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S.F. No. 597 - Integrated Service-Learning - the First Engrossment
Author: Senator John Marty
Prepared By: Ann Marie Lewis, Senate Counsel (651/296-5301)
Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: March 12, 2015


Section 1.  Service-Learning Specialist; Service-Learning Work.  Directs the Commissioner to establish a service-learning specialist position at the Department.

Effective Date.   Makes the section effective July 1, 2015.

Section 2. Innovative Incubator Service-Learning Grants.  Subdivision 1. Establishment; Eligibility Criteria; Application Requirements. (a) Establishes a five-year grant program to expand service-learning opportunities for students in early childhood programs through grade 12.

(b) Requires formation of an authentic student-adult partnership that includes one or more community-based organizations or government units in order to be eligible for an innovative, incubator service-learning grant.  Before applying for a grant, participating students must work with an adult partner to identify an issue, need, or opportunity to pursue through a partnership and invite a possible partner to collaborate in developing a grant application.  Requires the partnership to including, at a minimum, the following:

(1) at least a group  of enrolled students, two or more school district employees, and an eligible community-based organization or unit of government; and

(2) assist students to:

(i) actively participate in service-learning experiences;

(ii) operate collaboratively with service-learning partnership members;

(iii) align service-learning experiences with students’ individualized educational plans and programs;

(iv) apply students’ knowledge and skills in their community and help solve community problems;

(v) foster students’ civic engagement; and

(vi) explore and pursue career pathways and achieve college readiness.

Establishes requirements for contents of the application.  Requires the partnership to work with a district service-learning specialist or service-learning coordinator or a district curriculum specialist to design a grant application and implement an approved grant application.

Subdivision 2.  Innovation Grants. Allows for 32 grants of up to $50,000 each for innovative, incubator service-learning opportunities.  Allows the Commissioner to designate start-up or leader grant categories.

Subdivision 3. Evaluation. Directs the Commissioner to evaluate these initiatives based on educational and developmental outcomes of participating students.  The evaluation must include summary data on the characteristics and extent of students’ participating in service learning, their development of academic skills or achievements, and their engagement in school, school attendance, course completion rates, opportunity to develop community, college, or career connections, and graduation rates.  The Commissioner must also look at community outcomes and results achieved through student service-learning experiences.

Effective Date.   Makes the section effective for the 2015-2016 through 2019-2020 school years.

Section 3.  Recommendations on Service Learning.  Allows the board to make recommendations to the legislature on teacher preparation and licensure requirements in the area of service learning.

Effective Date.   Makes the section effective immediately.

Section 4.  Appropriation.  Appropriates money from the general fund to the Department of Education for a service-learning specialist and related service-learning work and for innovative service-learning grants.


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