“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
I used to be afraid.
I feared many things: snakes, spiders, (lions, tigers and bears), the dark, being alone, writing, people not liking me, war, a car wreck, strangers, the monster under my bed and bad things happening to good people – to name just a few. When you think about it, there are lots of fears one might choose to choose.
Yet you wouldn’t know it by looking outside! It definitely looks more like any of the months between November and April. Most of central Minnesota got up on the 11th to find the weather predictions were right. Overnight the area was covered in an abundance of sleet, rain and snow and it wasn’t done. It was still snowing and the wind had decided to join in. Common sense prevailed and many schools closed, as well as many Senior Dining sites.
Thankfully, the temperature wasn’t too bad for the unpleasant, back-breaking task of shoveling. Man, was the beautiful white, white snow heavy! The snow proved to be just right for making snowmen. A friend of my grandson made a nice big one in my yard. Then the three of us had a little snowball fight. Now, eight days later, it looks like the snowman has been dieting quite successfully.
Education Finance Bills:
The respective education finance bills moved this week through the Finance, Ways and Means and Tax Committees. Along the way, the House bill was amended to remove the Labor Day start date provision. This provision would have allowed schools to start before Labor Day, but could not meet on the Thursday and Friday before Labor Day.
The Senate bill was amended in several ways. First of all, when the bill was passed out of the Senate Education Finance committee it appropriated more money than was allowed in the committee budget target. As a result, the bill was amended in the Senate Finance Committee to ensure it is within the budget target (by removing an increase in the compensatory pilot projects). The bill was also amended to delay implementation of the teacher evaluation system until the 2015-2016 school year.
The older I get, the more I realize how much there’s yet to learn. Life lessons are never-ending and have no age limits (thank goodness). Often, they are achieved through blood, sweat and tears, which makes them more valuable than the newest piece of technology or fancy car parked in the driveway. And, unlike the newest 4G gizmo, their relevance endures through generations.
I won’t get the chance to meet my great, great, great-grandchildren here on earth, but if I did, I’d try to pass along information as timeless as it is valuable. Here’s some of what I’d tell them:
The House and Senate Education bills were released and heard last week. The short news is that the House bill contains more money. The House bill raises the pupil funding formula by 2 percent in year one and 2 percent in year two. The Senate bill raises the pupil funding formula by 1 percent in the first year and 0 percent in the second year. Both bills will fully fund all-day kindergarten in the second year (2014–2015 school year) of the biennium. These amounts make up the bulk of the new spendable revenue.
Both bills will go through the finance and tax committees before going to the floor for a vote. Along the way, amendments are allowed and added, so the bills are constantly changing. Once off the floor, a conference committee made up of members selected from both the House and Senate will meet to combine the two versions into a single E-12 education omnibus bill. The bill returns to the House and the Senate floor for a vote and then goes to the governor. Amendments are not allowed after the bill is out of conference committee.