Update for June 5, 2015: Not Quite the End

At the Capitol

Tomorrow morning we will host our Legislative Wrap Up for 2015. We will not yet have a signed Education Omnibus bill to discuss, but conversation promises to be lively. The State Office Building is prepping for the special session, the Joint House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees will convene today at 3pm and we have a clear idea of what to anticipate in the education bill. Any minute, any day the Governor will call the special session, but stumbling blocks need to be resolved before this happens. The good news is that the blocks are not education related!

The education bill appears to set the budget at $525 million and leaves policies largely intact from the bill passed by the House and Senate weeks ago now. We will discuss this further at the Wrap-Up, including where the increase of $125m is currently appropriated. With any hope, next week’s Update will detail further what passed and what was left out of the education omnibus bill of 2015.

The special session documents for education are ready and can be found here. Scroll down to “Committee Documents” and you will find the bill itself, the summary, the fiscal appropriations tracking sheet and district runs. Runs show you what dollars you can expect in your district. Keep in mind this still has to pass! We see what was expected: 2% and 2% increases for both 2016 and 2017. The $125 is largely appropriated to the per pupil formula and early education, divided between school readiness and early learning scholarships. We are happy to see small increases in appropriations to American Indian aid, Northside Achievement Zone and St. Paul Promise Neighborhoods. Again, we will share more specifics tomorrow and in next week’s Update.

At Parents United

Legislative Wrap Up: tomorrow, Saturday, June 6. Coffee cake and networking at 8:30, discussion 9-10:30. Free event, but please register: Join us!

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What is Parents United’s agenda? Our agenda is 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.

Your team at the Capitol,

– Ann, Heidi, Shawna and Mary