(a) An Office of Desegregation/Integration is established in the Department of Education to coordinate and support activities related to student enrollment, student and staff recruitment and retention, transportation, and interdistrict cooperation among school districts.
(b) At the request of a school district involved in cooperative desegregation/integration efforts, the office shall perform any of the following activities:
(1) assist districts with interdistrict student transfers, including student recruitment, counseling, placement, and transportation;
(2) coordinate and disseminate information about schools and programs;
(3) assist districts with new magnet schools and programs;
(4) assist districts in providing staff development and in-service training; and
(5) coordinate and administer staff exchanges.
(c) The office shall collect data on the efficacy of districts' desegregation/integration efforts and make recommendations based on the data. The office shall periodically consult with the Metropolitan Council to coordinate metropolitan school desegregation/integration efforts with the housing, social, economic, and infrastructure needs of the metropolitan area. The office shall develop a process for resolving students' disputes and grievances about student transfers under a desegregation/integration plan.
The commissioner may request information or assistance from, or contract with, any state or local agency or officer, local unit of government, or recognized expert to assist the commissioner in performing the activities described in subdivision 1.