Education advocates praised the governor’s commitment to K-12 education in the challenging economic climate, but critiqued a bill sponsored by Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) reflecting the governor’s education budget.
“Our primary area of concern relates to accounting and property tax shifts,” said Scott Croonquist, executive director of the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.
Presented to the House K-12 Education Finance Division March 3, HF1172 would delay a portion of state aid payments to school districts and require them to recognize a portion of their property tax levies early, saving the state $1.3 billion. However, this could force many districts to borrow or spend down cash reserves to cover the shortfall.
“We are balancing the state’s budget on our credit card. That, to me, is the most troubling part of this budget,” said Brad Lundell, executive director of Schools for Equity in Education.
However, Lundell liked the proposed “pay for progress” revenue that would reward schools for demonstrating student academic growth, not just proficiency.
New spending proposals include:
• expanding Q Comp, the teacher alternative pay system, statewide and increasing the maximum per pupil bonus from $260 to $300;
• a “Summer of Success” to help eighth graders not proficient in reading and math improve before beginning ninth grade;
• a midcareer alternative teacher licensure path; and
• creating a virtual education program.
The bill would save $4.6 million by converting the Perpich Center for Arts Education from a state agency and magnet school to a charter school effective July 1, 2010.
It would also mandate a minimum number of instruction hours, not days, so nearly 100 schools would add between 0.9 and 120 minutes of daily instruction; eliminate teachers’ right to strike except in certain circumstances; and require binding arbitration in others.
The bill was held over for possible inclusion in an omnibus K-12 education finance bill. Its companion, SF836, sponsored by Sen. LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer), awaits action by the Senate E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division.
The year without a K-12 law
School funding is flat, no reforms enacted
(view full story) Published 6/1/2010
House K-12 omnibus bill fast-tracked
Senate slow to respond with companion legislation
(view full story) Published 5/13/2010
K-12 education omnibus bill stalls
Teacher licensure proposals in contention
(view full story) Published 5/6/2010
K-12 education bill moves forward
Measures would activate reforms, stabilize school funding
(view full story) Published 4/29/2010
Resuscitating Race to the Top bid
New bid could hinge on proposals to boost teacher effectiveness
(view full story) Published 4/22/2010
Raiders of the lost fund
Slew of reforms could boost Permanent School Fund income
(view full story) Published 3/25/2010
Schools shore up state’s checkbook
Obscure law forces drawdown of school reserves before state can borrow
(view full story) Published 2/25/2010
At Issue: No shifts, no cuts
Education funding in a holding pattern
(view full story) Published 5/29/2009
At Issue: E-12 education bill that might have been
Funding held steady with no shifts proposed, but no Minnesota Miracle
(view full story) Published 5/15/2009
At Issue: Investing in quality care for kids
Lawmakers hope for long-term benefits of early investment
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009
At Issue: Building a better formula
Omnibus K-12 education finance bill floor debate highlights obstacles
(view full story) Published 4/24/2009
At Issue: Whose values are they anyway?
Lawmaker carries on family legacy with sex education bill
(view full story) Published 4/17/2009
First Reading: One school doesn’t fit all
Efforts put forward to tailor charter school law
(view full story) Published 4/10/2009
At Issue: Hopeful education goals in a dismal year
Omnibus bill addresses changing needs and future demands
(view full story) Published 4/3/2009
At Issue: Getting kids to move
Bill aims to ensure ‘No child left on their behind’
(view full story) Published 2/20/2009
First Reading: Accountability funding for all
A ‘New Minnesota Miracle’ requires a leap of faith
(view full story) Published 2/13/2009
At Issue: Q Comp found wanting
Performance measure has perks, but is it affordable?
(view full story) Published 2/6/2009
At Issue: Reforming education, saving money
Bipartisan support shown for mandate reduction and shared services
(view full story) Published 1/23/2009
Feature: Passing the torch of democracy
Youth immerse themselves in lingo and actions of lawmaking
(view full story) Published 1/16/2009