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HF 4415

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/14/2020 03:57pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to education; providing for compensation for school employees during
distance learning periods during the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19;
making exceptions for probationary teachers and truancy during the 2019-2020
school year due to COVID-19; making formula adjustments for school aid and
revenue calculations and providing for fund transfers due to COVID-19; granting
emergency powers to the commissioner of education and Professional Educator
Licensing and Standards Board due to COVID-19; requiring a report.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

ARTICLE 1

DISTANCE LEARNING DUE TO COVID-19

Section 1. new text beginDISTANCE LEARNING PERIOD; 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this act, "distance learning period"
means March 18, 2020, through May 4, 2020, or later, if extended by emergency executive
order.
new text end

new text begin (b) For the purposes of this section, a "school district" includes a cooperative unit under
Minnesota Statutes, section 123A.24, subdivision 2, that serves students on site.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Distance learning period; employees. new text end

new text begin (a) This subdivision applies to an
employee of a school district or charter school, during the distance learning period, who:
new text end

new text begin (1) was scheduled to work during the distance learning period;
new text end

new text begin (2) did not work on a scheduled day or worked fewer than the number of scheduled
hours for the employee that day; and
new text end

new text begin (3) did not receive compensation for all scheduled hours that day.
new text end

new text begin (b) In addition to paragraph (a), this subdivision applies to any day or portion of a day
not worked, during which the employee was scheduled to work, that the employee did not
work at the recommendation or direction of a health care provider acting within the provider's
scope of practice or a Department of Health staff member due to the possibility the employee
was exposed to or infected with COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin (c) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for each day or portion of a day identified
in paragraph (a) or (b), a school district or charter school must compensate any school
district or charter school employee for any hours scheduled but not worked at the employee's
regular rate of pay.
new text end

new text begin (d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the purposes of this subdivision, an
employee is deemed scheduled to work if:
new text end

new text begin (1) a school district or charter school notified the employee of the schedule orally or in
writing;
new text end

new text begin (2) the employee works a fixed or periodically recurring schedule and had not notified
the school district or charter school that the employee intended to deviate from that schedule;
or
new text end

new text begin (3) if neither clause (1) nor (2) apply, the employee is deemed scheduled to work the
same number of hours and days as the most recent prior schedule for which the school
district or charter school provided notice.
new text end

new text begin (e) Subject to Department of Health guidelines, labor agreements, and school district or
charter school policies, a school district or charter school may schedule an employee to
work on tasks outside of their normal purview.
new text end

new text begin (f) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, compensation under this subdivision must
not be deducted from accrued sick or paid leave unless the employee is unable to work due
to illness, injury, or other incapacity, including treatment for a COVID-19 infection.
new text end

new text begin (g) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a school district or charter school must
count any hours or days for which an employee is entitled to compensation under this
subdivision as hours or days worked for the purpose of entitlement to or accrual of any
benefits to which the employee would be otherwise entitled.
new text end

new text begin (h) A school district or charter school is encouraged to use hourly employees for
COVID-19 response related work. This may include but is not limited to appropriate work
in food distribution, cleaning and disinfecting, or distance learning.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Distance learning period; contract employer compensation for eligible
employees.
new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of this subdivision, "contract employer" means an employer
who provides student-related services throughout the school year to a school district or
charter school, and "eligible employee" means a person who:
new text end

new text begin (1) has the primary task of providing services to students attending a school district or
charter school;
new text end

new text begin (2) was scheduled to work for the contract employer on any day or days of the distance
learning period;
new text end

new text begin (3) did not work on any or all of those days; and
new text end

new text begin (4) did not receive compensation for any or all of the employee's regularly scheduled
shifts or hours on those school days.
new text end

new text begin (b) A contract employer who agrees to compensate eligible employees at the regular
rate of pay for the hours of pay lost during the distance learning period must notify the
school district or charter school of the intended compensation and, once notified, the school
district or charter school must fully compensate the contract employer for the days identified.
new text end

new text begin (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), a school district or charter school and contract
employer may, by mutual agreement, adjust the full, regularly scheduled daily contract rate
if special circumstances within the school district or charter school warrant an adjustment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginPROBATIONARY TEACHERS.
new text end

