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Early childhood screening and assessment

published 2/15/2007
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At-risk parents and children would be given priority to Early Childhood Family Education when funds are limited, under a proposed bill.

Sponsored by Rep. David Bly (DFL-Northfield), HF585 was approved by the House E-12 Education Committee and referred to the House Finance Committee.

Along with giving priority to at-risk families, the bill would raise the amount of revenue for ECFE programs from $112 to $120 for fiscal year 2008 and beyond times the greater of 180 or the number of children under age 5 in the district on Oct. 1 of the previous year.

Under the bill, the amount a district that enters into a collaborative agreement to provide education and social services to families with young children can levy would double from $1.60 to $3.20 times the number of people under age 5 residing in the district on Sept. 1 of the previous school year. Use of the revenue for home visiting programs would also be expanded to include hospital visits for families of newborns.

A companion bill, SF579, sponsored by Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka), is scheduled to be heard Feb. 19 by the Senate Education Committee.

- Mike Cook

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