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2016 Legislative Wrap-up
Parents United A Minnesota born, parent-led organization that exists to unite those who value public education, And help them be strong advocates for excellence in our public schools.
Parents United’s agenda Our agenda is simple: we don’t speak for parents, but work to provide credible, timely information about education policy and the law-making process so parents can speak for themselves. Parents United is a translator of complex terms and policy implications, as well as a navigator for a legislative process often oblique to the public.
2016 major issues • Transportation bill • Bonding bill • Real ID
• Convincing voters that a $900 million budget surplus was real • The 2016 election
Final Education Funding provisions • • • $25 million ongoing for pre-k $12. 1 million one-time money for student support services grants. $4. 9 million non-metro equity $4. 5 million for staff development for the intermediate districts. $3 million for the NW Regional Partnership $2. 8 million for Grants for Teachers in Shortage Areas. $2. 8 million for Positive Behavior Intervention Supports $2. 2 million in Maximum Effort Grandfather Aid $2 million for Parent Home Visiting Program $2 million for Teacher Loan Forgiveness $2 million for Parent Aware $1. 5 million for the Sanneh Foundation
• $1. 5 million for Girls in Action • $1. 5 million for Grow Your Own and other Teacher Preparation Programs • $1. 5 million in FY 19 for Debt Service Equalization • $1 million for MDE IT Security • $1 million for Reading Corps • $1 million for Full Service Community Schools • $900, 000 for the Western Minnesota Manufacturing Lab • $800, 000 for ABE Pilot Grants • $775, 000 for MDE Operating Increase • $500, 000 for Innovation Partners Center • $500, 000 for Eden Prairie Grants • $500, 000 for Teacher Governed Schools • $500, 000 for Broadband Innovation Grants • $430, 000 for St. Cloud Early Learning Program • $385, 000 for Southwest MN State U Sp Ed Teacher Preparation Program
• $310, 000 for Collaborative Urban Educator Program • $294, 000 for Grant to Glenville-Emmons • $270, 000 for Indian Education Teacher Preparation Grants • $250, 000 for Board of Teaching Base Funding Deficiency • $250, 000 for Graduation Incentives for ELL Students Ages 21 and 22. • $250, 000 for Agricultural Educators • $250, 000 for Minnesota Council on Economic Education • $240, 000 in Current Year to Make QComp Fund Whole • $200, 000 for Vision Therapy Pilot • $150, 000 for Race 2 Reduce (Water Conservation Project) • $120, 000 for GED Testing • $100, 000 for Rock and Read Pilot • $80, 000 for Statewide Educator Job Board • $69, 000 for Metro Deaf Charter School • $50, 000 for Headwaters Science Center • $50, 000 for Promise Neighborhood/Greater Partnerships
Voluntary Pre k • • • At least 350 hours of instruction each school year with staff-to-child ratios of 1: 10 and a maximum group size of 20 children Salaries comparable to the salaries of other district K-12 instructional staff Child’s cognitive and social skills measured using a formative measure aligned to the state’s early learning standards when the child enters and again before the child leaves the program Comprehensive program with curriculum, assessment, and instructional strategies aligned with state early learning and K-3 academic standards Coordinate appropriate K transition with families, community-based pre-K programs, and school district kindergarten programs High-quality professional development, training, and coaching for both school district and community-based early learning providers enabling teachers to be highly knowledgeable in early childhood curriculum content, assessment, native and English language development programs, and instruction
Mixed delivery system of Pre-K District and charter schools may contract with charter schools, Head Start, licensed family or center-based child care or a community-based program to provide services to eligible children. Mixed delivery plans must include strategies for recruitment, contracting, and monitoring of fiscal compliance and program quality.
Who qualifies? – Applications divided into 4 groups • Minneapolis and St. Paul • Other metro districts • Rural districts • Charter schools – Within each group applications ranked and prioritized by • Highest concentration of free- and reduced-price lunch children • Absence of 3 - or 4 -Star rated programs in close proximity
Assessments • Students are encouraged to take college entrance exam to the extent funds are available. • Districts may offer ACT and/or SAT. – If a student decides take the test that is not offered at the district, the student may take it at a different time or location and still get reimbursed. • Districts or charters must publish online calendar of all standardized tests and rationale for each and whether it is a local option or state/federal requirement.