new text begin For the 2019-2020 school year only, for purposes of Minnesota Statutes, sections
122A.40, subdivision 5, paragraph (e), and 122A.41, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), the
minimum number of days of teacher service that a probationary teacher must complete
equals the difference between 120 days and the number of scheduled instructional days that
were canceled for COVID-19-related reasons.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginTRUANCY.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 260A.02, subdivision 3, a student's absence,
without valid excuse, beginning March 1, 2020, and through the end of the distance learning
period on May 4, 2020, or any extension of the distance learning period, does not bring the
student within the definition of a continuing truant.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 to 3 are effective the day following final enactment and are effective
retroactively from the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Sections 1 to 3 expire June
30, 2020.
new text end

ARTICLE 2

FORMULA ADJUSTMENTS

Section 1. new text beginSCHOOL AID FORMULAS ADJUSTED.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Special education. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, fiscal year
2020 expenditures for employees and contracted services that would have been eligible for
state special education aid under Minnesota Statutes, section 125A.76, and for special
education tuition billing under Minnesota Statutes, sections 125A.11 and 127A.47, in the
absence of school closures or learning plan modifications due to COVID-19 must be included
as eligible expenditures for the calculation of state special education aid and special education
tuition billing.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin School meals. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for school meals
served beginning on or after March 18, 2020, the commissioner of education may adjust
the appropriations remaining under Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter 11, article 7,
section 1, subdivisions 2, 3, and 4, as specified in paragraph (b).
new text end

new text begin (b) On June 30, 2020, the commissioner must subtract the amount actually paid to
participants for the 2019-2020 school year under Laws 2019, First Special Session chapter
11, article 7, section 1, subdivisions 2, 3, and 4, through March 17, 2020, from the total
appropriations for each program. The commissioner must then allocate the remaining funds
under each appropriation to participants in the summer food service program on a per-meal
basis for meals served on or after March 18, 2020, and before July 1, 2020.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Career and technical aid. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal
years 2020 and 2021, the commissioner of education may recalculate career and technical
revenue for school districts, cooperative units, and charter schools to ensure that the total
statewide career and technical revenue does not fall below the amount estimated for fiscal
years 2020 and 2021 based on the February 2020 forecast. For expenses incurred on or after
March 18, 2020, the commissioner may recalculate school district, cooperative unit, and
charter school amounts based on any other mechanism that allows for the full amount of
this appropriation to be equitably paid to school districts, cooperative units, and charter
schools. These amounts must be prorated at the end of each fiscal year if career and technical
revenue is to exceed the February 2020 forecast estimate of this revenue for these fiscal
years.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Nonpublic pupil transportation aid. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
the commissioner of education may adjust the fiscal year 2020 pupil transportation
expenditures used to determine nonpublic pupil transportation aid for fiscal year 2022 based
on any mechanism that allows for the full amount of the state total fiscal year 2020
expenditure estimated in the February 2020 forecast to be equitably allocated among school
districts.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Interdistrict desegregation or integration transportation
grants.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the commissioner of education may adjust
the fiscal year 2020 pupil transportation expenditures used to determine interdistrict
desegregation and integration aid for fiscal year 2021 based on any mechanism that allows
for the full amount of the state total fiscal year 2020 expenditure estimated in the February
2020 forecast to be equitably allocated among school districts.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Adult basic education aid. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the
2020-2021 school year only, the commissioner of education may recalculate adult basic
education aid to ensure that the total aid does not fall below the amount estimated for the
2020-2021 school year based on the February 2020 forecast. The commissioner may
recalculate contract hourly rates or otherwise adjust the formula based on any mechanism
that allows for the full amount of this appropriation to be equitably paid to aid recipients.
These amounts must be prorated at the end of the fiscal year if adult basic education aid
were to exceed the February 2020 forecast estimate of this aid.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin School employees; ensuring state revenue. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the
contrary, for purposes of state aid formulas under subdivisions 1 and 3, the commissioner
of education may include in any counts and costs of essential personnel the services provided
by individuals who were essential personnel prior to March 13, 2020, for the purpose of
ensuring state aid payments to school districts, cooperative units, and charter schools are
consistent with the February 2020 forecast.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Literacy incentive aid. new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section
124D.98, subdivision 2, for purposes of calculating literacy proficiency aid for fiscal years
2021, 2022, and 2023 only, tests administered during the 2019-2020 school year must be
excluded from the three-year average proficiency percentages.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.98, subdivision 3, for purposes
of calculating literacy growth aid for fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023 only, tests
administered during the 2019-2020 school year must be excluded from the three-year average
growth percentages.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Community education after-school enrichment revenue. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding
Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.19, subdivision 12, for fiscal year 2020 only, for spending
occurring on or after March 18, 2020, after-school enrichment revenue under Minnesota
Statutes, section 124D.20, subdivision 4a, continues and may be spent consistent with the
process, uses, and limitations of section 3.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin School-age care revenue. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section
124D.22, for fiscal year 2020 only, for spending on or after March 18, 2020, each district's
school-age care revenue continues at its approved amounts and program funds may be spent
consistent with the process, uses, and limitations of section 3.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Early childhood screening revenue. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding the per-child dollar
amounts in Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.19, at the conclusion of fiscal year 2021 only,
the commissioner must increase the per-child amount for each child screened at age three
in fiscal year 2021 by multiplying the allowance in Minnesota Statutes, section 121A.19,
clause (1), by the statewide ratio of the number of three-year-old children screened in fiscal
year 2019 to the number of three-year-old children screened in 2020.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Achievement and integration revenue. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes,
section 124D.861 or 124D.862, or any other law to the contrary, for fiscal year 2020 only,
a school district or charter school that has not spent the full approved amount of its
achievement and integration revenue may carry the unspent portion of that revenue forward
into fiscal year 2021.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 13. new text end

