Section 1. MNovate Commission.
Subdivision 1. Creation. Establishes the MNovate Commission to assist the Governor, the legislature, the Commissioner, and learning communities of Minnesota. The Commission’s mission is to provide leadership for creation of new and innovative models of public schools and schooling.
Subdivision 2. Membership. Paragraph (a), after the initial appointments, the members serve for three-year terms. The Commission is permitted to accept gifts and contributions from public and private organizations.
Paragraph (b), there are 12 voting members on the Commission. The Commissioner of Education is an ongoing voting member and will serve as chair for the first year. After the first year, the members will select the chair.
Paragraph (c), the Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the Senate must each appoint four voting members. The Commissioner serves as one of the Governor’s appointees. One State Representative and one Senator may be commission members.
Paragraph (d), the commission may periodically request testimony and advice from various stakeholders to gain their input regarding learning models.
Paragraph (e), commission members must have expertise or experience that demonstrates support for the risks and rewards of innovative efforts. The membership should reflect geographic and ethnic representation.
Paragraph (f), after the initial appointments, the Commission will appoint its own members who will serve only if confirmed by the Senate.
Subdivision 3. Duties. The commission is required to:
- provide outreach to educations, community groups, and others to help stimulate interest and develop proposals for new and fundamentally different schools;
- conduct research and identify high-priority unmet student learning needs in the state. Unmet needs to be researched and interim recommendations to be made by December 31, 2012, include:
i. improving student readiness for kindergarten and academic proficiency by the end of third grade;
ii. high school models resulting in students completing one or more years of postsecondary credit;
iii. administrative models for serving students in sparsely populated areas;
iv. administrative, learning, or organizational models for districts facing severe fiscal stress;
v. models that use technology as a significant way to improve learning and efficiency; and
vi. models that focus on student engagement in their learning;
- identify laws and rules that restrict the development of learning models and constrain innovation;
- disseminate information about new school creation;
- create opportunities for current schools to learn of new models, exchange ideas, improve efficiency, improve accountability, and enhance innovation in public education;
- research and develop new models of evaluation to support learning, efficiency, and accountability;
- facilitate and coordinate quality assistance as well as nongovernmental support for creating proposals for high-quality new models of schools and schooling and to effectively implement these new models;
- develop the charter school authorizer application process, review those applications, and make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding approval, renewal, and removal of authorizing authority;
- administer the federal charter school start-up grant funding;
- disseminate information to the public regarding ways for students to access learning; and
- actively seek out funding from private sources, federal grants, and other sources.
Subdivision 4. Report. The Commission is required to report annually to the Governor, the legislative committees having jurisdiction over pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education and the Commissioner.
Subdivision 5. Delegation to Nonprofit. Directs the Commission to create a private nonprofit corporation and apply for tax exempt status. The members will serves as the corporation’s board of directors. The corporation is subject to the provisions of Chapter 13 (Government Data Practices), the Open Meeting law under Chapter 13D, salary limits under Minnesota Statutes, section 15A.0815, subdivision 2, and audits by the legislative auditor under Chapter 3. The board of directors and the executive director are considered an official for the purposes of section 10A.071 (gift ban). The Commission may delegate any or all of its powers and duties to the corporation. The Commission may revoke a delegation at any time.