Legislative Action: Your Help is Needed!
As you know STMA is ranked 331 out of 331 in per-pupil revenue. DEAD LAST. Today, Governor Dayton proposed emergency school aid in the form of a one-time 2% increase to the basic formula for FY19. Governor Dayton said the funding is needed to prevent budget cuts that "could result in hundreds of teachers being laid off and programs eliminated." Read Governor Dayton’s press release here. This emergency money would yield an additional $896,761 for STMA! While our budget for 2018-2019 is tentative, we are deficit spending $400,000 for the first time in almost 10 years. The deficit spending is not due to new programming or an abundance of new staff. It is due to maintaining our current programming and staff levels.
According to the Congressional Management Foundation, if a legislator has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, YOU can influence his/her decision by using advocacy strategies. For example, sending an e-mail with a personalized message has a 92% chance of changing the legislators' mind. Please join me in contacting our local legislators as well as other key legislators (see below for e-mail addresses).
When you contact legislators start off by thanking them for their support of students (STMA students if you are sending the message to local legislators). Then in a concise and clear manner ask them to support Governor Dayton’s proposal. Connect the issue to STMA by telling how it affects YOUR child(ren) grandchildren, community, etc. They do not want a form letter; it is critical to tell YOUR story and how it affects YOUR child(ren). You can mention STMA is deficit spending approximately $400,000 and that STMA is last in per-pupil revenue. Be sure to include a personal story…how extra mental health supports such as counselors/social workers would help your child, how expanded opportunities in the arts, world language, advanced/high potential would benefit your child, how more electives would help your child, etc.
Thanks, in advance, for your advocacy and support of STMA Schools!
STMA Legislative Advocacy
Why School Funding Matters to Your Child
Our state's current policy for funding public education is grossly inequitable, irrational, and inexplicable.
- STMA ranks DEAD LAST in general education revenue per pupil among 331 Minnesota public school districts.
- Our students receive $8,429 per pupil in state aid while students from Robbinsdale receive $12,730 and students in Richfield receive $13,356.
- Watch this brief video to learn more about school funding at STMA
What does the funding gap mean for your child at STMA?
STMA has worked hard to increase student achievement and offer exceptional educational opportunities to help students develop their full potential and build character. In order for us to maintain this investment in our students, we need to find a way of funding public schools that create greater equity for all students regardless of where their families may choose to live. ALL students deserve support and opportunities for students should not be determined by where their parents choose to live.
STMA 2018 Legislative Platform
Below is the St. Michael-Albertville Schools 2018 Legislative Platform approved by the School Board at its January 16, 2018, regular board meeting.
Bills We Are Watching
SF3229 (Anderson, P.)
School Trust Lands
K-12 Telecommunication Aid
SF936 (Weber)/SF3123 (Nelson)
Bottom 20thPercentile Funding
How to Take Action
“We in America do not have a government by the majority. We have a government by the majority who participate.”
YOUR voice MATTERS! Please take the time to have your voice heard regarding these very important issues. Thanks, in advance, for your advocacy and support of STMA Schools!
According to the Congressional Management Foundation, if a legislator has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, YOU can influence his/her decision by using advocacy strategies. See below for advocacy strategies and the percentage of influence.
- In-Person Visit---94%
- E-mail w/ Personalized Message Describing Impact---92%
- Letter w/ Personalized Message Describing Impact ---88%
- Phone Call---84%
- Form E-mail---56%
- Form Letter---50%
Ways to Advocate for STMA Students and Schools:
1. Schedule an In-Person Visit
2. Send an E-Mail
3. Make a Phone Call
Governor Dayton’s Office: 651-201-3400
Senator Kiffmeyer: 651- 296-5655
Representative Lucero: 651-296-1534
4. Stay Informed
Visit Web Sites: MN Schools Boards Association (MSBA) or Schools for Equity in Education (SEE)
Follow on Social Media: Twitter (MNMSBA), Facebook (MSBA), Brad’s Blog
Post on Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter)
5. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Keep these tips in mind when making an in-person visit, sending an e-mail, or sending a letter.
- Start by thanking them for their support and work in advocating for STMA children.
- Think about how to deliver a concise and clear message that is brief (think 5-7 minutes maximum)
- Be clear on goals (why are you visiting/writing/e-mailing?)
- Know your issue (what is your concern?)
- Clearly state “the ask” (what do you want?)
- Connect the issue to STMA (how does it affect YOUR child, community, grandchild, etc.); They do not want a form letter; it is critical to tell YOUR story and how it affects YOUR child(ren)
- Follow-up ASAP
An example of a written letter/e-mail message is below.
Dear Senator Kiffmeyer,
Thank you for your support of students in the St. Michael-Albertville School District.
Please support bill [name] [list bill number if known (i.e. SF936)]. Describe how the bill would impact STMA Schools. For example, you may say…STMA receives significantly less funding than other school districts in Minnesota. We currently rank 331 out of 331 Minnesota School Districts in general education revenue per pupil. In fact, STMA students receive $8,429 per pupil in state aid while students from Robbinsdale receive $12,730 and students in Richfield receive $13,356. Children should not be penalized for choosing to live in the STMA community. Please help STMA students by fixing this disparity.
Insert concise, personal story about how this issue impacts YOU and YOUR child(ren). You can talk about missed opportunities such as less world language options, less advanced classes, less art/music options, less elective options, etc.
Thank you for your time and for advocating for STMA students.
Postal Address (include so they know you are a constituent), e-mail address, & possibly phone number
- Where Do You Live?
- Schools for Equity in Education (SEE)
- Video -- Minnesota's Educational Opportunity Gap -- Where do you live?
- Legislation and Bill Status Resource
- Who Represents Me?
- Governor's Website
- Senate Information Line: 651-296-0504
- House Information Line: 651-296-2146