Monthly Archives: July 2022

Comments Off on 2022 MN State Legislature Session Update – what passed and what did not in Education Policy

Alright – so, the 2022 legislative session is behind us. As usual, the house and senate did not get along and pass even the things they agreed on. They said time ran out. Wait, isn’t the time to end in Minnesota law. Oh yeah, it is. How do you run out of time when you know when you are supposed to end. Sooooo frustrating.

This year and ever since my son has been suspended by the Bloomington school district, I have been trying the key word “trying” to advocate about suspensions. If you remember, my kid was suspended by the teacher’s union protected Kelly Morris and lobbyist protected Jaysen Anderson on Thursday, 5:18pm, May 3rd in 2018. I remember it like it was yesterday. Well, the first year, I went to the capital about this issue, I met with Sen. Hoffman who knows about this issue better than most, but he was unwilling to help. Then I went to the chair of the education committee back then, Sen. Carla N. She basically said suspension disparity was like global warming and it depended on whose data you believed. She gave this issue zero hearing and that was that.

In parallel, I also went to the chair of the house education policy back then who was Rep. Cheryl Y. Like most democrats, she was charming, had breakfast with me, and we talked and talked. She gave this issue kazilian hearings and called so many people. Then nothing passed. Keep in mind, the senate chair gave me 10 min or so. She did not waste my time or hers and said no.. bye-bye. The House – uuulalaalaa, the Minnesota democrats are like the charming boyfriend from college who never put a ring on it, but he told you everything you wanted to hear. And the MN Republicans are like the soup guy from Sienfield – no soup for you.

The following year, Rep. Ruth R became chair of the education policy, and the pre-K bill to ban suspending babies passed. The following year, Rep Ruth introduced a bill that would ban K to 3rd grade. It did not pass. By now, the senate had a new chair Sen. Chamberlain who I really like, and gave us hearings but in the end – the suspension ban bill did NOT pass. Finally, this year, Rep. Ruth tried again and we are close – close – close. So many parents, teachers, and even the union testified for it. Although I did not believe Education Minnesota (aka teacher’s union) for one second. Nada passed again. I called Chair Rep. Ruth after the session ended. I have to say she is more hopeful than I am. I think the dflers will keep playing us like a violin and the republicans do not even believe there is a discipline disparity that is based on racism.

So what now? your guess is as good as mine.

Education is the key to success in life and no party gives a flying hoot about it. The dflers will always protect the teacher and the republicans will protect the administrators. No one will protect the child.

In summary, the education suspension policy is at standstill. I do not even want to advocate because it is like hitting a wall. I may change my strategy. I think students with disabilities’ suspension rate should be separated from the general student population. Maybe both parties will be open to changing this law that we currently have which allows a kid with a disability to be suspended up to 10 days before the manifestation and determination part of the law is looked at by the district/IEP team. I think the ability to suspend a kid or not should be included in the IEP. For example, does the kid understand cause/effect, suspension, consequences, etc. If they do not, then what educational value does suspension have? Zero. Yet, schools suspend our kids because the adults need a break. If you need a break from your job, then pls find another one that does not deal with kids with disabilities. It would be nice if we can just change the federal IDEA law that most states adopt. Back to the drawing table on this. Sen. Tina Smith is on the HELP committee in Congress, but she is useless and has not done one iota on this issue.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate