|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 2277 - Early Childhood Budget and Policy Committee Omnibus Bill (The Second Engrossment)|
|Author:||Senator John Hottinger|
|Prepared by:||Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)|
|Date:||May 6, 2005|
Article 1 Early Childhood
Sections 1 to 6 relate to early childhood screening.
Section 1 (13.32, subdivision 2 ) amends the Data Practices Act with regard to student health and census data, by adding that results from student mental health screenings must be released to the child's parent or legal guardian, and must not be maintained in the student record, unless the parent or guardian consents to the inclusion of the screening in the student record under section 3.
Section 2 (121A.17, subdivision 1) amends the early childhood developmental screening by targeting children between three and four years old, instead of three and one-half to four years old. Also, a student identification number, as defined by the commissioner, must be assigned at the time of the early childhood screening or at the time of the provision of health records indicating comparable screening. Each school district must provide essential data to the Department of Education. Districts are encouraged to reduce screening costs by utilizing public or private health care organizations or individual health care providers.
Section 3 (121A.17, subdivision 3) amends the school board responsibilities by requiring that the screening program for prekindergarten include a socioemotional development screening consistent with the provisions in paragraph (b), and screening for autism spectrum disorder.
Language is added in paragraph (b) allowing the socioemotional screening only if the parent or guardian has been provided with a clear, written notice the socioemotional screening is voluntary, and the parent or guardian has signed a document developed and approved by the commissioner either allowing or declining the socioemotional component of the early childhood developmental screening, and either allowing or declining the inclusion of the screening in the student record. A new paragraph is added requiring the socioemotional development screening to be conducted with a screening instrument approved by the Commissioner of Human Services, as the designated state mental health authority.
All "other" screening components must be consistent with the standards of the Commissioner of Health.
This section also adds a new paragraph (f) requiring the district to develop and implement community outreach plans to diverse populations to promote children being screened at least once before school entrance, targeting children age three and one-half to four years old. Districts are encouraged to include parents, early care and education programs, community partners, public or private health care organizations, and individual health care providers in the development of outreach plans.
Section 4 (121A.17, subdivision 4a) adds a subdivision to the prekindergarten screening statute, providing that if a child indicates a need for further assessment in the socioemotional development screening, the district is not financially responsible for a mental health assessment. The district must notify a child's parent or guardian of the screening results, and may provide the same with referrals to community providers. If the child is without health coverage, the district must inform the child's parent or guardian of an appropriate health care provider. This subdivision does not preclude the district from providing educational assessments.
Section 5 (121A.17, subdivision 5) modifies the developmental screening program information by requiring the school district to inform families of the option to have screening done by either the school district or a private or public health care provider.
Section 6 (121A.19) changes the aid formula for developmental screening, by providing $50 for each three year old screened, $40 for each four year old screened, and $30 for each five year old screened. Currently, there is a flat $40 amount for each child screened.
Section 7 (122A.2201) provides that a patient's refusal to consent to the administration of a psychotropic drug or a psychiatric evaluation, screening, or examination of a student shall to be used as grounds, by itself, for prohibiting the child from attending class or participating in a school-rlated activity. Further, a school district must not recommend that a student use a psychotropic drug.
Section 8 (124D.135, subdivision 1) increases revenue for early childhood family education programs for fiscal year 2007 and later.
Section 9 (121.145) establishes the Early Learning Guidelines.
Subdivision 1 requires the Commissioners of Education and Human Services to disseminate information and provide training to parents and early care and education providers on the early learning guidelines developed for three and four year old children that describe what children should know and be able to do in order to be prepared for kindergarten entrance.
Subdivision 2 requires the Commissioner of Human Services to develop early learning guidelines and distribute them to parents and early care and education providers. The guidelines must include what children from birth to age three should know and be able to do to be prepared for kindergarten entrance. The commissioner shall provide information and training to parents and early care education providers on the guidelines.
Subdivision 3 requires that early care and education programs or providers that receive state funding be provided a copy of the early learning guidelines to guide their early care and education practices.
Sections 10 to 17 relate to the school readiness program.
Section 10 (124D.15, subdivision 1) clarifies that the purpose of the school readiness program is to prepare children to enter kindergarten, and specifies that the program is for children age three to kindergarten entrance.
