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.
February 3, 2017  
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Check out Brad's Blog for detailed information on legislative activity
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Committee deadlines

Leadership set the committee deadlines.
  • Friday, March 10 - a bill must be heard in committee to continue in the process.
  • Friday, March 17 - a bill's companion bill (the House version of a Senate bill or the Senate version of a House bill) must be heard in committee, policy omnibus bills must be completed..
  • Friday, March 31 - the major finance omnibus bills must be completed.

Most bills heard in committee are laid on the table for possible inclusion in the omnibus bills. Most committees in both the House and Senate from E-12 education to transportation to public safety build omnibus bills.  The committee chair ultimately decides which bills will be included in the omnibus bill.  Policy omnibus bills must be completed by March 17 and will head to conference committee, where the House and Senate versions will be negotiated into a single bill. Finance omnibus bill must be finished by the end of March.       

Career and technical education (CTE)
The belief that every student should obtain a college degree became more prevalent in the 1980s.  Votech institutions became community colleges. This trend and the high cost of maintaining CTE programs decimated CTE in public schools.   It also ignored the needs of a segment of students who aren't traditional learners.  They want to work more with their hands or must see the direct relevance in what they are learning.  

Today, businesses are struggling to find skilled workers to fill many CTE jobs including welding, automotive and medical technologies.  Necessity has forged partnerships between business and E-12 schools in exciting ways.  This week the House Innovation Policy Committee and the Senate Committee on E-12 Finance explored what is happening across the state in this area.  The biggest challenge is inequity of CTE opportunities for all students. 

Closing the achievement gap is a stated top priority for the chairs of the education committees.  The committees heard from one school district that at-risk students in CTE programming and partnerships are much more likely to graduate from high school than their at-risk peers who do not participate in CTE programming.  All told, I expect there might be increased funding for CTE in the education finance bills.  We will see.

As always, check out Brad's Blog for more detailed information on what is happening at the Capitol. 
If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. 


Deb Griffiths
Director of Communications and Community Outreach