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124D.94 MINNESOTA ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FOUNDATION.

Subdivision 1.Citation.

This section may be cited as the "Minnesota Academic Excellence Act."

Subd. 2.Creation of foundation.

There is created the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation. The purpose of the foundation shall be to promote academic excellence in Minnesota public and nonpublic schools and communities through public-private partnerships. The foundation shall be a nonprofit organization. The board of directors of the foundation and foundation activities are under the direction of the commissioner of education.

Subd. 3.Board of directors.

The board of directors of the foundation shall consist of the commissioner of education and 20 members to be appointed by the governor. Of the 20 members appointed by the governor, eight shall represent a variety of education groups and 12 shall represent a variety of business groups. The members of the board of directors shall select one member to serve as chair. The commissioner of education shall serve as secretary for the board of directors and provide administrative support to the foundation. An executive committee of the foundation board composed of the board officers and chairs of board committees, may only advise and make recommendations to the foundation board.

Subd. 4.Foundation programs.

The foundation may develop programs that advance the concept of educational excellence. These may include, but are not limited to:

(a) recognition programs and awards for students demonstrating academic excellence;

(b) summer institute programs for students with special talents;

(c) recognition programs for teachers, administrators, and others who contribute to academic excellence;

(d) summer mentorship programs with business and industry for students with special career interests and high academic achievements;

(e) governor's awards ceremonies and special campaigns to promote awareness and expectation for academic achievement;

(f) an academic league to provide organized challenges requiring cooperation and competition for public and nonpublic pupils in elementary and secondary schools;

(g) systemic transformation initiatives and assistance and training to community teams to increase school performance in the state's education institutions through strategic quality planning for continuous improvement, empowerment of multiple stakeholders, validation of results via customer-supplier relationships, and a total system approach based on best practices in key process areas; and

(h) activities to measure customer satisfaction for delivery of services to education institutions in order to plan for and implement continuous improvement.

To the extent possible, the foundation shall make these programs available to students in all parts of the state.

Subd. 5.Powers and duties.

The foundation may:

(1) establish and collect membership fees;

(2) publish brochures or booklets relating to the purposes of the foundation and collect reasonable fees for the publications;

(3) receive money, grants, and in-kind goods or services from nonstate sources for the purposes of the foundation, without complying with section 16A.013, subdivision 1;

(4) contract with consultants;

(5) expend money for awards and other forms of recognition and appreciation; and

(6) determine procedures and expenditures for awards and recognitions to teachers, students, donors, and other people who are not employees of the executive branch.

Subd. 6.Contracts.

The foundation board shall review and approve each contract of the board. Each contract of the foundation board shall be subject to the same review and approval procedures as a contract of the Department of Education.

Subd. 7.Foundation staff.

(a) The foundation board with review by the commissioner shall appoint the executive director and other staff who shall perform duties and have responsibilities solely related to the foundation.

(b) As part of the annual plan of work, the foundation, with review by the commissioner, may appoint up to three employees. The employees appointed under this paragraph are not state employees under chapter 43A, but are covered under section 3.736. At the foundation board's discretion, the employees may participate in the state health and state insurance plans for employees in unclassified service. The employees shall be supervised by the executive director.

Subd. 8.Private funding.

The foundation shall seek private resources to supplement the available public money. Individuals, businesses, and other organizations may contribute to the foundation in any manner specified by the board of directors. All money received shall be administered by the board of directors.

Subd. 9.Report.

The board of directors of the foundation shall submit an annual report to the commissioner of education on the progress of its activities. The annual report shall contain a financial report for the preceding year, including all receipts and expenditures of the foundation.

Subd. 10.Appropriation.

There is annually appropriated to the Academic Excellence Foundation all amounts received by the foundation pursuant to this section.