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Omnibus Education Bill Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen 4-28-2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Hello Friends!
On Monday, the House Higher Education and k-12 omnibus bill passed the House floor with bipartisan support. Here is a brief overview of the bill.
K-12 Portion
The Education Policy Omnibus portion of the education bill includes measures that promote teacher safety, address teacher shortages, and encourage civics education. Also, we will see a simplification in the teacher licenser process, and a focus on finding ways to make the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) a better indicator of college and career preparedness. Funding provisions include $6 million for future teacher grants and paraprofessional “grow your own” programs, and $6 million to bolster early childhood literacy and learning. The resources used in the funding portion of the bill are re-purposed funds from other areas, keeping the budget target for this bill close to net-zero.
Higher Education Portion
The Higher Education portion of the omnibus is geared toward making students more educated in managing their debt once they graduate, and increasing awareness of federal student loan forgiveness programs. There is also a provision that requires MnSCU to create pilot programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to encourage independent living and job skills.
This bill passed the House floor with a vote of 84 for and 46 against. I will continue to keep you appraised as we move forward with session!
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