The Governing Board Team would like to share some information with you regarding federal legislation and advocacy that we are keeping an eye on and monitoring on your behalf. The Governing Board consists of David Law, Superintendent of Anoka-Hennepin School District; Daniel Bittman, Superintendent of Elk River Area Schools; John Cselovszki, Superintendent of Sleepy Eye Schools; and Craig Oftedahl, Superintendent of the Luverne Public School District.

Each of the MN AASA Governing Board members actively worked with the AASA staff on your behalf to advocate for improvements on federal legislation and educational improvements for districts in the state of Minnesota.

Congratulations to David Law on being named the next superintendent of the Minnetonka School District. Congratulations are in order to David for also being named to the Executive Committee of the AASA Governing Board. David will be a great addition and advocate for Minnesota and our region at the AASA level.

John Cselovszki of Sleepy Eye will be leaving the Governing Board team after completing his term in June. Thank you, John, for your tireless efforts on behalf of students across Minnesota and MASA members. Also, a huge thanks to Scott Thielman from Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools for his term with the Governing Board and Executive Board. Scott worked for five years on the Board and did a tremendous job. Both John and Scott will be missed. We look forward to two great candidates taking their place.

We are excited to welcome our newly elected MN AASA Governing Board Members: Jeff Elstad, Superintendent of Owatonna Public Schools, and Chris Mills, Superintendent of Stephen-Argyle Central. Thank you to the many wonderful leaders that have offered their service to our state and students to become part of the Governing Board team at the AASA level.

Updates from AASA

ARP Extended:
District ARP timeline extended for school facilities/construction for an additional 18 months projects! AASA has sounded the alarm for months with federal officials that district leaders are concerned about the timeline for spending ARP funding for school facility upgrades and HVAC updates by September 2024.

Opposition to altering Overtime Regulations:
On May 12, AASA joined 94 organizations in a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging him to abandon or at least postpone the issuance of the Department of Labor’s announced proposed rulemaking altering the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Support of New Public Charge Rule:
After the Biden Administration announced it would take steps to rectify the harm to children in immigrant families created by the Trump Administration’s previous public charge rule, AASA joined 110 children’s advocacy and child-serving organizations in support of the Biden Administration’s new proposed rule on public charge. The new proposed rule corrects the gravest errors of the 2019 rule and would be a critical step to securing the health and wellbeing of millions of children in immigrant families.

Summer Nutrition Waivers Available for States:
To provide some flexibility after the nationwide waivers have expired, the USDA has created a waiver checklist that allows state child nutrition agencies to opt into specific state waivers. This way, each state is not required to submit its own waiver request for each type of waiver.

EPA Announces Details for Electric School Bus Rebates:
EPA is opening funding with rebates for districts to acquire low emission or clean energy buses. The rebate program is designed to be straightforward. It is for bus replacement and infrastructure only.

When compared to a grant proposal, it is straightforward and short and the EPA says the online application is simple and easy to complete. The application should be posted soon with an application window of 3 months.

AASA Asks Congress to Invest in $3 Billion Title II, Part A:
On April 21, AASA joined 51 education organizations in asking Congress to invest in retaining and recruiting teachers, principals, and other school leaders by providing $3 billion in FY23 appropriations for the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program – Title 11, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Office of Head Start Expands Eligibility Criteria for Head Start Programs:
On April 21, the Office of Head Start announced that it would expand the eligibility criteria for Head Start Programs to include children who qualify for SNAP benefits. According to HHS, the expansion will make it easier for eligible families to enroll in Head Start services by showing proof of SNAP receipt or eligibility, simplifying the process for families and grantees.

President Biden, USDA Forest Service Announce more than $238 Million to Support Rural Schools, Roads, Other Services:
President Biden and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service announced the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program to invest more than $238 million to support public schools, roads, and other municipal services, which will deliver SRS to 742 eligible counties in 41 states and Puerto Rico. The program was reauthorized for fiscal years 2021 through 2023 by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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