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.
March 3, 2017  
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Check out Brad's Blog for detailed information on legislative activity
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Equalization bill in committee
SF1206 (Senjem) will be heard in the Senate Education Finance Committee on Monday (3/6) at 3:00 p.m. More details. This bill lowers the cost of referendums and school bonds through property tax relief.  See how it would impact your district in this data run.  SEE strongly supports this bill as it will significantly reduce property taxes in many of our low property wealth districts and make the education funding formula more equitable. 
Good news,  Minnesota's surplus increased
In the February forecast released on Tuesday, Minnesota's surplus grew from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.  Minnesota Management and Budget summarized the forecast this way, "Minnesota's budget and economic outlook is improved but has significant risk".  Read more.  The risk is what is happening at the federal level. 

The Legislature uses the February forecast to set budget targets, which is  how much each area of government, including education, will have to spend.  

On the other hand, daunting financial news
There is growing concern at the Minnesota State Capitol about the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Minnesota would lose $1.3 billion of federal aid for its low-income health care program next year and that will grow to $6 billion annually by 2029.  Read more.   I don't know how this uncertainty is going to play out as the House, Senate and Governor work to pass a balanced budget by the end of session on May 22.
What is happening at the Capitol
The policy omnibus bills must be passed out of committee by next Friday.  Chair Sondra Erickson of the House Education Innovation Committee said HF140, the teacher licensure bill, will be the hallmark of the House policy omnibus bill.  Otherwise, she wants to minimize the disruptions to school districts that new policy can create and leave the locals do their jobs.  However, most of the policy bills heard were laid on the table for possible inclusion in the omnibus bill.  Here are the education policy bills heard in the education policy committees that could end up in the House and Senate policy omnibus bills.  2017 Education Bills Summary   Education Committee Schedules

Much more happened this week down at the Capitol and you can keep up by following Brad's Blog.

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