As the path for the 2015 Special Session begins to become more solidified, we believe it is important to reinforce our priorities on some of the key provisions related to the final E-12 bill.
- First, the Conference Committee Report of HF 844 provides an excellent framework upon which to build a successful E-12 bill that helps all of our public school students and school districts. The funding and policy provisions have received the necessary scrutiny by school district advocacy organizations and the respective House and Senate committees.
- In order to improve student achievement goals found within the World’s Best Workforce and the strategic plan in each school district, school districts urge the legislature and governor to prioritize investments on the general education basic formula of at least 2 percent each year of the biennium. Investments in the basic formula provide stability, predictability and equity for all of our public school districts. Investments on the basic formula allow our districts the flexibility in meeting the needs of all of our students.
- School districts understand the importance of early learning opportunities. The Senate E-12 bill, SF 811, provides a solid policy foundation for enhancing early learning opportunities. Investments made in school-based school readiness programs provide a great structure for improving, enhancing, and growing learning opportunities for our youngest learners. Direct investments for our early learners in proven and effective School Readiness programs in an effort to prepare our youngest learners kindergarten. Allowing districts to phase this in will permit districts and the state to address a number of implementation issues, including, but not limited to the following: availability of licensed teachers, facilities, partnerships with community providers, transportation safety, and local coordination of services ages 0-4.
- Last, we would urge the legislature and governor to resolve their differences within the E-12 bill as soon as possible. Districts are in the process of establishing their 2015-16 school district budgets (June 30) as required by state law, finalizing their school calendar and determining employment needs for the next school year.
We have attempted to make it clear that MASA supports early childhood. At this point the expansion and possible reform of the School Readiness program is a good step. MASA stands ready to work with our Governor and legislators on this very important topic.
Please share your thoughts with Governor Dayton, Speaker Daudt and Majority Leader Bakk:
Governor Mark Dayton
Email: Send your questions and comments to Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith
Toll Free: 800-657-3717
Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529
Speaker Kurt Daudt