All public school children must have equal access to a high quality education regardless of where they live in Minnesota.

Legislative Update  
A communication for education advocates in SEE districts.
January 20, 2017  
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Check out Brad's Blog for detailed information on legislative activity

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What is happening at the Capitol

The education  committees continue to have experts at the meetings to provide overviews on particular education issues.

In a joint Senate committee meeting with the Senate E-12 Education Finance Committee and the Senate Human Services Reform Policy and Finance Committee, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Human Services reviewed how each agency is supporting the most at-risk children and their families from prenatal to age 5.  Their presentation showing how services are provided to children and families through several real life stories is quite interesting.  The state is spending nearly $1 billion in the hope of putting the children on a successful trajectory. noting that failing to do so results in much higher costs to the state throughout the life of the child.  Other entities are also getting involved.  As a example, South St. Paul, which is a SEE district, is in a collaboration with 3 other school districts, Dakota County, non-profits, etc., which is focused on the ambitious goal that each and every child in Dakota County is proficient in reading by 3rd grade when they are 8 years old.  Data shows that if children are not reading by age 8, the odds that they will graduates from high school diminishes exponentially.   Here is more info on this effort - description and benchmarks.

The House Education Innovation Policy committee reviewed the report of the 2016 Legislative Study Group on Educator Licensing.  Another work group was convened at MDE to look specifically at teacher licensure for career and technical education (CTE).  The final recommendations were discussed in the Senate E-12 Policy Committee  CTE jobs are in high demand by businesses across the state and many of them are well paid careers.  Finding CTE teachers is extremely difficult.  Fully, 1/3 of the CTE classes in our schools are taught by community experts, who are not licensed teachers but are individuals that are experts in that content area.  One of the multiple problems that contributes to the lack of CTE licensed teachers is that state law requires a four year baccalaureate degree to get a teaching license.   However, there are no baccalaureate CTE teaching programs in areas like welding, cosmetology, and medical careers.  The state must develop a flexible process of providing multiple pathways to licensure for the various CTE programs so Minnesota public school students can have access to these valuable education opportunities.  Read more - summary and full report.  

As always, check out Brad's Blog for more detailed information on what is happening at the Capitol. 

Equalization Information

The Governor proposed increasing debt service equalization to reduce the taxpayer cost for school bonds in his tax bill.  He proposed spending $62 million on this property tax relief, spread out over four years. SEE is working on a bill to increase debt service equalization by $40 million a year.  This bill should be introduced in the next few weeks.  Forty of SEE's 59 school districts will see some property tax relief in the SEE proposal, that drops to 25 SEE districts with the Governor's proposal.   This spreadsheet shows how much current property taxes would decrease in eligible school districts.


A bill is in the works to provide $40 million of property tax relief for operating referendums.  I will provide more information on these bills as it becomes available.  

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. 


Deb Griffiths

Director of Communications and Community Outreach


Schools for Equity in Education | 1884 Como Avenue | St. Paul | MN | 55108