new text begin Report. new text end

new text begin The commissioner of education must notify school districts and charter
schools of these formula changes as soon as practicable. The commissioner must issue a
report by January 15, 2021, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative
committees having jurisdiction over kindergarten through grade 12 education describing
the formula changes and the distributional impact on school districts and charter schools.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginFUND TRANSFERS; FISCAL YEAR 2020 ONLY.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Fund and account transfers allowed. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 123B.80, subdivision 3, for fiscal year 2020 only, and for the purposes
listed in subdivision 3, a school district, charter school, or cooperative unit may transfer
any funds not already assigned to or encumbered by staff salary and benefits, or otherwise
encumbered by federal law, from any reserved account or operating fund to the undesignated
balance in any other operating fund.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin For purposes of this act:
new text end

new text begin (1) "eligible on-site child" means a school-aged child of an employee providing services
in a critical sector as defined in Executive Order 20-02, 20-19, or 20-20, or any subsequent
order receiving services at a school facility;
new text end

new text begin (2) "closure period" means the time period specified by Executive Order 20-02 during
which schools were closed to students while staff engaged in planning for distance learning;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) "distance learning period" means the time period during the 2019-2020 school year
specified by Executive Order 20-19 or a future emergency executive order during which
schools are closed and the time during which distance learning plans are implemented to
provide instructional programming to all students.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Revenue uses for transferred funds. new text end

new text begin Funds transferred under this section may
be used to:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide care to eligible on-site children during the school day;
new text end

new text begin (2) pay for additional transportation costs needed in providing distance learning
instruction and meal delivery during the closure period and the distance learning period;
new text end

new text begin (3) pay for additional costs related to technology needed to provide distance learning
instruction;
new text end

new text begin (4) pay the portion of staff salary and benefits of employees paid through the community
service fund normally funded by fees that were refunded, waived, or otherwise not paid
during the closure period and distance learning period; or
new text end

new text begin (5) pay the portion of food service fund staff salary and benefits normally funded by
meal reimbursement revenue during the closure period or distance learning period.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin No aid or levy effect. new text end

new text begin A fund or account transfer is allowed under this section
if the transfer does not increase state aid obligations to the district or school, or result in
additional property tax authority for the district. A fund or account transfer is limited to the
operating funds and accounts of a school district, charter school, or cooperative unit.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Board approval required; reporting; audit trail. new text end

