Minnesota Senate approves Omnibus Education Policy Bill

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The Minnesota Senate passed the Senate Omnibus Education Policy Bill (SF 2744) on a 51-9 vote Wednesday night.

Sen. Chuck Wiger, who introduced the bill, said the teacher shortage crisis was one of the top priorities. Sen. Wiger said he was especially proud of the work the Senate Education Committee did relating to student literacy and safety in the classroom for teachers and students.

Six amendments were anticipated during last night’s Senate Floor session — however, that number increased to 12 throughout the reading of the bill. Some of the amendments had a roll call vote and those results are listed in parentheses in the list below.

Amendments adopted:

  • A provision to protect student data, prohibiting it from being used or sold for target marketing purposes.
  • A provision to use the Minnesota Board of Teaching’s original language for defining Montessori teachers.
  • A provision stating a student must be removed from class immediately if the student engages in an assault or violent behavior. “Assault” has the meaning in statute and the removal shall be for a time determined by the principal in consultation with the teacher.
  • A provision for purposes of unrequested leave of absence and reinstatement — those teaching in early childhood family education (ECFE) or adult basic education (ABE) may exercise seniority based on the fields in which they are licensed, if agreed to by the districts and exclusive representative of teachers. If there is no agreement, the ECFE/ABE teachers are entitled to exercise seniority based on assignment.
  • A provision to allow school districts to have students participate in a civics exam.
  • A provision stating a school district may not impose consequences for those who do not participate in testing.
  • Requires the Board of Teaching to issue up to four, one-year temporary teaching licenses to an applicant who holds or held an out-of-state teaching license to teach similar content field and grade levels. (Roll call vote: Amendment approved on a 35-27 vote)

Amendments not adopted:

  • A school district is not required to provide any additional reports to the commissioner other than current World’s Best Workforce (WBWF) reporting or to calculate pupil units, revenues, aids and levies.
  • A provision to expel a student for assaulting a teacher. The school board would have full authority to determine the length of expulsion and the teacher would have to provide permission for the student to return to the teacher’s classroom. (Roll call vote: Amendment votes down 36-26)
  • A school district must obtain written permission for a student to participate in a survey or similar instrument that solicits information about: political affiliations, mental health, sexual behaviors, illegal behaviors or critical comments of someone the student has a close family relationship with. (Roll call vote: Amendment voted down 34-27)
  • A school district must publish on the district’s website, for each school site in the district, the number of inexperienced teachers, ineffective teachers and out-of-field teachers employed by the district. (Roll call vote: Amendment voted down 41-20)

Amendments withdrawn:

  • A provision to allow students to take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments on paper, rather than computerized, upon request.

See MSBA’s Advocacy Page for the latest education bill introductions.

About mnmsba

The Minnesota School Boards Association, a leading advocate for public education, supports, promotes and strengthens the work of public school boards.
This entry was posted in 2016 Legislative Session and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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