ST. PAUL — On Thursday, April 26, 2018, the House passed bipartisan education legislation on a vote of 94-29 that puts students first. House File 4328 prioritizes school and student safety, increases transparency in school finance and performance reporting, and helps prepare kids for a bright and successful future.
“I am proud of the comprehensive school safety and education package we’ve put together this session. Our bill puts Minnesota kids first,” said House Education Finance Chair Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie. “From providing critical resources and flexibility for our schools to address student safety and mental health, to creating a School Report Card for families to easily research and compare schools to find what will work best for their child, we are focused on innovative solutions that will make a meaningful impact on education in our state.”
Highlights in the education portion of the bill include:
“As chair of the Education Innovation Policy Committee, it has been my goal from day one to ensure that every student in Minnesota has access to a world-class education,” said Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton. “This year’s bill does exactly that by ensuring our students are safe while also ensuring that our schools are producing positive academic results. I am proud of our work this year; Minnesota’s schools are going to be stronger thanks to this legislation.”
A number of higher education provisions are also included in the package. Highlights include measures to fund student loan debt counseling, bring new sexual harassment reporting requirements and policies to the University of Minnesota, and to back a textbook affordability initiative. Overall, $4 million in supplemental funding is appropriated to state colleges and universities, along with $1 million to Metro State for cybersecurity programming, and $500,000 to each the University of Minnesota and the Office of Higher Education.
“The committee has done well to address a number of important issues during such a brief session,” said Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, who chairs the House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee. “I am pleased that in a non-budget year, we still were able to provide funding for initiatives that once again highlight our mission to put students first.”