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S.F. No. 1222 - Education Policy Omnibus (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Eric R. Pratt
Prepared By: Ann Marie Butler, Senate Counsel (651/296-5301)
Bjorn E. Arneson, Senate Analyst (651/296-3812)
Date: March 10, 2017



Section 1. Attending courses at a nonpublic school. Provides that a high school student enrolled in a public school may attend nonsectarian courses in a nonpublic school for up to one-third of the minimum attendance hours required. Allows a district or school to grant academic credit for courses taken at a nonpublic school and count those credits toward graduation and subject area requirements. Prohibits a student taking courses at a nonpublic school under this section from generating nonpublic pupil aid.

Sections 2 and 3.  Exclusions. Connects the statute on parent authorization for a child to self-carry an inhaler with the statute for the assessment that the child can safely use and possess the medication.

Sections 4 and 5. Contracts.  Provides that a district contract with a food service management company may be renewed after its initial two year term for up to four years.

Section 6. Energy use reduction and reporting for public schools. Requires a public school to enter and maintain monthly utility consumption data into the Minnesota B3 benchmarking program for all buildings under its custodial control.

Section 7.  Definitions.  Maintains students awaiting foster care placement as eligible for transportation funding after the federal definition of homeless student removed students awaiting foster care placement.

Section 8. Referendum revenue. Authorizes a district to send the required referendum notice by any class of mail.

Section 9. Payments to school nonoperating funds. Changes the current aid payment schedule for debt service aids to school districts from 12 monthly installments to six equal installments from July to December.

Section 10. Repealer. Repeals an outdated definition of “American Indian child.”


Section 1. Required academic standards. Corrects the reference to physical education standards to be adopted by the Department from National Association of Sport and Physical Education to Society of Health and Physical Educators. 

Section 2. Rulemaking. Deletes obsolete language.

Section 3. State bilingual and multilingual seals. Allows students in nonpublic high schools to be eligible for bilingual and multilingual seals.

Section 4. Reading proficiently no later than the end of grade 3.

Subdivision 1. Literacy goal. Clarifies that students receiving literacy interventions and in approved alternative delivery program are included in the state’s literacy goal of having all students reading at or above grade level by the end of grade 3.

Subd. 1a. Definitions. Defines the following terms for the purposes of this section “core reading instruction,” “diagnostic,” “evidence-based,” “fidelity,” “multisensory instruction,” “multi-tiered system of supports,” “progress monitoring,” “screening,” “supplemental and intensive instruction,” and “systematic and explicit instruction.”

Subd. 2. Identification; report. Clarifies that districts must report on efforts to identify students likely to have dyslexia. Provides for a multi-tiered system of supports for students identified as needing reading interventions.

Subd. 2a. Parent notification and involvement. Prohibits a district from using this section to deny a student’s right to a special education evaluation.

Subd. 3. Intervention.  Provides examples of a multi-tiered system of supports for reading interventions.  Allows a student, other than a student with an individualized education program, unable to demonstrate grade-level proficiency on the third grade Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) in reading, to receive a personal learning plan.  The plan is required to address knowledge gaps and skill deficiencies through various strategies and may include grade retention, if necessary. 

Effective Date.  Makes the section effective for fiscal year 2018 and later.

Section 5. Planning for students’ successful transition to postsecondary education and employment; personal learning plans.  (a) Requires the personal learning plans of students in grade 9 to inform the student’s parents of the student’s achievement levels score on the high school MCAs.

(f) Requires students who do not meet or exceed Minnesota academic standards, as measured by the high school MCAs, to be informed that admission to public school is free and available to any resident under 21.

Effective Date. Makes the section effective July 1, 2017.

Section 6. Statewide and local assessments; results. Removes the requirement for off-grade testing in grade 3 through 8 reading and math MCAs.

Section 7. Rollout sites; report. Directs the Commissioner to select up to six school districts or charter schools to rollout the disaggregated data reporting. Directs the Commissioner to consult stakeholders to develop recommendations for best practices for disaggregated data.  Directs the Commissioner to consult the stakeholders on how to measure and report on a student’s background as an immigrant or a refugee. Requires the Commissioner to report to the legislature.

Section 8. Student performance data.  Clarifies that data on race and ethnicity is governed by section 120B.35, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (2).

