• MonSep16 Creative Play Center opens FCC
    • MonSep16 ECFE Classes begin FCC
    • TueSep17 School Board Meeting 5:30 PM to 8:30 PMFCC
    • WedSep18 Fridley Schools Foundation Fall Walk 4:00 PMFHS Football Field
    • TueSep24 IB Parent Night for Fridley Preschool 5:30 PMFCC

2019 Legislative Platform

 

Fridley School Public Schools is an urban school district is located within the city of Fridley, Minnesota. The district is located about 10 miles north of Minneapolis in Anoka County. The district serves the city of Fridley with two elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, a transition program, and an area learning center. The district also provides community education programs for participants new born to senior citizens. Fridley has a diverse student population of 3,000 students of whom 1/3 are open enrolled from surrounding metro cities. Students of color make up 63% of the student body and white students 36%. 65% of our students receive free or reduced school meals, 15% have special needs and 13% are English Learners (EL).

 

TAX RELIEF AND REFORM

Although property tax continue to be a significant source of funding for school districts, our state’s current tax policy limits educational opportunities for many students throughout Minnesota.  Without significant commercial and industrial development to expand the tax base and lower the overall taxpayer cost, the cost for school levies falls heavily on the local home and small business owners in low-property wealth school districts.  With limited commercial real estates within its school boundaries, Fridley is one of those low-property wealth school districts that has a greater reliance on voter approved levies to get funding for capital improvements.

We advocate for tax relief and reform that will increase state aid in low-property wealth school districts for local school operating and building bond levies by increasing the equalization of the referendum, debt service, and local optional levies, and for the tax reform to include indexing equalization to inflation.

 

BASIC FORMULA

Fridley supports the legislative priority of increasing the basic formula by at least 3%. Education funding has not kept up with inflations or the rising expectations for student achievement. So while the basic formula has received a much need boost recently, the increase has done little to make up for significant loss of buying power due to inflation over the past two decades.

 

SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING

The state and federal governments have failed to adequately fund special education, forcing school districts to use money meant for regular classroom instruction to make up the difference not funded by the state. That difference is known as “cross-subsidy”. Fridley’s cross-subsidy for the 2017 school year was $2,070,042. The amount of revenue school districts must divert from general fund to pay for mandated but un-reimbursed special education services is not sustainable and jeopardizes the quality of public education in Minnesota. Fridley supports the legislative priority of increasing the state’s share of special education funding.

 


School districts rely on state and local funding to support and maintain their schools. On November 5, 2019, Fridley Public Schools will ask its community to approve an operational referendum. Funds from operational levies are used to support academic programs for students, staffing and student support services such as social emotional learning and mental health services.

Fridley Public Schools would like to thank Passion Church for its $5,000 donation to the Fridley Nutritional Services department. These funds will be used to pay off outstanding lunch balances for families whose children's lunch accounts have accrued debt.

Continuing their tradition of supporting education, the Fridley Lions Club donated Target gift cards to every elementary school teacher in the Fridley school district on August 29, 2019.

Superintendent Dr. Kim Hiel welcomed over 400 educators back for the 2019-20 school year at the annual Opening Workshop on August 26, 2019. The district recognized several employees including the Teachers of Excellence, 25 Years of Service recipients and Employee of the Year.

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