Legislative platform for 2019The primary mission of Anoka-Hennepin Schools is to effectively educate each student for success. The district serves 39,448 students and over 242,000 residents living in 13 communities spread across 172 square miles. Anoka-Hennepin Schools operates 24 elementary schools (soon to be 26), six middle schools, and five high schools, plus alternative middle and high school sites. The student demographic profile includes 32% students of color, and 6% English learner students. Additionally, 35% of students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch status, and 14% of students are receiving special education services.
Increase funding for core educational programs
We ask that the legislature increase the basic education formula a minimum of 3% in each of the years of the biennium and increase funding for Special Education to reverse, and then significantly reduce, the upward climb in the cross subsidy.
- Increase the general education formula by 3% each year of the biennium to maintain current programs for students.
- Reduce the state’s portion of the special education cross subsidy by 50% over the next four years. The statewide cross subsidy is over $672 million, of which $249 million is the state’s direct responsibility because of the additional state special education requirements and underfunding. Anoka Hennepin Schools annual cross subsidy rose to $33.6 million (FY17), of which $12.2 million is related to state underfunding.
- We ask the legislature to identify and address policy areas within Special Education statutes and rules where long-term costs can be contained while maintaining quality programs.
Improve student supports
Students increasingly need additional services so they can succeed academically. Schools need the resources to meet those needs, and ensure an environment of learning. We ask the legislature to:
School trust lands
- Increase the safe schools levy to support School Safety Officers, and the staff in our schools that support student mental and chemical health challenges.
Provide the school trust lands director the authority to maximize earnings from the school trust lands to benefit the trust beneficiaries---Minnesota public school students.