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HF 59

as introduced - 91st Legislature, 2020 2nd Special Session (2020 - 2020) Posted on 07/21/2020 01:25am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to education; authorizing school boards to establish a school attendance
model for the 2020-2021 school year; establishing a parent-based distance learning
program for the 2020-2021 school year; modifying the school calendar for the
2020-2021 school year; extending school district fund transfer flexibility; defining
distance learning; requiring a report; appropriating money; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2019 Supplement, section 126C.05, subdivision 1; Laws 2020, chapter
116, article 3, section 8; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes,
chapter 120A.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [120A.412] DISTANCE LEARNING.
new text end

new text begin "Distance learning" means remote teaching where students have daily interactions with
their licensed teacher or teachers and are provided appropriate education materials. Daily
interaction with teachers includes access to teachers online and by telephone during normal
school hours and on normal school days.
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.

Minnesota Statutes 2019 Supplement, section 126C.05, subdivision 1, is amended
to read:


Subdivision 1.

Pupil unit.

Pupil units for each Minnesota resident pupil under the age
of 21 or who meets the requirements of section 120A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), in
average daily membership enrolled in the district of residence, in another district under
sections 123A.05 to 123A.08, 124D.03, 124D.08, or 124D.68; in a charter school under
chapter 124E; or for whom the resident district pays tuition under section 123A.18, 123A.22,
123A.30, 123A.32, 123A.44, 123A.488, 123B.88, subdivision 4, 124D.04, 124D.05, 125A.03
to 125A.24, 125A.51, or 125A.65, shall be counted according to this subdivision.new text begin For the
2020-2021 school year only, average daily membership and pupil units computed under
this section include any student participating in an on-site instruction, a hybrid model of
instruction, distance learning, and a distance learning parent-based program under section
6.
new text end

(a) A prekindergarten pupil with a disability who is enrolled in a program approved by
the commissioner and has an individualized education program is counted as the ratio of
the number of hours of assessment and education service to 825 times 1.0 with a minimum
average daily membership of 0.28, but not more than 1.0 pupil unit.

(b) A prekindergarten pupil who is assessed but determined not to be disabled is counted
as the ratio of the number of hours of assessment service to 825 times 1.0.

(c) A kindergarten pupil with a disability who is enrolled in a program approved by the
commissioner is counted as the ratio of the number of hours of assessment and education
services required in the fiscal year by the pupil's individualized education program to 875,
but not more than one.

(d) A prekindergarten pupil who is not included in paragraph (a) or (b) and is enrolled
in an approved voluntary prekindergarten program under section 124D.151 is counted as
the ratio of the number of hours of instruction to 850 times 1.0, but not more than 0.6 pupil
units.

(e) A kindergarten pupil who is not included in paragraph (c) is counted as 1.0 pupil
unit if the pupil is enrolled in a free all-day, every day kindergarten program available to
all kindergarten pupils at the pupil's school that meets the minimum hours requirement in
section 120A.41, or is counted as .55 pupil unit, if the pupil is not enrolled in a free all-day,
every day kindergarten program available to all kindergarten pupils at the pupil's school.

(f) A pupil who is in any of grades 1 to 6 is counted as 1.0 pupil unit.

(g) A pupil who is in any of grades 7 to 12 is counted as 1.2 pupil units.

(h) A pupil who is in the postsecondary enrollment options program is counted as 1.2
pupil units.

(i) For fiscal years 2018 through 2021, a prekindergarten pupil who:

(1) is not included in paragraph (a), (b), or (d);

(2) is enrolled in a school readiness plus program under Laws 2017, First Special Session
chapter 5, article 8, section 9; and

(3) has one or more of the risk factors specified by the eligibility requirements for a
school readiness plus program,

is counted as the ratio of the number of hours of instruction to 850 times 1.0, but not more
than 0.6 pupil units. A pupil qualifying under this paragraph must be counted in the same
manner as a voluntary prekindergarten student for all general education and other school
funding formulas.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

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

Sec. 3.

Laws 2020, chapter 116, article 3, section 8, is amended to read:


Sec. 8. FUND TRANSFERSdeleted text begin;deleted text endnew text begin FORnew text end FISCAL YEARS 2020 AND 2021 ONLYnew text begin;
REVENUE REDIRECTION FISCAL YEAR 2021 ONLY
new text end.

Subdivision 1.

Fund and account transfers allowed.

Notwithstanding Minnesota
Statutes, section 123B.80, subdivision 3, for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 only, 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 accounts or operating fund to the undesignated balance in any other operating fund.

new text begin Subd. 1a. new text end

new text begin Redirected revenue uses. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for fiscal
year 2021 only, a school district may redirect any reserved or restricted revenue to another
use upon adoption of a written resolution of the school board. This authority applies to any
funds not already assigned to or encumbered by staff salary and benefits, or otherwise
encumbered by federal law.
new text end

Subd. 2.

