There were plenty of questions Tuesday, but not much debate, as conferees began reviewing language differences between the House and Senate versions of the omnibus education finance bill.
One such proposal, included in the House bill, would require school administrators and staff to intervene and redirect a student’s negative or disruptive behavior using non-exclusionary practices, rather than turning toward suspension or expulsion.
Nelson said administrators have expressed concern that could prohibit teachers from effectively managing their classrooms.
“There does come point where keeping that child in a school setting would be disrupting the learning of other students and also tying the hands of the school professionals,” she said. “So we’ll want to delve into that a little further.”
Much of the language pertains to students with disabilities, explained Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-Hopkins), who are excluded from classrooms at a disproportionately higher rate. She added positive behavior modeling and support services are more effective at correcting behavioral issues than using suspension and expulsion.
A Senate-only provision that drew questions from House conferees would set the groundwork to bring Pathways in Technology Early College high schools to Minnesota. Nelson explained they’re created through public-private partnerships and work within, or collaboratively, with high schools.
“I’m intrigued that you described it as a school-within-a-school program, because both the local and national advocates that have spoken with me about it described it as new schools in districts,” Davnie said.
Time permitting, Nelson indicated she would arrange testifiers and provide data on the program and how it works.
Other provisions included the House proposal but absent from the Senate version include:
Other provisions included the Senate proposal but absent from the House version include:
Conferees are scheduled to meet again Wednesday at noon to finish walking through the side-by-side comparison. They plan to also take up early childhood finance and policy provisions within their respective bills.