Monday, February 18, 2013

They're Back!

Tuesday marked the first day back for our state legislatures. I always find this to be an exciting time for our great state of Minnesota. This session, like many others should be full of excitement.
One of the items I am interested in is the stance the legislatures may take on the delayed payments to schools. Many of you are aware that our state delays payments to schools. For example, they may provide schools 60% of the money they owe them in one fiscal year and the remaining 40% in the next. This puts schools in difficult situations. At times, they may need to borrow money to make it through the year. By doing so, they end up paying interest which takes away dollars from the classroom.

This year, our legislatures ran on the platform that the delayed payments would be paid back in full to school districts. Several districts throughout our state are happy to hear this. However, Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton would prefer a slow payback to the delayed payments and an increase to per pupil funding. Our district has been managed well and we have not had to cash flow borrow in lieu of on time payments from the state. Therefore, interest payments have not been relevant to our district. In essence, the delayed payments have been an annoyance but not catastrophic.
I have talked to several administrators throughout our state about lobbying for our cause. Quite frankly, I have often believed that lobbying efforts may be ineffective. However, the colleagues I have spoken to have stated it really does have a positive impact on outcomes. The mindset I used to have is that it would not matter what I said, no one would listen to me anyway. What I have found in my experience is that our legislatures yearn our input. Therefore, I strongly encourage any of you that have an interest in a legislative topic to contact your representatives. I firmly believe your input will make a difference. If any of you are interested in teaming with the JWP School District to lobby for our needs, I encourage you to contact me.

Go Bulldogs and Grizzlys!

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