Opportunity for Input: Integration Aid

/ 15 February 2012 / Parents United

**Background

** Integration revenue is repealed after the 2012-13 school year, with an unspecified replacement revenue to be implemented at that time. [124D.86], Financing Education in Minnesota, 2011-12.

The Integration Revenue Replacement Task Force is a 12-member panel charged with evaluating the use of state integration aid for K-12 schools, began meeting on November 15, 2011.  The Task Force was appointed jointly by the Commissioner, who named 6 members, and by the House and Senate, which name 3 members each. The purpose of the Integration Revenue Replacement Task Force is to develop recommendations for repurposing integration revenue funds to create and sustain opportunities for improved educational outcomes that narrow and close the academic achievement gap. Recommendations are to be made to the Legislature in a report due on February 15, 2012, Minnesota Department of Education.

From the Twin Cities Daily Planet: In a few short weeks, the Integration Revenue Task Force will submit recommendations to the legislature on how the state should redistribute $110 million of integration revenue. As the recommendation deadline nears, a broad range of programs face uncertain futures. The programs that could see funding cuts include magnet school transportation, college preparatory programs, teacher cultural competence trainings, a network for teachers of color, curriculum development, all-day kindergarten and multi-district collaborations.

**Opportunity for Input

**

The Task Force would like to hear input from anyone interested in voicing their ideas about integration revenue uses and results. They are looking for responses to the following questions:

  1. What meaningful links are there, if any, between racially integrated schools and students’ educational outcomes?

  2. What educational opportunities are at risk, if any, for all students (not just poor and minority) if we make changes to integration revenue in Minnesota?

  3. Historically, considering how districts responded to Minnesota’s school desegregation rule, what worked and what didn’t work (educational structures, strategies, and programs)? Why?

  4. What are the current measures of success in a given district? Are they data-driven? What should the measures of success be?

  5. How should Minnesota allocate the dollars that, in the current biennium, are going to integration revenue?

Please submit your responses to the co-chairs at: Integration.Taskforce@gmail.com.

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Selected Resources**

Every Child, Every Day Educational Equity through Integration – A Final Report and Recommendations of the Statewide Task Force on School Integration (One-page summary), January 17, 2011.

Districts’ Use of and Need for Integration Revenue – A baseline report on districts’ need for and use of integration revenue. Includes revenue available to eligible districts, trends in integration initiatives, issues affecting implementation and effectiveness, and recommendations for change, Minnesota Department of Education, February 2011.

School District Integration Revenue – Minnesota laws outline the goals of the Integration Revenue program and broadly define how school districts can use these funds. However, the laws that govern this program are ambiguous… State law does not require districts to achieve explicit outcomes through the Integration Revenue program. Program impacts have not been measured, Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, November 2005.

Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools – Federal guidance on integration for K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning, United States Department of Education and United States Department of Justice, December 1, 2011.

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