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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope that you have enjoyed the coming of fall over the past few weeks as we move closer to the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a great time to get outside and admire the leaves as they change colors and fall to the ground.

Today, I wanted to write a quick note to inform you that the state academic social studies standards revision has moved into the expert review phase of the process to rule-making, which releases to our schools a list of the new standards and benchmarks for which they need to select curriculum (teaching materials).

However, I am waiting to learn who the experts are that have been tasked by the Department of Education (MDE) to review the standards but do know that MDE expert review and discussion is a part of the typical process used to revise academic standards. 

Last week, Draft #3 was distributed to the expert reviewers who now have until November 30th to complete their review and provide feedback. At that time, Commissioner Mueller will analyze their feedback and finalize her review process of Draft #3. According to her staff at the department, Commissioner Mueller feels strongly about first receiving the feedback of the experts before approving Draft #3 and moving into rulemaking.

As you know, I have had grave concerns about the content of all the revisions of the standards and submitted six pages of comments after Draft #2, all based on violation of four statutes found in our state K-12 Education Code.

To my knowledge, no one outside the 36-member revision committee has access to Draft #3, so that raises even more concerns because I do not know if the committee honored my concerns or those of many parents, community members, and teachers who submitted comments about the embedding of critical race theory as well as standards-based on subjective truth.

If the commissioner gives the go-ahead to Draft #3, it will be published in the state register and there will be a 30-day comment period to an administrative law judge who is assigned to the rules following the first publication of the standards in the state register.

On the second publication, the rules are considered final and adopted. Therefore, I urge the public to pay attention to the state register and to make comments during the 30-day comment period. I will do my best to send along further information on how to submit comments when the register lists the standards and benchmarks.

Parents of school-aged children need to remain engaged on this issue. The entire education system works best when parents are involved in the process, so I encourage you to reach out to your local school officials, in a respectful way and make sure that your voice is heard on issues related to your student’s education. Together, we can ensure that Minnesota schools are doing their best to prepare students for the world of tomorrow with truth that is objective.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Have a good day,

Sondra

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