Update for June 26, 2007 — From Mary Cecconi, Executive Director
In This Issue
Important Events This Summer
Events are listed here for your information (not all sponsored by Parents United)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
“Let’s Talk Strategy”: A Levy Workshop for Parents
August 17-18, 2007
Minnesota PTA Convention
What is Happening?
After all the noise surrounding the legislative session ends, schools will work to determine what the 2007 Education Omnibus Bill really means for their individual districts. On average, in the first year of the biennium and dependent on their special education cross subsidy, districts will receive between 3.5% and 5% increases; in the second year the increases will be between 0% and 2%.
It comes as no surprise, then, that many school districts across the state are going out for local levies. In many cases, the districts are looking to renew levies that have been in place for years.
Parents United will host an event in mid-August for parents who are involved in their local district’s “Vote Yes” committees. The intent of the workshop is for parents to come together and learn from each other. Please join us, and if you know of parents in other districts in this position, please let them know about this event!
In this issue
At The Capitol
Even though summer is underway, the legislative process continues. Appropriations for two provisions in the 2007 Education Omnibus Bill—the Funding Study Task Force and the Office of Educational Accountability—were vetoed by Governor Pawlenty (summarized in our June 1 Update). He can veto the appropriation but not the policy. However, as schools have seen over the last years, policies without the resources needed to implement them can become quite hollow, so I have been waiting patiently to see what will become of these two provisions.
The House appears to be going full speed ahead on the Funding Study Task Force, with appointees named, and the Senate has sent the provision to the Rules Committee to establish appointments. They expect the Legislative Task Force it to be up and running by September, so we will be watching that process very closely and keeping you up to date on its activities. Remember that this is a legislative task force, which means the members are Senators and Representatives-four from each body–and the Commissioner of Education. Statute requires a report from them to the full body by January 15, 2008.
The provision regarding the Office of Educational Accountability, and how it might provide what the statute intended without the appropriation, is being investigated. Senator Sandy Rummel (DFL-White Bear Lake) and Rep. Carlos Mariani (DFL-St. Paul) will be taking the lead on this.
Meanwhile, the Senate Education Policy Committee has established subcommittees for the interim. The Chair of Senate Education, Senator Wiger (DFL-North St. Paul), is encouraging joint committee meetings with colleagues from the House. The full list of subcommittees, their co-chairs and an idea of their charge can be found at our website.
In this issue
At the Website
Questions? Email Mary Cecconi
Parents United for Public Schools
1667 Snelling Avenue N.
St. Paul, MN 55108
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