Just hours to the finish line – Update for May 16, 2014

This Week at the Capitol

This will be the last weekend of the legislative session. Next week Parents United will provide a wrap-up of what actually happened throughout the session and how that might impact your schools in the coming year. But for now, we’d like to say… we have new policy and a bit of new funding.

The 2014 E12 Policy Omnibus conference committee report passed off the Senate floor on a 37-27 vote. Since this report passed through the House last week on a vote of 80-49, it’s now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The “never-ending supplemental appropriations conference committee” (so coined by its Chair, Dick Cohen) completed Article 16 of the bill, General Education [pdf]. To recap, the Senate had a desire to spend $41 million on E12, and concentrated on early learning. The House focused its $73 million on increasing the per pupil formula by 1%. Both bills had many smaller, but equally important appropriations. The final target given to the Supplemental Appropriations Conference Committee was $293 million of which $54 million could be spent on E12.

This chart [pdf] gives a visual of what happened with education funding this session. As always, I take full responsibility for any errors.

Since we’re talking about teacher evaluation (it’s in both omnibus bills)

According to the Washington Post on May 12, 2014, “In the first large-scale analysis of new systems that evaluate teachers based partly on student test scores, two researchers found little or no correlation between quality teaching and the appraisals teachers received.

“The study, published Tuesday in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, is the latest in a growing body of research that has cast doubt on whether it is possible for states to use empirical data in identifying good and bad teachers.”

Spend a fun couple of minutes!

Ever wonder what goes on in a caucus of legislators? Take five minutes and listen to legislative leaders walk us through the purpose and process!

What to expect in the coming week Session must end by Midnight on May 19.

A second look

Most days on our website, Parents United provides links to our Daily News Picks! These are education articles that catch our eye, and a few are worth a second look:

What is Parents United’s agenda? It’s 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. Truth be told, 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.


Mary Cecconi, Executive Director
Parents United for Public Schools

mary@parentsunited.org
1667 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN 55108
651-999-7391; www.parentsunited.org