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SF 2487

1st Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/13/2018 10:46am

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Current Version - 1st Engrossment

A bill for an act
relating to education; providing for an academic balance policy; appropriating
money;amending Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 124E.03,
subdivision 2; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 120B;
123B.

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

Section 1.

[120B.25] ACADEMIC BALANCE POLICY.

Subdivision 1.

Policy required.

A school board must adopt a written academic balance
policy that applies to pupils, teachers, administrators, and other school personnel. The policy
must include reporting procedures and appropriate disciplinary actions for policy violations.
The disciplinary actions must conform with collective bargaining agreements and sections
121A.41 to 121A.56. A district must conspicuously post the policy throughout each school
building, provide a copy to each district employee, and include the policy in the student
handbook.

Subd. 2.

Policy components.

The academic balance policy must, at a minimum:

(1) prohibit school employees, in their official capacity, from requiring students or other
school employees to express specified social or political viewpoints for the purposes of
academic credit, extracurricular participation, or as a condition of employment;

(2) require the school to provide a learning environment, curriculum, and instruction
with access to a broad range of serious opinions pertaining to the subjects of study, including
contemporary policy controversies. Public education courses are not for the purpose of
political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination;

(3) require students to be assessed on the basis of reasoned answers and appropriate
knowledge of the subjects and disciplines studied and prohibit discrimination on the basis
of political, ideological, or religious beliefs; and

(4) require caution from classroom teachers when expressing personal views in the
classroom and prohibit the introduction of controversial matters without a relationship to
the subject taught, especially matters in which the classroom teacher does not have special
competence or training.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 2.

[123B.022] PROHIBITING SCHOOL EMPLOYEES FROM USING PUBLIC
RESOURCES FOR ADVOCACY; ENDORSING TIMELY AND CURRENT
FACTUAL INFORMATION.

(a) A school board must adopt and implement a districtwide policy that prohibits district
employees from using district funds or other publicly funded district resources, including
time, materials, equipment, facilities, social media, and communication technologies, among
other resources, to advocate for electing or defeating a candidate, passing or defeating a
ballot question, or passing or defeating pending legislation. The policy must apply when
the employee performs the duties assigned to the employee under the employee's employment
contract with the district, and includes the periods when the employee represents the district
in an official capacity, among other duties. The policy must not apply when an employee
disseminates factual information consistent with the employee's contractual duties.

(b) The school board must provide the district's electorate with timely factual information
about a pending ballot question.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective January 1, 2018.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 124E.03, subdivision 2, is amended
to read:


Subd. 2.

Certain federal, state, and local requirements.

(a) A charter school shall
meet all federal, state, and local health and safety requirements applicable to school districts.

(b) A school must comply with statewide accountability requirements governing standards
and assessments in chapter 120B.

(c) A charter school must comply with the Minnesota Public School Fee Law, sections
123B.34 to 123B.39.

(d) A charter school is a district for the purposes of tort liability under chapter 466.

(e) A charter school must comply with the Pledge of Allegiance requirement under
section 121A.11, subdivision 3.

(f) A charter school and charter school board of directors must comply with chapter 181
governing requirements for employment.

(g) A charter school must comply with continuing truant notification under section
260A.03.

(h) A charter school must develop and implement a teacher evaluation and peer review
process under section 122A.40, subdivision 8, paragraph (b), clauses (2) to (13), and place
students in classrooms in accordance with section 122A.40, subdivision 8, paragraph (d).
The teacher evaluation process in this paragraph does not create any additional employment
rights for teachers.

(i) A charter school must adopt a policy, plan, budget, and process, consistent with
section 120B.11, to review curriculum, instruction, and student achievement and strive for
the world's best workforce.

(j) A charter school is subject to and must comply with the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act,
sections 121A.40 to 121A.56.

(k) A charter school must adopt an academic balance policy under section 120B.25.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and later.

Sec. 4. GRANTS FOR ACADEMIC BALANCE POLICY DEVELOPMENT;
APPROPRIATION.

(a) For fiscal year 2019, each school district or charter school that has adopted an
academic balance policy under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.25, is eligible for a onetime
grant equal to $........

(b) For fiscal year 2019 only, $....... is appropriated from the general fund to the
commissioner of education for grants for academic balance policy development.

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