MSBA Legislative Action Alert
Money on the Funding Formula & Teacher Shortage
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Click here to access a video of MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind providing an overview of the Action Alert.
THIS IS THE TIME YOUR VOICE/ADVOCACY IS NEEDED! Supplemental budgets bills have been passed and are now with conference committee to combine the language into one bill. Neither the House budget or the Senate budget included enough additional revenue include on the education funding formula. Rather, several one-time grant opportunities received funds. While this funding is valuable, it does not provide for the ongoing needs of school districts. You recently told us if 1 percent was provided on the general education formula it would help (1) increase digital literacy through technology initiatives, hardware, 1-to-1 devices, and more; (2) update/modernize curriculum and textbooks, and (3) add critical support services and staff (including, paraprofessionals, English language teachers, school counselors, and school psychologists).
We have heard stories across the state about teacher shortages. With your help, we can put together a strong Teacher Shortage Act bill that has support of both Democrats and Republicans. The Teacher Shortage Act bill provides for (1) a statewide “Grow Your Own” initiative to build a pathway to licensure for paraprofessionals, (2) teacher loan forgiveness and grants to alleviate financial barriers, (3) a statewide job-posting board to help match teachers and positions and (4) Teacher Development and Evaluation. We need to keep this issue up front.
Now is the time we need to put pressure on leadership and conferees as they begin to renegotiate budgets and combine bills. Please urge them to keep all teacher shortage provisions and provide funding for the ongoing needs of our school districts.
Sample Email (send email message to MSBA’s Kim Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear State Leaders and Conferees:
Thank you for your work this session. I am reaching out to you today to ask you to continue the efforts by renegotiating education targets and financially supporting all Teacher Shortage Act initiatives.
An increase in funding would allow our school district to ________________________.
Fully funding the Teacher Shortage Act bill will provide our district with ____________.
Please continue to invest in all Minnesota students. Thank you for your service and your anticipated attention to this issue.
(Your Name, Title, School District)