New legislative sessions always produce a flurry of bills. The ones related to education this year range from the minor to the massive.
One would allow Rainy River community college to borrow money for a tuck-pointing project; another would let districts start their next two school years before Labor Day.
Some of the bigger-ticket items include establishing an early childhood program for at-risk four-year olds.
An effort to increase the reimbursement rate for free and reduced lunches by three cents a meal seems small, but it could add up to thousands of dollars for some districts.
Another proposal that's just 67 words long would have huge ramifications, if enacted: It would end Minnesota's participation in the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The bill getting the most attention so far is House File 2, the proposal being called the "new Minnesota Miracle." It would completely overhaul the way the state funds schools - changing everything from the amount of money the state sends schools for each student, to the way the state counts students in the first place.
A sample of education-related measures that have already been introduced this legislative session:
- HF 2 - Dubbed "New Minnesota Miracle" - makes numerous changes to the state's school funding formula.
- HF 15 - Early childhood program established for at-risk four-year-olds.
- SF 19 - Raises drop-out age from 16 to 18.
- SF 22 - Allows districts to start their 2009-2010 or 2010-2011 school year before Labor Day.
- SF 61 - Adds physical education to the list of subjects requiring state academic standards.
- HF 65 - Requires public school students to complete service learning hours before graduating from high school.
- SF 68 - Allows the Lac qui Parle Valley School district to transfer funds.
- SF 84 - Ends Minnesota's participation in the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
- HF 107 - Allows school boards to use certain staff development funds on CPR and automatic external defibrillator training and first aid certification.
- SF 117 - wide-ranging measure that changes a number of prekindergarten through grade 12 policies.
- SF 132 - Loan forgiveness program for students studying to become large animal veterinarians.
- SF 138 - Creates an Autism spectrum disorder task force.
- SF 167 - Reattaches airport property within the boundaries of school districts.
- SF 172 - Removes certain restrictions on money set aside for staff development.
- HF 191 - Allows Rainy River Community College to borrow money for gymnasium tuck-pointing project.
- HF 209 - Requires unique ID numbers be assigned to all Minnesota children upon enrollment.
- SF 209 - Allows the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind to borrow money to build student housing.
- HF 214 - Allows school boards to form business entities solely for wind energy projects.
- HF 252 - Increases state reimbursement for free/reduced lunch aid 12 to 15 cents per meal.