Legislative Priorities

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    Student-centered budget & policy recommendations

    Our 2024 legislative priorities focus on equitable access to learning opportunities, quality programming, and future success.

    The 2024 Legislature must:

    Strengthen staff support: Review the Basic Education Compensation Rebase model so salary allocations align with actual staffing costs for delivering basic education. Fund the prototypical school funding model to reflect the needs of our students. Develop and implement multiple educator pathways and incentives to ensure sufficient and diverse staff. NTPS has a $22,993,881 gap between salaries paid in basic education and what the state provides, due to positions necessary for student success such as mental health professionals.

    Support learning recovery and health and safety: Fund mental health supports to ensure students experience physical, social, and emotional safety. Increase access to free and nutritious meals. Provide funding for highly qualified diverse staff to facilitate learning in safe and healthy buildings. Expand accelerated learning opportunities for tutoring, additional instructional time, and support to address long-term impacts of the pandemic.

    Fully fund special education services: NTPS spends $13.7 million more than the allocation to provide services to qualifying students. Remove the 15 percent cap on state special education funding and increase the tiered multiplier to fully cover the cost of special education services and sustain the state’s investment in inclusionary practices.

    Ensure safe and modern schools: Let voters decide whether school district bond issues should be approved by a simple majority. Update the formulas for the Construction Cost Allowance and Student Space Allocation to ensure funding more closely reflects actual construction costs and space needs. For example, our current modernization of River Ridge High School has a cost allowance of $153.95 per square foot, and the actual cost estimate is $516. 

    Increase funding for early learning programs: With high-quality preschool, students are ready to achieve in math and English language arts at the same level as their peers by the end of 3rd grade. More than 50% of our kindergarten students did not attend high-quality early learning programs. Consider a model like higher education to underwrite 25 to 50% of the cost of quality preschool programming.