Section 9. State growth target; other state measures. Directs the Commissioner to report additional student categories as “other” for each race and ethnicity, the Karen community, seven of the most populous Asian and Pacific Islander groups, three of the most populous Native groups, seven of the most populous Hispanic/Latino groups, and five of the most populous Black and African Heritage groups.

Section 10 Definitions. Defines “concurrent enrollment.”

Sections 11 & 12. Authorization; notification.  Separate the current provisions on post-secondary enrollment options (PSEO) for 11th and 12th graders and concurrent enrollment for ninth and tenth graders.

Section 13.  Financial arrangements.  Increases the amount of time from 30 to 45 days for the Department to calculate PSEO payments after receiving enrollment information.

Section 14Definitions.  Defines “charter management organizations (CMO), “education management organization (EMO), and “online education service provider.”

Section 15.  Certain, federal, state, and local requirements.  Includes the requirement for compliance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act in the list of requirements for charter schools.

Section 16.  Role, responsibilities, and requirements of authorizers. (a) States the role of authorizers is to ensure their schools fulfill the purpose for chartered public schools and the agreed upon charter contracts in order to provide quality educational opportunities and maintain public trust and confidence.

(b) Lists the following as the responsibilities of authorizers:

  1. review applications for new schools and grade and site expansions of current schools;
  2. negotiate and execute performance contracts with its schools;
  3. conduct ongoing monitoring and oversight of the school’s academic, operational and financial performance; and
  4. evaluate the academic, operational, and financial performance of the school.

(c) Prohibits the Commissioner from requiring an authorizer to undertake a role or responsibility beyond what’s in statute or the charter contract.

(d) Requires the authorizer to document the training its staff and consultants participated in during the previous school year related to chartering and authorizer role and responsibilities.

(e) Requires an authorizer to participate in annual department approved training.

Section 17. Application content. Strikes a requirement that the authorizer’s application to the Commissioner to become an authorizer include an assurance that the organization is committed to serving as an authorizer for the full five-year term.

Section 18. Withdrawal. Requires an authorizer to provide a letter to the school for distribution to families that explains the decision to withdraw as an authorizer, and outlines the process the authorizer will take to assist the school’s transfer to another authorizer.

Section 19. Merger. Allows a charter school that’s been notified that it’s contract is not being renewed or terminated to merge with another school under these circumstances: the school proposing to take over the school has a compatible academic or learning program; had a net positive unreserved general fund balance for at least three fiscal years; and submits a plan for assimilation of the schools into a merged school that’s approved by the authorizers. 

Section 20. Membership criteria. Strikes a reference to the chief financial officer as a nonvoting board member.

Section 21. Board structure. Makes technical changes to the subdivision.

Section 22. Training. Includes voting and nonvoting ex-officio board members in the required annual training. Requires new board members to begin initial training within three months of being seated and complete the training within nine months.

Section 23. School Transfer of authorizers. (a) Requires a joint letter to the Commissioner of the intent to mutually not renew a charter contract.  A proposed authorizer must be informed by the existing authorizer of the school’s fiscal, operational, and student performance status.  If the Commissioner does not approve the transfer, and the school and the authorizer enter into a new contract without withdrawing the letter of nonrenewal, the school must be dissolved.

(b) Requires a charter school board that votes to not renew its contract with the authorizer to notify the Commissioner and the authorizer that it doesn’t plan to renew the contract. A proposed authorizer must be informed by the existing authorizer of the school’s fiscal, operational, and student performance status.  If the Commissioner does not approve the transfer, and the school and the authorizer do not enter into a new contract, the school must be dissolved.

(c) Allows the Commissioner 20 business days to review a transfer of authorizer request and notify the proposed authorizer and school of the decision.  Allows the proposed authorizer and school to address issues identified in the Commissioner’s review.

(d) Requires the Commissioner to develop a transfer of authorizer plan when the Commissioner withdraws the authority of the authorizer.

(e) Requires transfer of authorizer requests under paragraphs (a) and (b) to be submitted to the Commissioner 105 business days before the end of the existing contract. Allows the Commissioner 30 days to review the transfer request and notify the proposed authorizer and the school of the Commissioner’s decision. Allows the proposed authorizer and the school 15 days to address issued identified by the Commissioner.

Section 24. Admission Requirements and Enrollment. Adds a charter school’s free preschool or prekindergarten program to the admission requirements and enrollment provisions.  Clarifies that a student is considered enrolled in a school until the school receives a request for transfer of educational records from another school, or a written election of withdrawal from the school, or the student is expelled.  Strikes the reference to compliance with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act.  The reference was moved to Minnesota Statutes, section 124E.03, subdivision 2.

