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January 4, 2011
The 87th Legislative Session begins
January 8, 2011
Parents United Legislative Kick-off
Save this date!
At the Capitol
The election is over and new leadership has been announced. The Senate will be led by Majority Leader Amy Koch and the House by Rep. Kurt Zellers. Both bodies also have new minority leaders. In the Senate, the Minority Leader is Sen. Tom Bakk and the House has selected Rep. Paul Thiesen
One of the first acts of the new leadership has been to change the committee structure and appoint new committee chairs. House Education Finance will be chaired by Rep. Pat Garofalo, Education Reform by Rep. Sondra Erickson. The Senate Education chair will be Sen. Gen Olson.
The Senate will have one combined education policy and budget committee while the House will have separate education finance and education reform committees. The House will no longer have a separate committee for early childhood education.
At the Federal Level
Congressman Kline will be chairing the House Education and Labor Committee and is making the full funding of special education mandates a priority. Listen to what he has to say! Although No Child Left Behind has been slated for reauthorization, I don’t see it happening in the near future. No surprise, predictions are for a rocky road ahead.
Saint Paul is launching a new initiative to increase student achievement. They applied for and received a federal $500,000 grant to begin work on the Promise Neighborhood initiative. Minneapolis has the Northside Achievement Zone and both of these projects are based on Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone and both are worthy of a great deal of our attention!
What Can I Do?
This is a terrific time for you to get to know your legislators. Whether they are old friends or new acquaintances—they represent you and WANT to know what you think. Write, email, call or visit with them. Host a coffee with a few friends and invite your legislator. Ask how they see the new session shaking out and share your thoughts with them.</p>
Arrange a Legislators in Schools Tour—especially if you are building a relationship with a newly elected legislator.
Make sure you are signed on to receive the Parents United Updates! Invite a few friends to join you in receiving timely information weekly during the legislative session!
Stay tuned and hold on—it is going to be quite the session!
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