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Minnesota House Approves Education Policy Conference Committee Report

Thursday, May 16, 2024

St. Paul, MN – Today, the Minnesota House passed the Education Policy Conference Committee Report on a 68-59 vote. The measure builds on last year’s historic education budget by prioritizing policies to improve student experiences and outcomes in Minnesota schools.

“This comprehensive legislation builds on significant funding from the 2023 session,” said Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL-Minnetonka), author of the bill and chair of the Education Policy Committee. “This wide-ranging policy bill focuses on important measures to give schools flexibility, addresses students’ mental health, eliminates some paperwork, addresses protected speech, and more. Students must be the center of our focus, and this legislation puts attention squarely on our kids. I am proud to vote ‘yes’ on this report.” 

Among the highlights:

  • Prohibits banning books.
  • Requires schools to adopt a policy on student cell phone use so school buildings have a consistent approach to help students focus on learning.
  • Eliminates unnecessary paperwork so special education teachers can spend more time working with their students and ensures these teachers have the training they need to meet those students’ needs.
  • Requires schools to provide mental health education for students in grades 4-12 (starting in the 2026-27 school year). 
  • Creates a process for students to access their mental health services through telehealth without needing to leave their school buildings. 
  • Gives school boards more flexibility in determining their schedules by allowing them to implement a four-day school week. 
  • Improves state oversight and accountability for charter schools. 
  • Establishes clear guidelines for what is protected and unprotected speech in school newspapers to ensure students can engage in spirited debate without fear of censorship for crossing an otherwise subjective line. 
  • Expands access to PSEO and Concurrent Enrollment courses so more students can earn college credits for free while in high school. 

Video of the floor discussion is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.