Legislative Action Coalition 2021 recap and goals for 2022

Legislative Action Coalition 2021 recap and goals for 2022
Legislative Action Coalition with Hopkins H logo.

WE LEARNED A LOT DURING 2021. New words crept into our collective vocabulary: pandemic; unprecedented; personal protective equipment; distance learning. New ways of interacting with friends, neighbors, and businesses became routine: social distancing; self-quarantine; essential workers. Uncertainty became normal.

Minnesotans turned to community institutions, including schools, for models of resilience as we all pivoted multiple times and persevered. Schools stepped up to support not only students, but families as well.

We learned a lot during 2021. We discovered that we could feed our students and families with free, nutritious meals. We learned that we could teach our scholars while they remained out of their classrooms. We were reminded that public schools are the cornerstone of our communities.

Moving forward into 2022, Hopkins Public Schools seeks to Strengthen and Simplify the strategies that worked best during 2021. We ask the Governor’s office and the Minnesota Legislature to partner with us to accelerate innovation and expand services for our scholars and their families.

Our priorities for 2022 include the following:

FULLY FUND PUBLIC SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS so all Minnesota families have equitable access to healthy meals, contributing to overall community health and food security.

ELIMINATE COMPENSATORY FUNDING QUALIFICATION based on free and reduced-price lunch applications and move toward community eligibility for essential services.

SUPPORT YOUR INVESTMENT IN REIMAGINE MINNESOTA to ensure that public education remains – as written in our Constitution – a “Paramount Duty” of this state.

EMPOWER LOCALLY-ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS to do the job to which they were elected: Grant Local Control to renew existing operating referenda, set school calendars, allow flexible and innovative spending priorities.

PROVIDE FAMILIES WITH SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE EARLY EDUCATION FUNDING for Pathways I and II Early Learning Scholarships, School Readiness Plus, and Voluntary Pre-K.

DIRECT THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO UPDATE AND REFORM outdated and cumbersome requirements for scholars and teachers including mandated “seat time” requirements, and restrictive teacher licensing procedures.

EXPAND AND STABILIZE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS and services by increasing and stabilizing funding, resources, and access.

STABILIZE EDUCATION FUNDING AND LINK THE BASIC FORMULA TO INFLATION to provide a consistent funding stream that allows school districts to engage in long-range planning.