Assessments • MDE professional and technical service contracts must provide safeguards for student info data transmission or use. • MDE must create a form for parents if they opt out of state or locally required standardized testing. The form must – Say what state standards are, which tests align with the standards – Say what consequences the student and school face if they don’t participate – Ask parents to indicate their reason for refusal
Assessments • • MCA Benchmarks – In consultation with Mn. SCU, MDE must develop benchmarks on the high school MCAs. – Mn. SCU can’t make a student take a remedial, noncredit course if they meet an MCA career and college ready benchmark Scores for MCA and ACT/SAT for this purpose only good for five years Mn. SCU institutions must post notice of this on their Web site. Commissioner must notify parents and students of this as well Mn. SCU must consider an MCA benchmark as one of multiple measures for purposes of admission. (Higher education article) Chancellor may approve or disapprove benchmarks (by 12/31/16) Provide written reasons to MDE, and if rejected suggest revisions, which the commissioner must incorporate. Approved benchmarks are effective in 16 -17 school year if practicable but no later than 17 -18.
Student Survey • Districts and charters must develop policies in consultation with parents on conducting student surveys and using/distributing personal student info • Districts must inform parents of the policies and dates of scheduled surveys at the beginning of the school year • Districts must give parents timely notice of scheduled surveys and the opportunity to review the survey and allow students to opt out • Districts cannot penalize a student for opting out.
Civics Test • The Learning Law and Democracy Foundation, in consultation with MN civics teachers, must select 50 of 100 of the questions from the US citizenship test each year. • Students must answer 30 out of 50 questions correctly • MDE and Legislative Coordinating Commission must post questions • District may record on a student’s transcript if they answered 30 out of 50 questions correctly • A district cannot prevent a student from graduating or deny a diploma for failing to correctly answer 30 out of 50 questions correctly. • MDE and public schools cannot charge a fee for this • Effective for those enrolling in 9 th grade starting in 17 -18 school year
District site teams • District duties to improve instruction and curriculum – District advisory committee must recommend means to improve equitable student access to effective and diverse teachers – Schools must (not may) establish a site team to develop and implement strategies on improved instruction and cultural competencies. The team must have equal number of teachers and administrators and at least one parent – If no agreement between the board and union on assessments, district must create assessment committee for local tests. – District can get advice from their WBWF committee instead
Miscellaneous • Students not reading at grade level – Districts must provide their report on students not reading at grade level to MDE by July 1. – Districts also must report summary of efforts to screen and identify students with dyslexia or convergence insufficiency disorder – All students identified under this section must be given alternate instruction • Open Enrollment – Children of district staff have priority in lotteries • Parental Rights – Lists all parental rights in one location
Miscellaneous • Districts must put the following into their WBWF plans: – gifted and talented procedures – School readiness plan – Systems on student access to effective and diverse teachers – Process to examine equitable distribution of effective and experienced teachers to low-income and minority students. • Diverse and effective teachers – Inserting language about diverse and effective teachers into the Teacher Development and Evaluation, Teacher Tenure Act, the teacher supply and demand report, and Achievement and Integration statute • Discipline – The teacher of record shall have the general control and government of the school and classroom. The teacher may remove students from class under for violent or disruptive conduct.
ESSA • DOE has issued its draft rules • 2016 Omnibus bill codified ESSA in statute to provide ESSA references aligned with WBWF requirements • Takes effect 2017 -18 • MDE Stakeholder meetings
Opportunities with ESSA • Rework current MMR • Up to seven states can implement an innovative assessment and accountability pilot including competency and performance based assessments. • A consortium not to exceed four states can also work together to pilot an assessment plan. • National assessment: any district may submit for approval from the state to use a nationally recognized high school assessment instead of the state’s selected assessment plan if that exam is equally rigorous.
Looking to the future Equity Teacher shortage Student mental health Be wary of solutions that are indicative of a lack of funding Be wary of funding solutions that DO NOT match the need Be wary of funding solutions that pit one region of the state against another • Remember that great schools begin at the ballot box • • • An overall strategy to provide adequate sustainable funding to meet state and federal requirements of all students career and college ready.
What Parents United has done • Monitored all education committees • Tracked analyzed proposed legislation and provided this information in weekly updates • Collaborated with other education advocacy groups • Held individual meetings with legislators serving on education committees • Kept a website current with articles, events and Capitol hearing schedules • Worked with parent groups/hosted events/served on statewide committees to provide a parent presence • Presented How Schools are Funded and Governed over 400 times across the state • Built relationships with Governors, MDE, majority and minority leadership • Kept the parent perspective in front of policymakers and kept that perspective relevant
Thank you to those who have funded Parents United! • 70% individuals • 30% fee for service, contracts and funds from grantors for civic engagement work