Section 25. Reports.

Subdivision 1. Audit report. Amends the supplemental information included in the charter school’s audit report to the following:  (1) a copy of a new management agreement or an amendment to a current agreement with a CMO or EMO; (2) a copy of a new agreement or amendment to a current contract with an online education service provider; and (3) a copy of a service agreement or contract with a company or individual totally over 10 percent of the audited expenditures.

Subd. 2. Annual public reports. Requires a charter school to include management agreements with a CMO, EMO, or online education service provider in the annual report.

Subd. 3. Public accountability and reporting of education management and online education service provider agreements. (a) Establishes requirements for charter schools that enter into agreements with a CMO, EMO, or an online education service provider as follows:

  1. publish the final agreement for public review and comment before the charter board may adopt the contract or agreement;
  2. publish a statement of assurance that no member of the school board, staff or any agent of the school has been promised or received any compensation or gifts from the CMO, EMO, or online education service provider; and
  3. conduct an independent review and evaluation of the services provided by the CMO, EMO or online education service provider.

(b) Requires all management agreements with a CMO, EMO, or online education service provider to contain the following provisions:

  1. the term of the contract;
  2. total dollar value of the contract;
  3. a description and terms of services to be provided during the term of the contract;
  4. a statement that if the school closes during the term of the contract, the balance of the contract becomes null and void;
  5. an annual statement of assurance to the school board that the CMO, EMO, or online education service provider did not provide compensation or gifts to any school board member, staff member, or agent of the school;
  6. an annual statement of assurance that no board member, employee, contractor, or agent of the CMO, EMO, or online education service provider is a board member of the school;
  7. the protocols that meet laws regarding student and personnel data collection, usage, access, retention, disclosure and destruction, and indemnification and warranty provision in case of a data breaches;
  8. an annual financial report from the CMO, EMO, or online education service provider that details the income and expenses attributed to the contract; and
  9. an annual assurance that all assets purchased on behalf of the charter school using public funds remain assets of the school.

(c) The following provisions render an agreement with a CMO, EMO, or online education service provider null and void:

  1. a restriction on the charter school’s ability to operate a school upon termination of the agreement;
  2. a restriction on the annual or total amount of the school’s operating surplus or fund balance;
  3. authorization to allow a CMO, EMO, or online education service provider to withdraw funds from a charter school account; or
  4. authorization to allow a CMO, EMO, or online education service provider to loan funds to the school.

Section 26. Charter school information. Requires a charter school to document their efforts to disseminate information under this subdivision in their annual report.

Section 27. Federal Every Student Succeeds Act Funding for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities. Encourages school districts to use certain federal funding for:

  1. mentor-led, hands-on STEM education and engagements;
  2. student participation in STEM competitions; and
  3. mentor-led, classroom-based, after-school activities with informal STEM instruction and education.

Effective Date.  Makes the section effective July 1, 2017.

Section 28.  Repealer.  Repeals section 124E.10, subdivision 5 (charter school mutual nonrenewal).


Section 1. Basic alternative teacher compensation aid. Makes technical changes to the subdivision to create a paragraph (c) from the existing language.

Section 2. Alternative teacher compensation revenue for St. Croix River Education District. Allows the St. Croix River Education District to be eligible for alternative teacher compensation revenue.

Section 3. Positive behavioral interventions and supports.  Defines “positive behavioral interventions and supports or PBIS.”


Section 1. Definitions. Provides a cross-reference to the statutory components for PBIS.

Section 2. Placement of students; approval of education program. Clarifies that the department is only authorized to approve onsite education programs. Removes “approved” to clarify that the Departments of Corrections or Human Services licenses children’s residential facilities, not MDE.  Replaces the term “care and treatment facility” with “children’s residential facility” to also clarify that under this statute facilities are licensed by DOC and DHS.


Section 1. Performance tracking system. Aligns timelines and measures included in Minnesota adult basic education performance measures statute with changes in federal requirements.

Sections 2 through 7. Commissioner-selected high school equivalency test. Authorizes the commissioner to select a high school equivalency test, including a test other than the GED test. Makes other conforming changes. Repeals the administrative rule establishing minimum standard scores on the GED.


Section 1. Advice and instruction. Clarifies that the department may provide advice and assistance on library administrative issues to school libraries.

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