2019 legislative agenda

 

Education Minnesota’s legislative agenda is an overarching vision of what we believe the Legislature should do to ensure Minnesota has the best learning and working conditions in its public schools.
 

Improving teaching leads to improving educational outcomes

Minnesota’s schools cannot achieve their goal of training the world’s best workforce without effective, professional educators who are supported throughout their careers.

  • Reverse Minnesota’s perpetual underfunding of education by significantly increasing the per-pupil funding formula and tying it to inflation. Minnesota’s Constitution calls for a uniform system of public schools and it’s the Legislature’s duty to fully fund it. The federal and state government also must fund its portion of special education costs instead of relying on school districts to pay for them. 
  • Attract and retain educators, particularly educators of color, by increasing starting salaries and creating loan forgiveness, mentoring and other programs to give us the support we need to stay in our jobs. This includes ensuring all education support professionals earn a living wage.
  • Ensure all teachers who work with our youngest students and adult learners have access to the same protections as traditional teachers. Minnesota law needs to be changed so licensed early childhood family education (ECFE) and adult basic education (ABE) teachers are covered under continuing contract and granted due process protections such as tenure.
  • Create an equitable, sustainable funding stream for the 2011 Teacher Development and Evaluation law and lift the cap on schools allowed to participate in Q-Comp. Half of Minnesota teachers work in districts without Q-Comp funding, which means their districts divert money from other programs. We also must ensure teachers in all licensure tiers are covered by TDE. 
  • Help educators and our families get quality, affordable health care through innovative, cost- sharing initiatives for employers and employees. Allow any Minnesotan to buy in to MinnesotaCare.
  • Uphold Minnesota’s high teacher licensing standards to ensure our students have quality educators in their classrooms. Minnesota must create incentives for teachers with the least training and academic qualifications to improve their practice for the benefit of their students and districts. This can be done by appropriating money for training and mentoring programs designed to move Tier 1, 2 and 3 licensed teachers up to Tier 4.
  • Expand the scope of mandatory bargaining subjects for teachers and education support professionals to include issues such as class sizes and support staffing levels.
  • Maintain defined benefit pension plans for current and future generations, which does not put an undue financial burden on educators and retirees. This includes ensuring continued funding for the pension stability package passed in 2018.

Engaging students is a crucial step toward their career success

Students who are engaged in learning achieve at higher levels. However, our accountability systems are fixated on bureaucratic paperwork that takes teachers away from students or test scores that put memorization above problem-solving and ignores out-of-school factors affecting our students.

  • Reduce local district paperwork requirements and caseloads for our special education educators while reinstating the online reporting system so educators have more time to spend with our students.
  • Fund the Minnesota Department of Education so it can provide the necessary resources for schools identified for support under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Broaden access to full-service community schools, which are a proven way to help students achieve in school. This concept puts social, medical and before and after school academic services and enrichment activities where they are most accessible—on the school campus.

Investing in quality learning environments

The health of Minnesota’s future economy depends on legislators making smart investments in today’s students, from their preschool years to their postsecondary degrees.

  • Expand access to quality, public pre-K programs for all children to address the equity gaps among our students. All pre-K teachers in Minnesota’s public schools must be fully licensed.
  • Make post-secondary education affordable and accessible so all students can pursue higher education free from the stress of unmanageable loans and debts.
  • Provide additional resources for schools to restore student support staff cut in the past few years, including counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses and other job classifications.
  • Expand mental health services for students and provide money for school building safety improvements to ensure all schools are safe places for students and educators to learn and work.
  • Invest in infrastructure so that all students—no matter where they live—are in quality learning environments and have access to a wide range of resources and a well-rounded education.


Download: 
2019 legislative agenda
PDF, 2 pgs., 134KB

For more information, contact:
Megan Boldt — 651-292-4818, megan.boldt@edmn.org
Jodee Buhr — 651-292-4830, jodee.buhr@edmn.org
Kathi Micheletti — 651-292-4890, kathi.micheletti@edmn.org
Paul Winkelaar — 651-292-4837, paul.winkelaar@edmn.org