Advocates Fear Failure to Find Resolution at the Capitol Will Hurt Students and Schools
May 21, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS, MN-Today, EdAllies expressed disappointment over the final days of the 2018 state legislative session. A conference committee report passed last week, Senate File 3656, included many strong provisions to support Minnesota students and families. Combined with a fair compromise on emergency school funding, this could have been an extremely productive legislative session for students and schools. However, over the weekend several policy provisions were watered down or removed following negotiations with Gov. Dayton, and the Legislature and governor failed to reach a mutual agreement on school funding.
The Legislature did send an omnibus bill to the governor, which now awaits his signature or veto. Unfortunately, several of the governor’s demands removed key provisions from the bill, including: commonsense improvements to MCA administration to ensure that families and educators receive timely results; proposals to implement dyslexia and early learning screenings in schools; and a requirement that schools report and the state capture data on non-exclusionary discipline practices used before student exclusions or expulsions. Unfortunately, these important provisions are now off the table.
Many other provisions hang in balance as the governor decides whether to veto the final omnibus bill, as he has vowed to do. Some of the education proposals likely headed to a veto by the governor include:
- A bipartisan compromise to ensure the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board has sufficient time for rulemaking, extending the deadline for the state’s new tiered teacher licensure system by three months, to Oct. 1, 2018.
- A requirement that schools notify families after any dismissal, police involvement, or seclusion and create re-engagement plans after a student dismissal.
- Small technical fixes to further strengthen the 2016 All Kids Count Act, which is on track to disaggregate student achievement data by race, ethnicity, and other factors this fall in a few schools and districts, then statewide the following year.
- A proposal to establish a transparent school rating system, with the Minnesota Department of Education having the full authority to build out the best indicators to summarize school and district performance.
“It’s been a frustrating few days,” said EdAllies Executive Director Daniel Sellers. “While SF 3656 was by no means perfect, it included many important, bipartisan proposals that would have really made a difference for Minnesota students, especially those who have been most historically underserved in our schools.”
He continued, “Unfortunately, several of those proposals were weakened or stripped altogether during negotiations with the governor. Even so, the final omnibus bill awaiting Gov. Dayton’s veto or signature still includes several commonsense education measures that have had the support of many Minnesota families throughout session. I hope that policymakers can set aside their differences to pass long-overdue legislation with the urgency that students and families deserve.”
For more information, an interview with Daniel Sellers, or interviews with families and educators supportive of the provisions detailed above, contact EdAllies Strategic Communications Director Ariana Kiener: 612.666.3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About EdAllies: EdAllies partners with schools, families, and communities to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to a rigorous and engaging education. We advance policies that put underserved students first, remove barriers facing successful schools and programs, and foster an inclusive conversation about what’s possible for students.