On Thursday, the House approved its education omnibus bill. This year’s bill focuses heavily on the issue of school safety as we’ve been working diligently to find common ground with a variety stakeholders to make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our students safe.
Our multifaceted approach to school safety includes expanding the use of long-term facilities maintenance revenue for facility security upgrades, strengthening the state’s commitment to school-linked mental health grants, supporting suicide prevention training for teachers, increasing funding for Safe Schools Revenue, and more.
I am proud of this approach that gives schools the flexibility they need to leverage these resources in a way that works for their specific needs. In addition to the school safety, the bill also focuses on increasing transparency in school finance and performance reporting.
Here are some highlights from the bill:
- Strengthening and clarifying state law to address teacher misconduct and teacher licensure including prohibiting sexual relationships between educators and students, even if that student is 18; requiring periodic teacher background checks; and prohibiting the issuance or renewal of a teacher/administrative license or bus driver endorsement for certain felonies or gross misdemeanors involving a minor
- Requiring the Minnesota Department of Education to create a School Report Card —a one-stop-spot for summative and easily accessible school and district ratings that will provide families with a place to research, compare and help determine which school will work best for their child
- Enhancing the transparency of school funding and our commitment to tackling our state’s achievement gap by doubling the number of school audits each year. These audits will discern whether or not education dollars allocated to school districts and dedicated to special education, English-learner and low-income students are reaching the students intended
- Ensuring students are exposed to a wide variety of post-secondary options including the trades and branches of the military
- Strengthening laws that protect kids from school lunch shaming
- Creating a Special Education Working Group to engage stakeholders and examine the factors that are driving rising costs
I was proud to author a provision included in the bill that allows tenth-grade students not enrolled in a school district to take a career and technical education course offered by a Minnesota state college or university through the postsecondary enrollment options program.
Staying in Touch
As always, if you have any questions regarding this legislation or any other matter of state government, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I can be contacted by phone at 651-296-4229
or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and have a great week,