Weekly Update – February 13, 2015

Upcoming Hearings

Tuesday, Feb. 17th   8:30 AM Room 112 Capitol
SF490 Dahle School Debt Service Equalization  Increase
SF489 Dahle School Enhanced Debt Service  Equalization

Thursday, Feb 19,  8:30 AM Room 112 Capitol
SF811 Wiger Governor’s Education Budget

Thursday Feb 26th—  8:30 AM Room 112 Capitol
SF163 Hoffman School Basic Revenue Formula   Increase
SF558 Halvorson  School Compensatory Revenue
SF564 Hoffman School Lunch Aid Increase
SF541 Clausen School Per Pupil Formula  Increase & Indexing

SUSTAINED INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION

FORMULA ALLOWANCE INCREASE
H350 & S153  Sponsor: Rep Uglem and Sen Hoffman
All schools need stable and reliable funding, yet school funding has not kept pace with inflation for decades.  Both bills keep up with inflation and allow schools to make additional investments to improve student achievements.  S541 creates a more predictable and sustainable form of funding that adjusts automatically to inflation over time.
Proposes a 5% increase to the basic revenue formula allowance in 2016 ($6,131) and later.
Status: Introduced 1/26 in House & 1/20 in Senate Awaiting action in Education Finance & E12 Divisions
CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF350&version=0&session_year=2015&session_number=0>
Status: Hearing in E-12 Division on February 26th

H712 & SEN 541    Sponsor: Rep Davnie and Sen Clausen
Proposes a 4% increase to the basic revenue formula allowance in both 2016 ($6,064) and 2017 ($6,307).  In 2018 and later, the formula allowance increase would automatically increase by the Consumer Price Index- inflation- plus 1%.

CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?version=latest&session=ls89&number=SF0541&session_year=2015&session_number=0>
Status: Hearing in the E-12 division on February 26th

GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION BUDGET
H844 & S811 Sponsors: Rep Loon and Sen Wiger

This bill tackles everything the Governor proposed in his budget– funding for prekindergarten, adult education, free breakfast program, eliminating the Head Start waiting list, Reading Corps, expanding the English Learner program from 6 to 7 years, Regional Center of Excellence, Success for the Future, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?session=ls89&number=HF844&session_number=0&session_year=2015&version=list>
Status: Senate Hearing on Feb 19th in E-12 Division

DFL EDUCATION FUNDING BILL
H739 & S788  Sponsor: r: REP Davnie and Sen Torres Ray

Universal Pre-K Funding Phase in & Special Education Funding bill.

CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?session=ls89&number=HF739&session_number=0&session_year=2015&version=list>

FOUR DAY SCHOOL WEEK
H197 &S162 Simplification        sponsor: Rep Miller
S188 Reauthorization                sponsor: Sen Koenen

These bills reauthorize the 4- day week schedule, and will make it easier for additional districts to move to that model.  Four day weeks have proven not to work and are detrimental to student achievement.  Last year, seven of the eleven districts that moved to the four day week schedule went back to five days.

Because of divestment in education and inequity in funding, Districts are cutting programs and hours in class – instead we should fully fund education and increase equity in non- metro districts so all students can have access to a quality education.

CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?version=latest&session=ls89&number=SF0162&session_year=2015&session_number=0>

EQUITY IN EDUCATION
Facilities Funding
S76 & H860  School Facilities Revenue   Sponsor: Sen. Dahle  & Rep Marquart
S75 & h857 Capital Projects Referendum Equalization   Sponsor: Sen. Dahle & Rep Marquart

Over the last 20 years, the disparity between metro and non- metro schools has widened- particularly when it comes to funding for facilities and maintenance of buildings.   Currently, the largest 25 districts have the “alternative facilities program” – which is the ability maintain facilities without putting a levy or referendum on the ballot.
These bills create an adequate, equitable, sustainable funding stream for all districts, for all schools for all kids by doing two things:
1. Give all school districts access to “alternative facilities funding” so school buildings and grounds can be responsibly and efficiently maintained.
2.  Make school facilities levies and bonds more affordable in low-wealth districts by increasing equalization. This ensures tax fairness by making levies affordable in low property wealth districts.  For districts whose tax base is lower than the average, the state will contribute a higher share of the per- pupil funding.

This investment in infrastructure will make sure that all students – no matter where they live – are in quality, safe, learning environments; and districts could focus investment in education, programing, and support staff needs.

These bills close the funding inequity for long term maintenance of schools in non- metro districts.  We can’t segregate our funding based on zip codes.  All students deserve quality facilities.
Status:  Amended and Laid over in E-12 Division
CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?version=latest&session=ls89&number=SF0076&session_year=2015&session_number=0>

EQUITY REVENUE
H175 & S96  Equity Revenue for Exurban District     Sen Kiffenmeyer and Rep Lucero

The disparity in educational opportunities is especially striking in the districts surrounding the borders of the seven- county metro area.  Many districts have thousands of students residing in metro counties, are paying vendors, staff, at the same rates as the metro districts, but receive no metro equity revenue from the state.  Teachers and support staff should not have lower pay and fewer benefits because of their zip code.

These bills address this inequitable funding model by allowing any district in the 11 county metro to receive metro equity revenue-a 25% boost in per- pupil funding.  The districts eligible for metro equity revenue would increase from 48 to 75- including twenty schools with Local 284 contracts:

51- FOLEY
138- NORTH BRANCH
314- BRAHAM
466-  DASSEL-COKATO
726- BECKER
727- BIG LAKE
728- ELK RIVER
742- ST. CLOUD
877- BUFFALO
881- MAPLE LAKE
882- MONTICELLO
883- ROCKFORD
885- ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE
879- DELANO
911- CAMBRIDGE-ISANTI
912- MILACA
2144- CHISAGO LAKES
2397- LESUEUR-HENDERSON
2687- HOWARD  LAKE
2859- GLENCOE-SILVER LAKE

Status: H175 & S96 Awaiting Action in Education Finance & E12 Divisions- on the Senate agenda Feb 3rd

CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?version=latest&session=ls89&number=SF0096&session_year=2015&session_number=0>

BONDED DEBT AUTHORIZATIONS
H596 SPONSOR: Drazkowski

Excludes farmland from being taxed for bond issues or capital improvements (net tax capacity). Farmers would be taxed on their house, garage and one acre, not on the agricultural property.  This is how farmers are taxed for school district operating levies, the money that is used for general operating expenses.
CLICK TO READ BILL<http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/bills/billnum.asp?billnumber=596>

UNIVERSAL PRE-K
H46 & S6    Sponsor: Rep Murphy  & Senator Hoffman

Provides voluntary public pre-kindergarten for all four year old children across the state.  Aims to close the achievement gap, increase school readiness, create seamless transitions to all day-k, and engage better more meaningful engagement with families.
CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF0006&ssn=0&y=2015>

FREE BREAKFAST PROGRAM FOR ALL ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
S344  Sponsor: Johnson

Expands the free breakfast for kindergarten to all elementary students by reimbursing $1.30 for each fully paid breakfast served to students.
Status:  Hearing on Tuesday, Feb 10th  Room 112 Capitol  8:30am
CLICK TO READ BILL<https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?version=latest&session=ls89&number=SF0344&session_year=2015&session_number=0>

ANTI- UNION LEGISLATION
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNION ATTACKS
H24 Public Employee Political Leave Prohibited    Sponsor: Rep Quam

Would restrict public employees from work-release/time off to engage in political activities
CLICK HERE TO READ BILL<http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/bills/billnum.asp?billnumber=24>

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