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The K-12 Education Bill: How it will affect Parents, Teachers and Schools

08 Aug

                The K-12 Education had undergone several changes in the past few months. The final version of it was signed by Governor Dayton on July 20th. Changes in some of policies will affect students, teachers and schools in areas, such as, assessment and funding.

This summary was written by Christina Wong, CAPM education policy intern.

Changes Affecting Parents and Families

Scholarships

Students who receive their high school diplomas early can get up to $7,500 in college scholarships and a cash grant award for those who enter military service. There will also be a scholarship program that helps low-income families pay for public or private preschool.

“Full-Service” School Zones

“Full-service” school zones will be created that will allow a number of provider to reach kids and families at the school level with everything from health care to job-seeking assistance.

Click “read more” to view changes to schools and teachers.

Changes Affecting Teachers

Teacher Assessment

The teacher assessment provision made it to the final bill. 35 per cent of the evaluations will be based on student growth according to student test performance, student engagement and commitment. Teachers who initially receive poor marks in their assessments will receive professional support to improve by a set timetable.

Changes Affecting Schools

Teacher and Principal Assessments

Teacher and principal assessments will be instituted. Teachers will be assessed every three years and principals will be assessed annually. The assessment criteria will be decided by the school district. Local districts and unions may negotiate an evaluation system according to the guidelines that will be provided to them. School districts that do not set up their own evaluation system will be able to use the guidelines that the Department of Education will assemble via a task force. The task force will be made up of educators and teacher organizations, business representative and parent groups.

Funding

Funding for K-12 education increases by $190 million in 2012-2013. To help the school districts cover the costs of borrowing to make up for the delayed aid payments, the per-pupil funding levels will raise by $50 in 2012 and $50 in 2013. There will be an additional delay of $780 million in aid to public schools. The state already delayed $1.4 billion in K-12 aid. The new shift will bring the state’s debt to school to $2.2 billion.

School districts will receive only 60 per cent of the money the state owes them in the current year, with 40 per cent shifted to the following year. The current shift is 70/30. The money will not only be delayed but will amount to a real cut of about 10 per cent in state aid for all schools.

Integration Aid

Integration aid to the Twin Cities and Duluth will end in 2013. The program will be replaced with a new program to be determined later. A 12-person task force will make recommendations for the new program.

Literacy Plan

A school district must adopt a local literacy plan to have every child reading at or above grade level, no later than the end of third grade. The plan must include a process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency, notify and involve parents, intervene when students are not reading at or above grade level, and identify and meet staff developmental needs. However, students are not required to be retained. The district must post its literacy plan on the official school district website.

Schools can get extra money if they teach their third-graders to read proficiently. The new “literacy incentive aid” program will reward schools where students are already doing well in reading with at least $29 million in new funding. There is additional funding for the Minnesota Reading Corps, a statewide initiative that focuses on improving literacy among children up to third grade.

Teacher Union Deals

A law that penalized school districts for not reaching a deal with the union by January 15 is repealed.

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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Community news, Legislative

 

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