Continued expansion and develoment of Credit for Prior Learning: Credit for Prior learning is an important component of the Minnesota State public college and university system in granting credits for experience. This experience ranges from internships to work of all kinds including military service. The legislation I authored pushes this further into expanding what Credit for Prior Learning can consider for credits while increasing accessibility of the program so that more can utilize it effectively.
Voluntary PreK and early education programs: The bill provides $46.7 million (FY20-21) to continue School Readiness Plus, which was implemented in the 2017 session. The continued investment will ensure that 4,000 PreK seats will be available to young learners past July 1. Special education cross subsidy: The agreement includes $90 million to hold the special education cross subsidy flat and reduce the per pupil cross subsidy amount to $820. Education is a constitutional right for all students. All means all. Tuition reimbursement payments for open enrolled students will be reduced to 85% in FY2021, 80% in FY2022, and 75% for FY2023 and beyond. The FY20 rate is set at 90%; also, 100% of the district costs for transportation services will be reimbursed
Senator Hoffman on Planning for the Future in Education and our workforce
Authored K-12 Bills 2013-2020
Better funding for our schools
We all believe that schools are a top priority for our community and our children's education. As a father and former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, Sen. Hoffman sees education as a critical institution worth fighting for.
Senator Hoffman supported a budget increase for our E-12 system to provide Anoka Hennepin schools with $20 million in additional funding and Osseo an additional $13 million. Senator Hoffman has also advocated for a special session education bill that increases funding support for our school systems. The Special Session education budget bill provides an additional $483 million in new funding for Minnesota school districts for the next two years. This included a $50 million fund for a new early education pilot program. Senator Hoffman has also secured $10 million in compensatory pilot grants designed to close the achievement gap for five school districts, including Osseo and Anoka-Hennepin. Senator Hoffman has also voted for; all-day kindergarten, a $30.75 million allocation for School Readiness to help prepare our youngest learners for kindergarten, and $48.25 million for Early Learning Scholarships to help Minnesotans who are most in need.
Supporting our teachers
Senator John Hoffman has made it a goal to fight for our educators because when our teachers benefit, so do our students. Through the Retaining Early Educators Through Attaining Incentives Now or REETAIN grant program, Sen. Hoffman plans to accomplish this goal. The REETAIN grant program seeks to offer competitive grants to incentivize well-trained child care professionals to stay in the workforce. This bill's outcome will provide for more consistent and better-trained professionals who care for our children. The heart of this bill is the creation of scholarships up to $10,000 per year for associate and bachelor’s degrees in early childhood development and school-age care. The REETAIN bill will also offer $500,000 to other programs that provide grants to Minnesota’s teachers. (Chief Author: Bill SF 4444)
Promoting education for all
When we fight for everyone in our community, we become stronger as a result. By increasing funding for programs to offer education to adults with disabilities, Senator Hoffman is fighting to ensure no one gets left behind. Specifically, this bill allows districts to receive funding from public or private sources to supplement this program without reducing any aid provided by the government. This bill also encouraged school districts to cooperate and share best practices with other districts to maximize effectiveness and efficiency. (Authored: SF 3337)
Supporting special education
Senator John Hoffman believes that our students can benefit when given opportunities to thrive no matter their ability. With this belief, Senator Hoffman has supported creating a pilot program for special education graduates to find competitive wage employment. This bill will provide eligible students with resume preparation and assistance in using financial institutions like bank accounts. This pilot program will allow students to observe over 30 hours of workplace activity for a job they would be competitive for. Additionally, this bill will match eligible students receiving special education services to paying jobs in integrated community settings. Senator Hoffman’s pilot program will help give our students the tools they need to thrive in our community and workforce. (Authored: SF 2418)
Fighting for an equitable education
Senator Hoffman believes that our schools should be places where we can all find an equal education and opportunity to succeed. This is why Senator Hoffman chief authored a bill to invest $14 million every two years into compensatory funding revenue. This is distributed based on the percentage of students enrolled in the free or reduced-cost lunch program. These funds are aimed to help student achievement and test scores. As senator Hoffman put it, “by targeting money to districts that need it most to help these struggling students meet performance standards, we are slowly, but steadily closing the achievement gap and building the world’s best workforce.”
Relieving college debt
Unfortunately, the high costs of tuition are leaving many of our college students in crippling debt. With this in mind, Senator Hoffman has voted to freeze and lower tuition rates at Minnesota colleges and universities. Additionally, Senator Hoffman has supported nearly $260 million for tuition relief. This has saved the University of Minnesota students, on average, $2,000 over the past four years. Additionally, Senator Hoffman has voted to support the State Grant Program to help Minnesotan families save money when pursuing a postsecondary degree. In total, Senator Hoffman has voted for investing over $55 million over the last four years into new funding to support Minnesotans pursuing postsecondary education.
Furthermore, Senator Hoffman voted to create a student loan refinancing program to help Minnesota college graduates refinance their loans for lower interest rates. Senator Hoffman believes we should be encouraging and enabling our students to reach for higher education. By lowering tuition costs, Sen. Hoffman is working to make that goal a reality.