No aid or levy effect.

A fund deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin transfer,new text end account transfernew text begin, or redirection of
revenue
new text end is allowed under this section if the transfer new text beginor revenue redirection new text enddoes not increase
state aid obligations to the district or school, or result in additional property tax authority
for the district. new text beginRedirected revenue, new text enda fund new text begintransfer, new text endor new text beginan new text endaccount transfer is limited to the
operating funds and accounts of a school district, charter school, or cooperative unit.

Subd. 3.

Board approval required; reporting; audit trail.

new text begin(a) new text endA fund or account
transfer under this section for fiscal year 2020 is effective June 30, 2020, and a fund or
account transfer under this section for fiscal year 2021 is effective June 30, 2021. The school
board must approve any fund or account transfer before the reporting deadline for the
respective fiscal year.

new text begin (b) A school board that redirects reserved or restricted revenue or uses revenue for a
different purpose than the specific purposes listed in statute for that revenue must adopt a
written resolution outlining the purpose for, and specifying the amount of, funds that are
redirected.
new text end

new text begin (c)new text end A school district, charter school, or cooperative unit must maintain accounting records
for the purposes of this section that are sufficient to document deleted text beginbothdeleted text end the specific funds
transferrednew text begin or redirectednew text end 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 transfernew text begin or redirection of fundsnew text end must not interfere with the equitable
delivery of distance learning or social distancing models.

Subd. 4.

Commissioner's guidance.

The commissioner must prepare and post to the
department's website a document providing guidance on the process for approval of fund
and account balance transfers authorized under this section.

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 beginFOUR-DAY SCHOOL WEEKS ALLOWED.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.41, for the 2020-2021 school year
only, a school board's annual calendar may include fewer than 165 days of instruction and
may be structured as a four-day week schedule.
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. 5. new text beginLABOR DAY START FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS; DISTANCE
LEARNING.
new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.40, a school district engaging in
distance learning may begin the school year on any day before Labor Day for students in
grades 9 through 12.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment for
the 2020-2021 school year only.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginPARENT-BASED DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Purpose. new text end

new text begin The purpose of this section is to provide additional learning
opportunities for students during distance learning periods.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Applicability. new text end

new text begin This section only applies during the 2020-2021 school year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Student eligibility. new text end

new text begin A student who was enrolled in a Minnesota school district
or charter school on March 13, 2020, who has not already graduated from high school may
participate in a parent-based distance learning program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Parent responsibility. new text end

new text begin (a) A parent who wishes to provide parent-based distance
learning must provide the student's school with written notice of the parent's intent to do
so. The parent's notice must include the parent's agreement to provide the educational
services required under Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.22.
new text end

new text begin (b) A parent may terminate a parent-based distance learning program by submitting
written notice to the student's enrolling school. A parent who terminates a parent-based
distance learning program for the student may not request another parent-based distance
learning period for that student.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin School responsibilities. new text end

new text begin (a) A school district or charter school that enrolls an
eligible parent-based distance learning student may continue to count that student as an
enrolled pupil according to Minnesota Statutes, section 126C.05, subdivision 1, and any
other school funding formulas under Minnesota Statutes, chapters 124D, 125A, and 126C.
new text end

new text begin (b) A school district or charter school that enrolls a student under paragraph (a) must
provide the eligible student with a computer, textbooks, individualized instructional materials,
standardized tests, software, and education technology in the same manner as for other
students attending the school. If the student's family does not have access to adequate Internet
service, the school must provide Internet services for the student. If the school provides
access to noninteractive coursework online, the school must make this coursework available
to the student.
new text end

new text begin (c) The enrolling school is not required to provide the student access to its teachers as
a part of the parent-based distance learning program.
new text end

new text begin (d) The enrolling school is not required to provide compulsory instruction under
Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.22, for any student participating in parent-based distance
learning.
new text end

new text begin (e) Upon written request of the parent who has terminated a parent-based distance
learning program, the enrolling school must reassign a parent-based distance learning student
to the school's regular distance learning program. The school must place the student in the
same manner as it would a student transferring from another school.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Grade progression and graduation. new text end

new text begin (a) The enrolling school must recognize
the courses completed by a parent-based distance learning program student in the same
manner as it recognizes any other student's courses who transfers into the school.
new text end

new text begin (b) A parent-based distance learning student in grade 12 during the 2020-2021 school
year who satisfies the school's graduation requirements and successfully completes the
parent-based distance learning program must be awarded a diploma from the school where
the student is enrolled.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for the 2020-2021 school year only.
new text end

