teacher Training Grants

Broadband ($7 million)
• $ 7 million for Broadband expansion grants

Early Education ($4.43 million)
• $2 million Statewide Early Childhood Rating System
• $2 million Parent-Child Home Program
• $430,000 St. Cloud Early Learning Pilot

Equity funding ($7.7 million)
• $7.7 million to provide equity funding to school districts outside the metro area

Special Programs for students ($5 million)
• $1.5 million Mentoring Partnerships
• $1.5 million Girls in Action Grants
• $1 million for certificate incentive programs in high schools
• $900,000 Mobile Technology Lab
• $100,000 Rock and Read

Student Behavior and Supports ($8 million)
• $5 million School Mental Health Grants
• $2.75 million Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports
• $250,000 for full-service community schools

The House Education Policy Bill was incorporated into the above finance bill, which included three surprises:

  1. The Unrequested Leave of Absence provision (which was included in last year’s bill), which would require school boards and teachers to negotiate a plan to lay off teachers when budget cuts are required.
  2. Chair Loon’s attempt to deal with student-on-teacher violence. This approach affirms the teacher as the manager of the classroom with the ability to remove a student and requires reporting to the Department of Education.
  3. Finally, the Commissioner of Education must adopt federal physical education standards, beginning in 2021.

The committee will hear public testimony Wednesday (April 13) and act on the bill Thursday (April 14)

Watch Wednesday’s meeting at 12:45 p.m. by accessing a link at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/schedule.asp.

Please access the following documents below:

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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