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S.F. No. 2698 - Special Education Legislative Working Group - The Second Engrossment
Author: Senator Eric R. Pratt
Prepared By: Ann Marie Butler, Senate Counsel (651/296-5301)
Date: March 6, 2018


Section 1. Special Education Legislative Working Group.

Subdivision 1. Duties. (a) Establishes a legislative working group on special education to review special education delivery and cost containment in Minnesota.  Directs the working group to examine and consider the following:

  1. how school districts, charter schools, intermediate school districts, special education cooperatives, education districts, and service cooperatives deliver special education services and the costs associated with each model;

  2. relevant state and federal special education laws and regulations and where state mandates exceed federal requirements;

  3. trends in special education enrollment, the reasons for the increased proportion of Minnesota student receiving special education, and the role that reading instruction effectiveness plays;

  4. strategies or programs that would be effective in reducing the need for special education services;

  5. funding for nonresident children in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, sections 125A.11 and 127A.47, and tuition billing reports for the most recent five-year period;

  6. the effect of the 2013 statutory changes to the state special education funding formulas, including interactions and conformity with federal funding formulas;

  7. how school districts and charter schools use section 504 plans, including criteria used to determine when a section 504 plan is appropriate and the prevalence of section 504 plans in school districts and charter schools; and

  8. the 2013 evaluation report by the Office of the Legislative Auditor on special education and the status of implementing its recommendations.

(b) Directs the working group to consider a ten-year strategic plan informed by the policy findings in paragraph (a), to help reduce the costs contributing to the special education cross-subsidy and overall special education funding.

Subd. 2.  Membership. The working group membership consists of six members of the House of Representatives, including the current chair of the Education Innovation Policy Committee and six members of the Senate, including the current chair of the Education Policy Committee.

Subd. 3.  Organization; process; administrative and technical support. Appointments to the working group must be made by July 1, 2018. The chair of the House of Representatives Education Innovation Policy Committee is a co-chair along with the Senate committee chair, and must convene the first meeting.  Directs the Legislative Coordinating Commission to provide administrative assistance upon request and the Minnesota Department of Education to provide technical assistance upon request.

Subd. 4. Consultation with stakeholders.  Requires the working group to consult with stakeholders.  

Subd. 5. Report. Requires the working group to submit a report on its findings and policy recommendations to the legislature by January 15, 2019.

Subd. 6. Expiration. The working group expires on January 16, 2019, unless extended by law.

Effective Date. Makes the section effective the day following final enactment.


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