IN THE SENATE — Education Committee
One of the biggest news items from the Senate: the Senate E-12 Policy and Finance Committees have merged into one committee. Don’t ever let anyone tell you government only grows — here is one example of government getting smaller. The combined committee held its first official hearing of the 2015-16 biennium. The agenda allowed for all the education stakeholders to come to the stand to provide a two-minute summary of their legislative priorities for this session. Over two hours, more than 25 education partners participated and there were seven reoccurring themes that emerged during the hearing:
• Increasing general education funding formula by at least inflation and automatic inflationary increases in the future
• Enacting the Facilities Task Force Recommendations
• Addressing teacher supply and licensure requirements
• Aligning standards to testing and eliminating duplicative tests
• Expanding concurrent enrollment
• Teacher evaluation adjustments and funding
• Increasing early learning funding
As the meeting ended, Sen. Chuck Wiger asked the senators to identify their individual priorities for the session. In summary, they included:
• Advancement of World’s Best Workforce initiative (closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation rates)
• Implementing Facilities Task Force recommendations
• Increasing counselors, student support staff and reducing non-academic barriers to learning
• Accelerating work force development initiatives
• Enhancing early childhood programs
• Narrowing the revenue equity gap
Visit https://www.mnmsba.org/Portals/0/PDFs/2015-MSBA-LegislativePlatform.pdf to see MSBA’s 2015 Legislative Platform.
IN THE SENATE — 55 Bills Introduced
For the complete list of Senate bill introduction for January 8, visit http://www.senate.mn/orders/intros/intro_display.php?id=887.
IN THE HOUSE — 60 Bills Introduced
Noteworthy bill introductions: House Education Finance Committee Chair Rep. Jenifer Loon introduced HF2 which is one of the first five bill intros and signals strong support within their caucus. HF2 reflects education priorities of the House Majority to modify teacher licensure provisions and address licensure reciprocity, change unrequested leave of absence, and prohibit placing students with ineffective teachers.
For more information about HF2, read the related Session Daily story at http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=5333.
For the complete list of House bill introductions for January 8, visit http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cco/intros.asp?dateofintro=1/8/2015&session_year=2015&ls_year=89&session=0.
EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Next week, IN THE SENATE, the E-12 Committee will hear the Minnesota Department of Education’s report on the World’s Best Workforce initiative passed into law in 2013. Want to share your thoughts on the World’s Best Workforce? You can sign up to testify or send your comments to members to the committee.
Next week, IN THE HOUSE, the Finance and Policy committees will begin their meetings.
To view House and Senate education hearing schedules, please see the MSBA Legislative Calendar at https://www.mnmsba.org/LegislativeCalendar.