2018 Priorities

Staff speaking with legislators at the annual legislative breakfast
Staff presented Centennial's priorities at the annual breakfast with legislators.

2018 Centennial ISD 12 Legislative Priorities


Priority 1: Legislation on providing assistance on pension support  

  • TRA pension plans in Minnesota are underfunded and previous legislative sessions have included recommendations and proposals to address this issue. 
  • We know solutions have been discussed in depth, however no legislative action has been taken.
  • We need to ensure stable funding is in place to support pensions so we the demands of future retirements can be met.
  • The funds necessary to stabilize the pension plans should not negatively impact our students.

Priority 2: Legislation on ensuring equal access to levy dollars

  • The Legislature has made an effort to increase the state equalization aid amounts that help reduce property taxes for school levies, particularly in low property value districts.
  • We appreciate the state’s work to close the disparity gap, however, it’s not enough. 
  • Reliance on property taxes to fund the basics furthers the disparity between property rich and property poor districts.  
  • All property tax levies should be fully equalized, so that it requires the same property tax effort to generate the same revenue in any district, regardless of overall property value.

Priority 3: Legislation on controlling districts’ costs of providing special education services

  • Local districts have few options to control the cost of providing special education services. Each student identified with special education needs must be served and the true cost of educating these learners has never been fully funded.
  • For FY 2016, Centennial’s adjusted net cross subsidy, the unfunded portion of special education services, was $5.1 million or $735.19 per pupil for Centennial.
  • Another way to think about it is the basic formula allowance for FY16 was $5,948 per pupil.  In order to cover the unfunded special education costs, we had to use $735 of the revenue generated for each pupil to cover the shortfall.  That $735 per pupil represents over 12% of the basic per pupil funding being used to cover the unfunded mandates for special education. 
  • Mandated special education services must be fully funded. Increasing special education funding will have an equal and reciprocal impact on regular program resources, freeing up money for regular program needs.

Contact Information for Legislators:

 

Senator Roger Chamberlain

95 University Avenue West
Minnesota Senate Building, Room 3225
Saint Paul, MN 55155

sen.roger.chamberlain@senate.mn

651.296.1253 

Senator Jerry Newton

95 University Avenue West
Minnesota Senate Building, Room 2411
Saint Paul, MN 55155

sen.jerry.newton@senate.mn

651.296.2556 

Representative Linda Runbeck

417 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155

rep.linda.runbeck@house.mn

651.296.5813 

Representative Nolan West

377 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155

rep.nolan.west@house.mn

651.296.5489