With students and teachers having returned to the classroom for the start of the 2015-16 school year, I thought this would be the perfect time to review the accomplishments for K-12 Education during the 2015 legislative session.
Most school administrators I've spoken with are pleased with the historic investment made in education last June. In all, $525 million in new revenue was sent to schools throughout Minnesota. This results in an average increase of $396 per pupil for Greater Minnesota school districts through Fiscal Year 2017, money that districts can use to reduce class sizes, retain teachers, or provide new programs to their students.
A number of reforms were also implemented during the 2015 session. This includes improving access to quality educators by streamlining out-of-state teacher licensure reciprocity, and mandating fewer tests in order to increase classroom learning time.
The legislature also provided funding for facilities maintenance, which will help reduce funding disparities for rural school districts and help finance the preservation of their school buildings. $95 million was also allocated to early learning initiatives including scholarships and school readiness aid. And we also convinced the administration to allow the MACCRAY School District to maintain its four day per week schedule.
In all, we approved dozens of provisions that should make life easier for school districts and their teachers while ultimately helping our children succeed in school.
As always, I welcome your questions and feedback. Please contact me anytime at 651-296-4228 or at email@example.com if you'd like to further discuss last session's education agenda.
Here's wishing the best of luck to all of the students, parents, and teachers in western Minnesota. Have a wonderful school year.