Section 11 (124D.15, subdivision 3) modifies program requirements. The program must:
(1) conduct a child development assessment on each child to guide intentional curriculum planning and promote kindergarten readiness;
(2) demonstrate use of comprehensive curriculum based on early childhood research, professional practice, and department guidelines that prepares children for kindergarten;
(3) arrange for early childhood screening and appropriate referral;
(4) involve parents in program planning and decision making;
(5) coordinate with relevant community-based services; and
(6) cooperate with adult basic education programs and other adult literacy programs.
Section 12 (124D.15, subdivision 3a) provides school readiness application and reporting requirements. A school readiness program must submit a biennial plan to the commissioner for approval to receive aid. A school district must submit a biennial plan by April 1 to the commissioner for approval to receive aid. One-half of the districts must submit the plan by April 1, 2006, and one-half of the districts by April 1, 2007.
Also, programs receiving school readiness funds must submit an annual report to the department.
Section 13 (124D.15, subdivision 5) amends the statute dealing with coordinating services with new or existing providers by stating that the district may contract with a charter school or community-based organization to provides services. Current law "encourages" a district to contract with a "public or nonprofit organization" to provide services. Also, a copy of the contract must be submitted to the commissioner with the biennial plan.
Section 14 (124D.15, subdivision 10) strikes language requiring the program to be supervised and staffed according to the terms of the contract.
Section 15 (124D.15, subdivision 12) requires, instead of allows, a district to adopt a sliding fee schedule. Strikes language that requires that fees charged be designed to enable eligible children of all socioeconomic levels to participate in the program.
Section 16 (124D.15, subdivision 14) adds a new subdivision requiring the department to provide assistance to districts with school readiness programs.
Section 17 (124D.16, subdivision 2) modifies the amount of aid a district is eligible to receive. A district is eligible for aid "for eligible prekindergarten pupils enrolled in a school readiness program" if the biennial plan has been approved by the commissioner. This section also strikes language consistent with other changes made in this section.
Section 18 (124D.175, subdivision 1) establishes the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation and provides the goal of the foundation, which is to identify cost-effective ways to deliver quality early care and education experience and parent education for families whose children are at risk of being unprepared for school. The foundation is a public-private partnership that will develop infrastructure support and accountability measures to increase the quality of early care and education, and will evaluate the resulting benefits and long-term savings to the Minnesota economy and the effectiveness of strategies for increasing children's readiness for school.
Subdivision 2 establishes the board, which will be made up of public and private citizens, with more than 50 percent of the members from the private sector. The Governor shall appoint the public sector members. A review and planning advisory committee shall provide knowledgeable counsel and advice to the executive director and the board. The committee shall include parents, representatives of the early care and education field, K-12 education, public library, and business leaders, and shall reflect the ethnic and geographic diversity of the state.
Subdivision 3 requires the foundation to match dollars appropriated from the state with nonpublic dollars raised by the board. The board shall award grants for projects including pilot projects that demonstrate successful approaches to the delivery of early childhood services and parent education to low-income families; scholarships to low-income families to access early childhood parent education and high quality early learning for children; and strategies to improve the quality of care and education through early learning standards and assessments, a quality rating system, program improvement grants, and professional development grants.
Sections 19 to 22 modify appropriations that were in S.F. No. 1879.
Section 23 requires the coordination of early care and education programs by the Commissioners of Education, Human Services, and Health. The commissioners must identify how they will coordinate activities and resources, with input from local communities and tribes, including setting priorities, aligning policies, and leveraging existing resources to achieve a goal for increased school readiness of all Minnesota children. The commissioners are required to report to the legislature by March 1, 2006, on progress made, including progress made on the activities listed in the bill.
Section 24 establishes the school readiness kindergarten assessment initiative.
Subdivision 1 requires the Commissioner of Education to establish a system for assessing the school readiness of children entering kindergarten, building on the two school readiness studies conducted by the department in 2002 and 2003. The commissioner shall set biennial milestones for progress in the number of children reaching proficiency on all measures of the assessment.
Subdivision 2 implements the school readiness kindergarten assessment initiative in all school districts on a voluntary basis over a five-year period. Results of the assessment must be included in the annual school performance report cards.
Subdivision 3 requires the commissioner to evaluate the effectiveness of the data gathering system for implementing developmental assessments at kindergarten entrance on a school-by-school basis. The commissioner shall also report to the Senate and House of Representatives on the progress toward reaching the milestones in odd years beginning in 2007.
Section 25 establishes a formula for additional early childhood family education aid in fiscal year 2006.
