Legislative Platform 2021
Legislative priorities for 2021
- Eliminate instructional hour/seat time requirements to allow for implementation of new and innovative learning models.
- Allow districts to use October 2019 enrollment number for funding if higher than October 2020 due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Do not require voter approval for levy renewals.
- Read the Association of Metropolitan School Districts (AMSD) position paper on statewide assessments.
- Increase flexibility of access to School Board meetings by continuing remote/virtual access. This will help ease equity and accessibility issues; generate more family and community engagement; and provide additional flexibility for those interested in running for office that may not be able to attend all in-person School Board meetings.
Across the state, public school districts are experiencing significant funding shortfalls. The disruption caused by COVID-19 resulted in lower enrollment of students. That means, in Minnesota, approximately 17,000 fewer students attended public schools this year. At the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District (SANB), there are 62 fewer students for the 2020-21 school year. When school districts serve fewer students, that equates to less revenue to employ staff who serve our students. In SANB, our school district is facing a deficit of $603K from fewer enrolled students.
Unfortunately, funding challenges are not new to school districts. In fact, the State legislature has not passed legislation that would tie increases in funding for education to inflation. As a result, when adjusted for inflation, public schools will receive $503 less per student this year than they did in 2003. At SANB, that equates to $911K fewer dollars than we received in 2003.
CARES Act Funds (COVID-19 relief)
There is an assumption that the CARES Act funds provided by the federal government to public schools can be used to offset the funding shortfalls. Yet, CARES Act funds—while needed and appreciated—can only be used for COVID-19 related expenses, such as student meals, mitigation needs, and distance learning equipment. These funds are only available for a limited time and cannot be used to offset the loss of revenue.
What are we doing?
SANB created a legislative platform which outlines our legislative priorities, which can be found at isd282.org/LegislativePlatform. We partner with education organizations, such as Association of Metropolitan School Districts, the Minnesota School Board Association, and the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, to advocate for funding for public schools.
How can you help?
Reach out to your legislators, House and Senate leadership, to advocate on behalf of public schools. Ask our State leaders to invest $750 million in education funding in order to stabilize public schools across Minnesota, and link education funding to inflation.
Find the contact information for you state legislators at: www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/
You can also contact our House and Senate leadership:
House Speaker Melissa Hortman
463 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
95 University Avenue W.
Minnesota Senate Bldg., Room 3113
St. Paul, MN 55155
Submit an email through this form
Your Partner in Education,
St. Anthony-New Brighton School Board