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 24, 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 teacher licensure bill HF140 was heard in the House this week.  The bill closely follows the recommendations of the 2017 Legislative Work Group on Teacher Licensure.  The teacher licensure functions that were split between the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Board of Teaching (BOT) will be combined into one board which will have full responsibility of licensing teachers.  The new board will be primarily made up of teachers and school administrators.  A new four tiered structure will be used.  The credentials and experience required for each tier is clearly defined in law.  Tier 1 and Tier 2 teacher licenses will help get community experts where a licensed teacher is not available and teachers from other states into the classroom to help alleviate the growing teacher shortage.  The bill gives a lot of flexibility to local school districts.  Read more   Bill Summary  Bill Text  Bill Status

HF1376/SF1222 is the Governor's and MDE's education policy bill.  Most of the bill is technical and clarifying in nature.  The bill would eliminate having questions above and below grade level on state adaptive assessments.  Since school districts tend to use other adaptive tests to determine exactly where a student is academically as the state assessments do not provide timely results, this will probably not impact school districts much.  Still it is a bit puzzling.  The House and Senate education policy omnibus policy bills must be processed out of education policy committees by March 17.  I know these bills will contain much more policy, which can be both good and bad. 

HF1478 is scheduled in to be heard in the House Education Innovation Policy Committee next Tuesday, February 28.   Chair Jennifer Loon of the Education Finance Committee is carrying this bill that would end teacher seniority, which is also known as last in, first out (LIFO).  School districts would like to keep the most effective teachers when forced to make cuts.  The teacher union fights hard to protect this right for their teachers.  We'll see if this  gains any traction this session.   

Much more happened this week down at the Capitol and you can keep up by following Brad's Blog.
More info
Here is a good article from MinnPost - The Legislature is going to be debating education funding again. How, exactly, does Minnesota pay for its schools?

MDE released the 2016 high school graduation rate, which increased slightly.  Read more.

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


Deb Griffiths
Schools for Equity in Education
Director of Communications and Community Outreach