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SF 1873

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/08/2017 09:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to education; integrating service-learning into Minnesota's education
system; establishing an evidence-based service-learning grant program;
appropriating money;amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 124D.50, by
adding a subdivision; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter
124D.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 124D.50, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


Subd. 2a.

Service-learning specialist; service-learning work.

The commissioner shall
create a service-learning specialist position in the department to advance evidence-based
service learning, coordinate the service-learning grants program, and provide technical
assistance to school districts, schools, and school programs and to their community-based
partners or participants, such as nonprofit organizations, units of government, higher
education institutions, businesses or business organizations, community leaders, or parents.
The commissioner may provide or may contract for specialized expertise in school- and
community-based service-learning best practices, professional development or training,
service-learning research or evaluation, or development of service-learning "learning
communities" or "user group" support.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective July 1, 2017.

Sec. 2.

[124D.501] INNOVATIVE INCUBATOR SERVICE-LEARNING GRANTS.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment; eligibility criteria; application requirements.

(a) A
five-year grant program is established to initiate or expand and strengthen innovative
service-learning opportunities for students in early childhood programs through grade 12
and thereby increase student academic achievement, and help close the academic achievement
gap and the community, college, and career opportunity gaps.

(b) To be eligible to apply for and receive an innovative, incubator service-learning grant
under this section, at least one public school teacher, administrator, or program staff member
and at least one service-learning specialist, service-learning coordinator, or curriculum
specialist employed at a public school, public school program, or school district must form
an authentic student-adult partnership that includes one or more community-based
organizations or government units. The partnership may invite one or more other individuals
or entities, such as postsecondary faculty members or institutions, parents, other community
members, local businesses or business organizations, or local media representatives to
become partners or participate with the partnership, consistent with this paragraph. Before
developing and submitting a grant application to the department, participating students must
work with one or more adults who are part of the initial partnership to identify an issue,
need, or opportunity to pursue through a service-learning partnership and identify and invite
one or more possible partners to collaborate in developing and submitting a grant application.
The employing school district that is a member of the partnership or the school district of
the school or school program that is a member of the partnership is the fiscal agent for the
grant. An eligible service-learning partnership receiving an innovation service-learning
grant must:

(1) include at least a group of enrolled students, two or more school district employees,
and an eligible community-based organization or unit of government; and

(2) assist students to:

(i) actively participate in service-learning experiences that meet identified student and
community needs or opportunities;

(ii) operate collaboratively with service-learning partnership members;

(iii) align service-learning experiences with students' individualized educational plans
and programs;

(iv) apply students' knowledge and skills in their community and help solve community
problems;

(v) foster students' civic engagement; and

(vi) explore and pursue career pathways and achieve college readiness.

An eligible partnership interested in receiving a grant must apply to the commissioner of
education in the form and manner determined by the commissioner. Consistent with this
subdivision, the application must describe how the applicant will: with guidance from the
service-learning partnership, incorporate student-designed and student-led service learning
into the school curriculum or in specific courses or across subject areas; provide students
with instruction and experiences during the school day using service-learning best practices
and an option to supplement their service-learning experiences outside the school day; align
service-learning opportunities with state and local academic standards; and make
implementing service-learning best practices an educational priority. The application also
must indicate how the partnership intends to provide student-designed, student-led
service-learning experiences that meet genuine community needs or develop genuine
community opportunities based on service-learning best practices aligned to state academic
standards. The partnership must work with a district service-learning specialist or
service-learning coordinator or a district curriculum specialist to design a grant application
and implement an approved grant application.

Subd. 2.

Innovation grants.

The commissioner of education must award up to 32 grants
of up to $50,000 each to allow eligible partnerships, equitably distributed throughout
Minnesota by congressional district, to provide innovative, incubator service-learning
opportunities to students, consistent with this section. The commissioner may designate
start-up or leader grant categories with differentiated maximum grant dollar amounts up to
$50,000. Grantees designated as leader grantees may have to meet additional leader grant
requirements as indicated by the commissioner in the grant application criteria developed
by the commissioner. The commissioner may renew a grant annually as appropriations are
available and consistent with the grant criteria established in this section and other criteria
the commissioner may establish for grant eligibility or for renewing a grant. In order to
receive a grant, a partnership must provide a one-to-one match in funds or in-kind
contributions unless the commissioner decides to waive the match requirement for an
applicant serving a high number of students whose families meet federal poverty guidelines.
A partnership grantee must allocate the grant amount according to its grant application,
which must include conveying 50 percent of the actual grant amount to its community-based
organization or unit of government partner or partners to implement or help defray the direct
costs of carrying out the service-learning strategies and activities described in the partnership's
grant application.

Subd. 3.

Evaluation.

The commissioner of education must evaluate these innovative,
incubator service-learning initiatives based on the educational and developmental outcomes
of students participating in the service learning and include summary data on the
characteristics and extent of students' participation in service learning, their development
of academic skills or achievements, and their engagement in school, school attendance,
course completion rates, opportunity to develop community, college, or career connections,
and the graduation rates for participating high school-age students. The commissioner also
must evaluate the success of the service-learning grants based on the community outcomes
and community results achieved through student service-learning experiences and the
corresponding student service activities. The commissioner must transmit an interim progress
report on student and community outcomes and results under this section to the legislative
committees with oversight over education by February 15, 2021, and a final report to the
same legislative committees by February 15, 2023.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2017-2018 through 2021-2022
school years.

Sec. 3. APPROPRIATION.

Subdivision 1.

Department of Education.

The sums indicated in this section are
appropriated from the general fund to the Department of Education in the fiscal years
designated for the purposes of Minnesota Statutes, sections 124D.50, subdivision 2a, and
124D.501.

Subd. 2.

Service-learning specialist; service-learning work.

For the service-learning
specialist position at the Department of Education under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.50,
subdivision 2a, and for related service-learning work under Minnesota Statutes, section
124D.501:

$
300,000
2018
$
300,000
2019

Subd. 3.

Innovative service-learning grants.

For innovative service-learning program
grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.501:

$
800,000
2018
$
800,000
2019

Any balance in the first year does not cancel but is available in the second year.

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