The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2003 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
State lawmakers want to transform the teaching profession in Minnesota through a new Quality Compensation for Teachers program, also dubbed QComp, that will offer career ladders and performance-pay plans to teachers in participating districts.
The $12.6 billion K-12 budget for the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years represents a 3 percent increase over the previous two years’ allotment and includes $86 million for the QComp program.
Under QComp, districts will receive $260 per pupil for any participating schools, including charter schools. Those districts will use the aid to build a peer-evaluation process based on teachers’ skills, responsibilities, and academic achievement. Two districts have been approved for the program so far.
The budget also includes a first-time allotment of $11.6 million for the state’s Get Ready, Get Credit program, which gives high school students opportunities to take college-preparatory tests and earn postsecondary credits. It also gives students more access to Advanced Placement courses.
Minnesota state education officials also received a $2 million grant from the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to complement their work on the Get Ready, Get Credit program. The money will go toward helping improve high school programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2005 edition of Education Week