Capitol Compass - Minnesota School Boards Association

Minnesota School Boards Association
Capitol Compass
Friday, March 28, 2014
Volume 8, Issue 7
Look Back
Local Optional Revenue for
all school districts in Tax Bill
Last Friday, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the new tax bill (HF 1777) into law. The tax bill includes HF 2547
(authored by Rep. Joe Radinovich) and SF 2370 (authored by Sen. Vicki Jensen, a former Owatonna School
Board member). HF 2547 and SF 2370 are MSBA-endorsed bills that extend Local Optional Revenue
(formerly known as “Location Equity Revenue”) to all school districts in Minnesota.
This provision expands and increases the amount of Local Optional Revenue (LOR) to $424 per pupil for all
districts in the state.
“This provides equity statewide,” said Denise Dittrich, MSBA Associate Director of Government Relations.
HF 2547/SF 2370 also clarifies the calculation of Local Optional Revenue and makes it a permanent part of
general education revenue. (Current law requires an annual calculation.) Local Optional Revenue will give some
much-needed budget relief to midsize school districts that were not covered by the previous Location Equity
Revenue program — as some school districts are too small to receive location equity funding and too big to
qualify for small school funding.
“This bill provides locally elected school board members the flexibility they need in developing local budgets,”
said Grace Keliher, MSBA Director of Government Relations.
Follow MSBA on Twitter at and through the MSBA Government Relations Blog
at LOR-by-district runs will be available soon.
In addition to the LOR provisions, HF1777 also establishes a new funding mechanism that will collect more
than $10 million a year for schools in taconite assistance areas by taking 10 cents per ton from taconite production taxes and 6 cents per ton of mining occupation taxes. These dollars will flow into the newly created Iron
Range School Consolidation and Cooperatively Operated School account which will be managed and distributed
by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.
Next MSBA Conference Call set for 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 31
Please join your MSBA Government Relations Team (Grace Keliher, Denise Dittrich and Snezhana
Bessonov) for a conference call 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 31. We’ll tell you what to expect next week at
the Capitol — and we’d like to hear any of your questions. Please see the information below.
What: MSBA conference call
When: 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 31
Phone number: 866-939-8416
Code number: 3384568
Grace Keliher
Denise Dittrich
Snezhana Bessonov
Page 2
Friday, March 28, 2014
Week in Review
House and Senate reveal omnibus education bills
This week House and Senate education finance committees unveiled and deliberated their respective omnibus
education proposals: HF 3171 (Rep. Marquart) and SF 767 (Sen. Wiger).
The Senate has a smaller education funding target ($41 million) than the House ($75 million). The bills also
differ in funding priorities: the Senate allocates 3 out of 4 dollars to early childhood, and the House increases the
school funding formula by $58 per pupil and increases basic revenue for English learners.
Key elements of House and Senate omnibus education finance bills
The House Omnibus Education Finance Bill (HF 3171, Rep. Marquart) appropriates $75 million in new education expenditures for fiscal years 2014-15:
■ Increases the general education funding formula by $58 per pupil ($54.5 million for biennium statewide)
■ Extends English Language Learners program funding from 5 years to 6 years ($5.4 million)
■ Increases English Language Learners basic revenue from $704 to $726 per pupil
■ Increases telecommunication access funding for schools ($5 million)
■ Funds school lunch for students on reduced-price lunch ($3.5 million)
■ Increases early childhood learning school readiness funding ($2 million)
■ Funds Northside Achievement Zone (Minneapolis) and St. Paul Promise Neighborhood ($1.1 million each)
■ Increases Minnesota Reading Corp’s early childhood literacy funding ($500,000)
■ Funds early childhood health and development screenings ($250,000)
■ Increases the number of eligible districts for metro equity revenue by expanding the definition of the
metropolitan area from seven to 13 counties ($1.1 million)
■ Increases the Safe School Levy for intermediate school districts from $10 to $15
See BILLS, Page 3
Page 3
Friday, March 28, 2014
BILLS: Senate bill appropriates $41M in expenditures
(Continued from Page 2)
The Senate Omnibus Education Finance Bill (SF 767, Sen. Wiger) appropriates $41.1 million in new expenditures for E-12 education for fiscal year 2014-15 ($29 million for family and early learning childhood education
and $8.3 million for K-12 education):
■ Increases Early Learning Scholarships ($12 million)
■ Increases Early Childhood Family Education aid ($11.9 million)
■ Increases School Readiness funding ($4.5 million)
■ Extends English Language Learners program funding from 5 years to 6 years ($5.4 million)
■ Funds school lunch for students on reduced-price lunch ($3.5 million)
■ Increases Minnesota Reading Corp’s early childhood literacy funding ($2 million)
■ Funds Teacher Mentorship Pilot project ($1 million)
■ Funds Northside Achievement Zone (Minneapolis) and St. Paul Promise Neighborhood ($600,000 each)
■ Increases the number of eligible districts for metro equity revenue by expanding the definition of the
metropolitan area
House Education Finance Omnibus Bill
HF 3171 (Authored by Rep. Marquart)
■ HF 3171 Second Engrossment
■ HF 3171 Bill Summary
■ Education Finance Appropriations,
HF 3171 1E (passed Education Finance)
■ Education Finance Levies, HF 3171 1E
Senate Education Finance Omnibus Bill
SF 767 (Authored by Sen. Wiger)
■ SF 767 Second Engrossment
■ SF 767 Bill Summary
■ E-12 Property Tax Spreadsheet
■ E-12 Appropriations Tracking Spreadsheet
■ E-12 General Education Revenues Spreadsheet
Call to Action: Contact Senate Finance Committee (E-12 Division) members
to ask them to prioritize K-12 funding! Urge committee members to:
■ Increase basic education formula.