Section 26 establishes a grant program to promote kindergarten readiness and support families.
Subdivision 1 requires the Commissioner of Education to award a planning grant to develop a project that will promote school readiness of children by coordinating and collaborating with community-based and neighborhood-based services that help stabilize, support, and assist parents in meeting the needs of children.
Subdivision 2 lists the program components that are necessary to receive grant funding.
Subdivision 3 describes the eligible grantees, which include nonprofit organizations or a consortium of nonprofit organizations that demonstrate a collaborative effort with at least one unit of local government.
Subdivision 4 requires the commissioner to award a grant to an applicant with experience or demonstrated ability in providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary, community-based programs with objectives similar to those listed in subdivision 2, or in providing other human or social services programs using a multidisciplinary, community-based approach.
Subdivision 5 specifies what the grant application must include, and requires that the application be submitted on forms provided by the commissioner.
Subdivision 6 requires that each dollar of state money must be matched with 50 cents of nonstate money. Programs may match state money with in-kind contributions, including volunteer assistance.
Subdivision 7 requires each grantee to establish a program advisory board to advise the grantee on program design. Generally specifies representatives that the board must include.
Section 27 provides the new appropriations for the program in this article.
Section 28 repeals obsolete school readiness provisions
Article 2 Child Care
Section 1 (119B.09, subdivision 1) modifies the eligibility for the basic sliding fee child care program by changing program entrance from 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Section 2 (119B.13, subdivision 7) requires that an accredited Montessori child care provider be paid a ten percent bonus above the maximum child care assistance rate.
Section 3 establishes a new parent fee schedule, which reduces co-payments for parents using the child care assistance program.
Section 4 modifies the appropriation for basic sliding fee that was in S.F. No. 1879.
Section 5 requires the Commissioner of Human Services to monitor the progress related to meeting the goals of the child care assistance program, and report the findings to the legislative committees overseeing child care issues on an annual basis beginning January 15, 2006.
Section 6 establishes the volunteer quality rating system. This section requires the Commissioner of Human Services, in partnership with the Ready 4 K Quality Rating System Task Force and other interested organization, to develop a plan by January 15, 2006, for a voluntary quality rating system for child care that provides consumer information to parents, identifies quality child care settings, and raises the quality of care in child care settings. The plan must include a process for choosing an early care and education nonprofit organization to administer the quality rating system. This section also lists what the quality rating system must include.
Section 7 requires the Commissioner of Human Services, in conjunction with the Minnesota Association of County Social Services Administrators and the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, to study the feasibility of setting a standard statewide license fee for licensed family child care providers, and make recommendations for a statewide standard fee to the chairs of the senate and house committees having jurisdiction over child care issues by January 15, 2006.
Section 8 provides the new appropriations for the programs in this article.
Article 3 Adult Basic Education
Section 1 (124D.205) establishes a new formula to provide supplemental community education revenue to districts that currently receive this type of revenue.
Section 2 (124D.531, subdivision 1) modifies the adult basic education aid formula. It increases the amount of aid in 2006 from $36,509,000 to $37,604,000. For later years, the formula equals the amount of aid in the preceding year, times the lesser of:
(1) 1.03, or
(2) the ratio of state total contact hours in the first prior program year to the state total contact hours in the second prior program year. The ratio cannot be less than 1.00.
Section 3 (124D.531, subdivision 4) provides that aid that is not paid to an adult basic education program due to the limitation under paragraph (a), which does not allow aid to exceed $21 per prior year contact hour, must be added to the state total adult basic education aid for the next fiscal year. Also, any aid that is not paid to a program under other limitations in this statute must be reallocated among programs by adjusting the rate per contact hour.
Section 4 (124D.532) establishes adult literacy grants for recent immigrants. This grant program is established to meet the English language needs of the refugees and immigrants living in the state of Minnesota. The Commissioner of Education is required to consult with adult basic education services providers in establishing the form and manner of the grant program.
Section 5 modifies the appropriation for Adult Basic Education Aid that was in S.F. No. 1879.
Section 6 provides the new appropriation for the programs in this article.
Article 4 Prevention Policy
Sections 1 to 4 and 6 transfer the lead abatement program from the Department of Education to the Department of Health and community education and prevention, and make conforming changes.
Section 5 increases the school-age care levy from $2,433 to $2,925 and is effective for revenue for fiscal year 2007.
Section 6 provides the appropriations.
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