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Minnesota Legislature

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124D.16 School readiness aid.

Subdivision 1. Program review and approval. A school district shall biennially by May 1 submit to the commissioners of education and health the program plan required under this subdivision. As determined by the commissioners, one-half of the districts shall first submit the plan by May 1 of the 2000-2001 school year and one-half of the districts shall first submit the plan by May 1 of the 2001-2002 school year. The program plan must include:

(1) a description of the services to be provided;

(2) a plan to ensure children at greatest risk receive appropriate services;

(3) a description of strategies to coordinate and maximize public and private community resources and reduce duplication of services;

(4) comments about the district's proposed program by the advisory council required by section 124D.15, subdivision 7; and

(5) agreements with all participating service providers.

Each commissioner may review and comment on the program, and make recommendations to the commissioner of education, within 90 days of receiving the plan.

Subd. 2. Amount of aid. (a) A district is eligible to receive school readiness aid if the program plan required by subdivision 1 has been approved by the commissioner.

(b) For fiscal year 2002 and thereafter, a district must receive school readiness aid equal to:

(1) the number of eligible four-year-old children in the district on October 1 for the previous school year times the ratio of 50 percent of the total school readiness aid for that year to the total number of eligible four-year-old children reported to the commissioner for the previous school year; plus

(2) the number of pupils enrolled in the school district from families eligible for the free or reduced school lunch program for the second previous school year times the ratio of 50 percent of the total school readiness aid for that year to the total number of pupils in the state from families eligible for the free or reduced school lunch program for the second previous school year.

Subd. 3. Use of aid. School readiness aid shall be used only to provide a school readiness program and may be used to provide transportation. Not more than five percent of the aid may be used for the cost of administering the program. Aid must be used to supplement and not supplant local, state, and federal funding. Aid may not be used for instruction and services required under sections 125A.03 to 125A.24 and 125A.65. Aid may not be used to purchase land or construct buildings, but may be used to lease or renovate existing buildings.

Subd. 4. Separate accounts. The district must deposit school readiness aid in a separate account within the community education fund.

Subd. 5. Reserve account. School readiness revenue, which includes aids, fees, grants, and all other revenues received by the district school readiness programs, must be maintained in a reserve account within the community service fund.

Subd. 6. Reserve account limit. (a) Under this section, the average balance, during the most recent three-year period, in a district's school readiness reserve account on June 30 of each year, adjusted for any prior reductions under this subdivision, must not be greater than 25 percent of the district's school readiness annual revenue for the prior year, excluding adjustments under this subdivision.

(b) If a district's adjusted average school readiness reserve over the three-year period is in excess of the limit under paragraph (a), the district's current year school readiness state aid must be reduced by the lesser of the excess reserve amount or the current year aid.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), for fiscal year 2003, the excess reserve amount shall be computed using the balance in a district's school readiness reserve account on June 30, 2002. For fiscal year 2004, the excess reserve amount shall be computed using the adjusted average balance in a district's school readiness reserve account on June 30, 2002, and June 30, 2003.

Subd. 7. Waiver. If a district anticipates that the reserve account may exceed the 25 percent limit established under subdivision 6 because of extenuating circumstances, prior approval to exceed the limit must be obtained in writing from the commissioner.

HIST: 1991 c 265 art 7 s 13; 1992 c 363 art 2 s 5; 1992 c 499 art 7 s 2; 1993 c 224 art 4 s 22,23; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1997 c 162 art 4 s 59,60; 1998 c 397 art 3 s 74,75,103; art 11 s 3; 1999 c 205 art 1 s 70; 2000 c 489 art 1 s 8; 1Sp2001 c 3 art 1 s 10-13; 1Sp2003 c 9 art 7 s 9,10