A message to the members of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) from Charlie Kyte, Executive Director.
The accompanying audio podcast is 9 minutes long. Just click the audio bar.
SWITCHING FROM "ON THE ROAD" TO "AT THE CAPITOL"....... LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS
As the 2008 legislative session begins, we will switch to bringing you news on education from the Capitol on a regular basis. But first here are a couple of "On the Road" type of issues.
1) CONGRATULATIONS TO ANN THOMAS AT SCHOOLFINANCE.COM
Ann has just been named President of Schoolfinance.com. Her firm works with many school districts on revenue, enrollment and negotiation projections. This is a good service for schools.
2) 403(B) GUIDELINES.... LOOK FOR THE WALL CHART!
AASA recently sent an excellent folder of information on the new 403(b) regulations. I found the wall chart that was enclosed to be especially helpful. With this guide and the help of one of the major financial services firms, a District should be able to handle the conversion and compliance on their own.
3) FOOD MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS MUST BE RE-BID
The new USDA regulations require Districts that contract for food service management to rebid their food service contracts. In addition, Minnesota Law also requires that these contracts now include a clause to require management companies to make up any shortfall. The USDA requirements indicate that the rebidding must be done by June 30, 2009, but the MDE Food and Nutrition Section are requiring that the rebidding be done this year.
The 40 Districts that contract for these services will have to hustle to get this done. Greg Hein at MDA will help with pre-reviews of specs and prototype contract language. His contact info is 651-582-8550 and firstname.lastname@example.org
LEGISLATIVE SESSION OUTLOOK.....UF DA, IT IS GOING TO BE BAD NEWS
Early in the session expect a lot of activity around a Transportation Bill that may go to the Governor only to be vetoed. Then watch the maneuvering on the Bonding Bill. By the end of February we will see the Budget forecast and finally will see the Governor's proposed budget by about mid-March.
The outlook right now is not good for education funding. Thus it is more important than ever to communicate to your legislators that if they finish the session leaving education funding flat or lower, that they will not be coming home to happy campers. We are watching about 300 Districts cutting budgets again.... it is about time to get passionate in the delivery of your messages!
MASA will have members at the Capitol every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the legislative session. Please come on your assigned days and don't be afraid to let your legislators and the legislative leadership what your Districts are going through in trying to keep education programs together.