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State Representative Anna Wills

491 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4306

For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809

Posted: Mar 6 2015 6:21PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

News from Representative Wills 03-06-2015


Dear Friends,

Yesterday evening, the House debated and passed one of our top education bills, House File 2. This bill asks school districts to consider teacher effectiveness in the unfortunate event that layoffs must be made, rather than simply seniority under current law. This gives schools the flexibility to keep their most effective teachers which will enhance student learning in the long run. Schools can include seniority as a part of their locally-determined criteria, so school districts can continue to consider seniority if they wish.

House File 2 will also help bring additional teachers to Minnesota and address Minnesota's teacher shortage by streamlining the process for out-of-state teachers coming to our state, and making it easier for schools to use what's called a variance, which allows schools to hire a community expert in lieu of a licensed teacher to fill an opening in certain subject areas.

Students deserve a well-rounded education and shouldn't miss out on opportunities simply because schools can't find a teacher to fill a position in a certain subject area. We will continue working to give school districts the flexibility and tools to find teachers fill those positions.

More funding flexibility for schools

On Tuesday, my bill to give schools more financial flexibility was heard in the Education Finance Committee. HF567 gives school boards additional control over what's known as compensatory funding, one of the many revenue streams schools receive.

I believe school districts, school boards, superintendents, and local teachers know how best to spend education dollars, and where to target them to ensure the best outcomes for students. More financial flexibility means schools have more opportunities to invest in programs with proven track records.

Rosemount Coffee Party for the Arts Visit

This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to visit with constituents at a Rosemount Coffee Party to discuss arts issues. The Rosemount Area Arts Council received legacy funding in the past and is a great asset to the community. If you'd like more information about the organization, you can visit their website at www.rosemountarts.com.

Legislative Town Hall Reminder

Sen. Greg Clausen, Rep. Tara Mack, and I will be hosting a town hall meeting on Saturday, March 14 from 10:30AM-11:30 AM at the Galaxie Library in Apple Valley. Constituents from all over District 57 are invited to hear an update on the legislative session so far, and share their thoughts and input.

You can find full details and RSVP to the event (not required) by clicking here.

Rosemount Youth Commissioner accepting applicants

The Rosemount City Council is seeking applicants for seats on the city's Youth Commission. The commission offers young people the opportunity to participate first-hand in their local government and represent their fellow classmates. Terms run for one year, and are open to residents between the ages of 14-18. If you know someone who may be interested in serving on the commission, please visit the City of Rosemount website here.

Apple Valley Citizens Police Academy

Apple Valley is hosting a Citizens Police Academy that starts March 31st and runs every Tuesday from 6-9PM until May 26th. This is your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Apple Valley Police Department. The Academy is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has not already attended a Citizen Academy in the past five years. Background checks will be conducted on applicants. For more information, please visit the Apple Valley website by clicking here.

Constituent Visits

Last week it was great to visit with Matt, Mike, Charity, Dave, Robert and Kristy from a group called Apple Valley NextLeaders, a program of emerging under-40 business leaders in our community.

Jen and Lizzie both stopped by the Capitol on Tuesday to talk about school social worker issues.

A group of constituents from the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association stopped by to talk about some of the bills being heard this session related to landscaping.

Thanks to the constituents who stopped by to discuss issues impacting the deaf and hard-of-hearing issues. Much of our discussion focused on education and how we can better educate students with hearing issues.

It was great to visit with Victoria, Sierra, and Vincent who came to Saint Paul to talk about health freedom.

If you're planning a visit to the Capitol and would like to schedule a meeting, or would just like to share your thoughts and opinions, please contact my office at rep.anna.wills@house.mn or call 651-296-4306. You can also follow my updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/annacwills or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repannawills.

Have a great weekend,

Anna Wills
State Representative, District 57B

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