■ Fund the ongoing costs for implementation of the teacher and principal evaluation process.
Please click here to access Senate Finance Committee (E-12 Division) members’ contact information.
Looking Ahead
■ With the second committee deadline today, the supplemental budget for the rest of the biennium is the main
priority for legislators. The House Ways and Means Committee has a full agenda for Friday and Monday with
bills that may ultimately be bundled into the Omnibus Supplemental Appropriations Bill (HF 3172, Rep. Lyndon
Carlson). The House Supplemental K-12 Finance Bill (HF 3171, Rep. Marquart) is set to be heard Monday.
■ Starting next week, make sure to follow the House and Senate floor sessions for action on significant proposals. The Senate is likely to take up the Safe and Supportive Schools legislation (HF 826, Sen. Dibble), the Health
Insurance Transparency Act (SF 1835, Sen. Seiben) and other education proposals including K-12 omnibus
policy bills — SF 1889 (Sen. Torres Ray)/HF 2397 (Rep. Mariani).
■ Click here for House and Senate webcast schedules and to watch live video.
■ Click here for House and Senate schedules, calendars and Legislative Orders of Business.
Page 4
Friday, March 28, 2014
In Brief
■ Omnibus ed policy bill makes last committee stop before the House floor
Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul), chair of House Education Policy Committee, amended HF 2397 in the
House Education Finance Committee Thursday morning, altering pieces and deleting provisions that are also
contained in the omnibus education finance bill, HF 3171. Click here to read more.
■ Funding bump, plus programs for English language learners in omnibus ed bill
An increase on the school funding formula and more dollars for English language learners are key pieces to
the omnibus education finance bill. Sponsored by Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), HF 3171 would place an
additional $54.5 million in General Fund revenue onto the education funding formula this biennium. Click here
to read more.
■ Bilingualism promoted in ed policy bill
Easing the challenges for English language learners and promoting bilingualism are key themes in the omnibus
education policy bill. The House Education Policy Committee approved HF 2397 Thursday night. It is expected
to be before the House Education Finance Committee March 27. Sponsored by Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFLSt. Paul), the bill would define the state’s literacy goal as having every child read at or above grade level no later
than the end of third grade, including English language learners. Click here to read more.
■ Excessive paperwork, school equity addressed as education finance bill moves on
The quest to reduce the amount of special education paperwork was sharpened by an amendment to the
$75 million omnibus education finance bill HF 3171 on Wednesday. The bill was approved by the House Education Finance Committee and referred to the House Taxes Committee where it is expected to be considered on
Thursday. Rep. Will Morgan (DFL-Burnsville), in offering the amendment, expressed concern that the effort to
develop a single-model, online system for school districts to use in reporting required special education data
could result in future costs. Click here to read more.
■ School districts ravaged by disasters seek help
School districts that have been affected by natural disasters could be helped in their recovery by a bill heard
by the House Education Finance Committee on Wednesday. Rep. Mike Sundin (DFL-Esko) sponsors HF 2698,
which would create a debt service equalization program for school districts needing to rebuild facilities damaged by natural disasters. The bill was set aside for possible inclusion into a committee omnibus bill. Moose Lake
School District Superintendent Robert Indihar believes the program could help sway voters in his district to pass
a bond referendum, something they have refused to do in four attempts over the past decade. Click here to read
— Session Daily
Direct your questions to the MSBA Government Relations Team
Grace Keliher
Denise Dittrich
Director of Government Relations
Associate Director of Government Relations
Snezhana Bessonov
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Minnesota School Boards Association 1900 W. Jefferson Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082; 800-324-4459;