HOW DID SCHOOLS BENEFIT FROM 2015 SESSION?
It's hard to believe, but summer vacation has nearly ended for all of Minnesota's teachers and students. This year, many schools began teaching prior to Labor Day meaning classrooms are already open for business and the learning has begun.
With this in mind, I thought I'd take this opportunity to highlight a number of investments, reforms, and changes that were made to Minnesota's K-12 Education system during the 2015 legislative session.
Locally, school districts are benefiting from their share of the $525 million in new revenue that was allocated to K-12 on a statewide basis. This new law increases per-pupil spending in the classroom by an average of $396 for rural school districts through Fiscal Year 2017, which is good news for those districts who have been struggling financially or suffering from declining enrollment.
It also provides funding for facilities maintenance, which will help reduce funding disparities for rural school districts and help finance the preservation of their school buildings. $95 million was also allocated to early learning initiatives including scholarships and school readiness aid.
A number of reforms were also implemented during the 2015 session. This includes improving access to quality educators by streamlining out-of-state teacher licensure reciprocity, and mandating fewer tests in order to increase classroom learning time.
We also allowed the Blackduck School District to maintain its four day per week schedule, something it desperately wanted to continue.
In all, we approved dozens of provisions that should make life easier for districts and their teachers while ultimately helping our children succeed in school.
Going forward, if you have any education questions or concerns, please contact me at 651-296-4265 or email@example.com.
Best of luck to all the students, parents, and educators in northwestern Minnesota this year, and please keep in touch.