Advocates Praise Legislature, Gov. Dayton for Advancing Strong Education Compromise
May 26, 2017
MINNEAPOLIS, MN-Today, EdAllies applauded the Minnesota House and Senate for passing HF2, the omnibus E-12 education funding bill. Following vetoes of the earlier omnibus education funding bill, HF890, and a stand-alone bill on teacher licensure, HF140, Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders came together to find consensus and make additional investments and several policy changes to address requests from the governor. The resulting legislation, HF2, has now passed both chambers with bipartisan support and is awaiting Gov. Dayton’s signature.
HF2 makes several meaningful and much-needed investments and policy changes, including:
- $371 million to fund a 2 percent per year increase in the per-pupil funding formula over the next two years—an increase from the previously proposed 1.5 percent increase;
- An overhaul to the state’s broken teacher licensure system—building off of a 2016 report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor, as well as recommendations unanimously adopted by a bipartisan legislative study group in summer 2016—that includes specific revisions to address concerns raised by Gov. Dayton in his HF140 veto letter;
- $20 million for targeted early learning scholarships, as well as $50 million for a new “School Readiness Plus” program;
- A state grant to support innovative teacher preparation programs geared towards filling educator shortages and increasing teacher diversity; and
- A repeal of the state’s default “last in, first out” layoff policy, empowering districts and unions to negotiate local policies.
“The education bill headed to Gov. Dayton’s desk is a significant win for students, educators, and families across the state,” said EdAllies Executive Director Daniel Sellers. He continued, “While there’s a lot to celebrate in this bill, I’m particularly thankful for the work that Gov. Dayton and legislators have put into overhauling our state’s broken teacher licensure system. For years, frustrated out-of-state and alternatively trained teachers, and the Minnesota school leaders who want to hire them, have been calling for change. And, for as many years, legislators have been working across the aisle to find a solution that will create fair pathways into the classroom for these educators, while maintaining high standards. The licensure proposals in HF2 are the result of all of this hard work, and will help get great teachers in front of Minnesota students. Once the governor signs HF2 into law, we will have one important barrier out of the way, and can continue the critical work of attracting and retaining the educators our students deserve.”
For more information, an interview with Daniel Sellers, or interviews with educators and families who will benefit from HF2, contact EdAllies Strategic Communications Director Ariana Kiener: 612-666-3066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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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.