Sec. 7. new text beginPUBLIC HEALTH E-LEARNING DAYS.
new text end

new text begin (a) For the purposes of this section, "public health e-learning day" means a school day
where a school offers full access to online instruction provided by students' individual
teachers due to a public health hazard, including the threat of an outbreak of a communicable
or infectious disease.
new text end

new text begin (b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, for the 2020-2021 school year only, a school
district or charter school may use public health e-learning days if:
new text end

new text begin (1) the governor authorizes the commissioner of education to alter school schedules,
curtail school schedules, or order schools closed under Minnesota Statutes, section 12.21,
due to an infectious disease outbreak; or
new text end

new text begin (2) a school district or charter school chooses to close a school due to an infectious
disease outbreak.
new text end

new text begin (c) A public health e-learning day is counted as a day of instruction and included in the
hours of instruction under Minnesota Statutes, section 120A.41.
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. 8. new text beginDISTANCE LEARNING BROADBAND ACCESS GRANT PROGRAM.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definition. new text end

new text begin For the purposes of this section, "commissioner" means the
commissioner of education.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Establishment. new text end

new text begin A distance learning broadband access grant program is
established in the Department of Education to provide wireless or wire-line broadband
access for a limited duration to students currently lacking Internet access so that the students
may participate in distance learning offered by school districts and charter schools during
the peacetime public health emergency period that relates to the infectious disease known
as COVID-19.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Eligible expenditures. new text end

new text begin A grant awarded under this section may be used to:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide a student with the equipment necessary for the student to use a broadband
connection to access learning materials available on the Internet through a mobile wireless
or wire-line broadband connection;
new text end

new text begin (2) reimburse a school district or charter school for actual costs incurred to provide
emergency distance learning wireless or wire-line broadband access during the 2019-2020
and 2020-2021 school years; and
new text end

new text begin (3) reimburse a school district or charter school for the cost of wireless or wire-line
broadband Internet access for households with students that did not otherwise have Internet
access before March 13, 2020.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Eligible applicants. new text end

new text begin A Minnesota school district or charter school may apply
for a grant award under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Application review. new text end

new text begin (a) An applicant for a grant under this section must file
an application with the commissioner on a form developed by the commissioner. The
commissioner may consult with the commissioner of employment and economic development
when developing the form.
new text end

new text begin (b) An application for a grant under this subdivision must describe a school district's or
charter school's approach to identify and prioritize access for students unable to access the
Internet for distance learning and may include a description of local or private matching
grants or in-kind contributions.
new text end

new text begin (c) A school district or charter school may develop its application in cooperation with
the school district's or charter school's community education department, the school district's
or charter school's adult basic education program provider, a public library, an Internet
service provider, or other community partner.
new text end

new text begin (d) The commissioner must prioritize applicants based on an evaluation of the following
factors: (1) the location of a school in or near an unserved area of the state; (2) the percent
of students that live in a household without wired or wireless broadband service; and (3)
the percent of students that were provided Internet access by the district or charter school
under subdivision 3, clause (3).
new text end

new text begin (e) The commissioner must develop administrative procedures governing the application
and grant award process.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Grant amount. new text end

new text begin The commissioner must establish a minimum and maximum
per-pupil amount for grants awarded under this section based on: (1) the number of districts
and charter schools that apply for a grant; (2) the total amount of money requested in the
applications; and (3) the availability of federal money for a similar purpose.
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. 9. new text beginSCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
new text end

new text begin (a) Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, chapter 12, any emergency executive orders
of the governor, or guidance issued by the commissioner of education, upon adoption of a
written resolution of the school board, a school district or charter school may resume
instruction for enrolled students for the 2020-2021 school year in a manner determined by
the school board. The board may choose to provide on-site instruction, distance learning,
or a hybrid option.
new text end

new text begin (b) On-site instruction must comply with all COVID-19 prevention guidelines issued
by the Department of Health, to the extent practicable. If the school chooses to offer on-site
courses, a parent may choose to keep their child at home and provide instruction under
section 6.
new text end

new text begin (c) Distance learning includes instruction online as determined by the school board and
may reflect the model developed by the commissioner of education for the 2019-2020 school
year.
new text end

new text begin (d) Hybrid instruction includes on-site education as well as distance learning. A school
board may determine the hours of and schedule for the on-site instruction component of a
hybrid model.
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. 10. new text beginAPPROPRIATION.
new text end

new text begin $15,000,000 in fiscal year 2021 is appropriated from the coronavirus relief federal fund
to the commissioner of employment and economic development for transfer to the
commissioner of education for emergency distance learning wireless or wire-line broadband
access for student grants for school districts and charter schools under section 8. Up to five
percent of the appropriation under this section may be used to reimburse reasonable costs
incurred by the Department of Education to administer section 8. This is a onetime
appropriation. Any funds that remain unexpended on October 30, 2020, are canceled. By
November 30, 2020, the commissioner of education must report to the legislature regarding
the districts and charter schools that received grants under section 8, the per-pupil amount
for each grant, and the number of students that were provided Internet access. The report
must also identify the costs to administer the grant program and the amount canceled. Money
appropriated under this section must not be spent until the commissioner of management
and budget determines that the appropriation in this section is an eligible use of the
coronavirus relief federal fund.
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