new text begin A fund or account transfer
under this section is effective June 30, 2020, and the school board must approve any fund
or account transfer before the reporting deadline for fiscal year 2020. A school district,
charter school, or cooperative unit must maintain accounting records for the purposes of
this section that are sufficient to document both the specific funds transferred and use of
those funds. The accounting records are subject to auditor review. Any execution of flexibility
must not interfere with or jeopardize funding per federal requirements. Any transfer must
not interfere with the equitable delivery of distance learning or social distancing models.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Commissioner's guidance. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must prepare and post to the
department's website a document providing guidance on the allowable uses and fund and
account balance transfers authorized under this section.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies retroactively from March 18, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginCASH FLOW ADJUSTMENT; FISCAL YEAR 2021 ONLY.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal year 2021 only, a school district
unable to make a required payment from its debt service fund because of a delay in receipt
of its anticipated property tax proceeds may apply for modified cash flow payments under
Minnesota Statutes, section 127A.45. The school district must apply in the form and manner
specified by the commissioner of education and the commissioner must adjust the state aid
cash flow payments accordingly.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 4. new text beginINSTRUCTION TO COMMISSIONER; FEDERAL EDUCATION
STABILIZATION FUND APPLICATION.
new text end

new text begin In applying for education stabilization fund grants authorized under the federal
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Department of Education must
prioritize distribution and expenditure of funds that enable a school to comply with Executive
Order 20-19 and any future executive order on kindergarten through grade 12 education
that relates to the infectious disease known as COVID-19, as well as the corresponding
Department of Education guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including employee
compensation.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
expires June 30, 2020.
new text end

ARTICLE 3

STATE AGENCY COVID-19 EMERGENCY POWERS

Section 1. new text beginCOMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR
LICENSING AND STANDARDS BOARD COVID-19 EMERGENCY POWERS.
new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, chapters 120A and 120B, or Minnesota Rules,
chapter 3501, the commissioner of education is granted authority to waive for students and
schools negatively affected by a COVID-19 disruption provisions relating to the:
new text end

new text begin (1) required number of instructional days and hours;
new text end

new text begin (2) required credits and earning of credits, including credits for advancement in grade;
and
new text end

new text begin (3) state graduation requirements.
new text end

new text begin In authorizing a waiver, the commissioner must consider the quality of the continuity of
education and the mastery of academic standards with provisions for students to demonstrate
the potential toward grade advancement and graduation. Before authorizing a waiver under
this paragraph, the commissioner must consult with representatives of school boards reflective
of school districts throughout the state.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.30, for the 2019-2020 school
year only, the commissioner of education is granted authority to waive the state requirements
on statewide assessments, including requirements allowing students to take a college entrance
exam in school on a regular school day. The commissioner must waive any state
accountability and reporting requirements linked to the statewide assessments. The
commissioner must distribute any savings attributable to this paragraph equitably among
schools for purposes of complying with Executive Order 20-19 and the corresponding
Department of Education guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including employee
compensation.
new text end

new text begin (c) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.183, Minnesota Rules, part
8710.0313, or any other law to the contrary, the Professional Educator Licensing and
Standards Board must issue a one-year conditional Tier 3 license to an applicant that is
otherwise qualified under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.183, but was unable to complete
a required licensure exam under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.185, because of a
COVID-19-related disruption. As a condition of renewing the Tier 3 license, the applicant
must pass all required licensure exams under Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.185. The
term of the renewed Tier 3 license under this section must be two years. The board must
waive the licensure renewal fee.
new text end

new text begin (d) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Professional Educator Licensing and
Standards Board must extend by six months any calendar year 2020 deadline for completion
of license renewal requirements for licenses under their jurisdiction.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin Paragraphs (a) and (b) expire June 30, 2020. Paragraph (c) expires
October 31, 2020.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text beginREPORTING; RIGHT OF ACTION.
new text end

new text begin (a) A court must not construe anything in this article as creating a right of action for a
student, parent, teacher license applicant, or any other individual or entity to enforce any
provisions of this article.
new text end

new text begin (b) By December 15, 2020, the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board
must report on waivers made under section 1, paragraph (a), and all conditional licenses
issued under section 1, paragraph (c), to the chairs and ranking minority members of the
committees in the house of representatives and senate with jurisdiction over kindergarten
through grade 12 education policy and finance.
new text end