THE HENTON HEADLINES
March 30, 2023
Here’s the scoop for the week
Universal Free Meals Update:
In a call with Commissioner Jett on Monday, March 27, I learned the following that may be helpful for you:
- Students who are enrolled in school and have a MARSS number qualify for free meals (this is related to pre-K students).
- MDE is creating an FAQ on universal free meals.
- MDE is developing a web page for universal free meals.
- There is an inbox you can send your questions to: [email protected]
The Omnibus Budget Bills have been Released!
Your advocacy has made a difference! Both the House and Senate released their omnibus budget bills this week and some very concerning provisions are not included. For example, the $25 minimum wage, class size ratios, and additional prep time for all teachers (there is additional prep time for special education paperwork) are not included in both bills.
We are poring through the bills, testifying about changes we want to see, and focusing on trying to work with key legislators to improve the language in each bill where needed as they move through the legislative process.
MASA Lobbyist Valerie Dosland will provide important information about the bills in this week’s session update. I will send Valerie’s update as soon as I receive it over the weekend.
In the meantime, please continue to advocate for the following:
- Future formula increases linked to inflation.
- The House omnibus bill ties future formula increases to inflation capped at 3% along with a formula increase of 4% and 2%. This is the Governor’s proposal as well.
- The Senate omnibus bill does not tie future formula increases to inflation and the formula increase is 4% and 5%.
- The elimination of the EL and Special Education cross-subsidies.
- The Governor’s bill and both omnibus bills have reductions to the EL and Special Education cross-subsidies over time. We may only be able to get a reduction in both cross-subsidies.
- The House bill has an eventual elimination of the EL cross-subsidy.
- No changes to the terms and conditions of employment.
- Specifically, we are opposed to requiring school districts to negotiate class size, the testing calendar, and student-to-teacher ratios.
- These are managerial rights and it should be the decision of the school board as to whether or not they want to negotiate class size and/or student-to-teacher ratios.
- Full funding of unemployment insurance.
- Both Houses have levy neutral targets meaning that school districts will not be able to use their unemployment levy for the increased cost of covering employees who would qualify for unemployment insurance under the proposals.
- They also did not provide additional aid to cover these costs as was originally included in the Governor’s budget recommendations.
World Autism Awareness Month | Financial Literacy Month (#MySavingsStory #FinancialLiteracyMonth #FinLitMonth) | Counseling Awareness Month (#CounselorsHelp) | School Library Month | National Internship Awareness Month | Mathematics Awareness Month | National Volunteer Month
|April 4||Leading with Excellence and Equity, Virtual Session|
|April 11||BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting | 7:30 - 8:30 am | Virtual|
|April 11||Professional Dialogue with Dr. Brenda Cassellius | Session 6 | 9 - 10 am | Virtual|
|April 13||MASA Women's Leadership Network | 9 - 10 am | Register|
|April 13||MASA Foundation Board Meeting | Quora Education Center | 11 am - 1 pm|
|April 18||Leading with Excellence and Equity, Virtual Session|
|April 19||MASA Executive Development Committee Meeting | Virtual
|April 20||MASA Instructional Leadership Network | 9-10:30 am | Virtual|
|April 25||Leading with Excellence and Equity, Part 2|
|April 27||Great Start Cohort #7 | Quora Education Center|
|May 1||MASA/MSHSL Executive Officer Meeting|
|May 9||BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting | 7:30 - 8:30 am | Virtual|
|May 16||Professional Dialogue with Dr. Brenda Cassellius | Session 7 | 9 - 10 am | Virtual|
|May 25||MASA Instructional Leadership Network | 9-10:30 am | Virtual|
|June 13||BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting | 7:30 - 8:30 am | Virtual|
|June 14||MASA Master Class: Understanding State Aid: Equalization, Ag2School and more | 10 - 11 am | Virtual | Registration Coming Soon!|
|June 20||MASA Instructional Leadership Network | 1 - 2:30 pm | Virtual|
|June 20||Professional Dialogue with Dr. Brenda Cassellius | Session 8 | 9 - 10 am | Virtual|
|August 8||Save the date! MDE Back to School Conference | Minneapolis Marriott NW, Brooklyn Park|
|October 8-10||MASA Fall Conference | DECC, Duluth, MN|