Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Thank you to all who attended the March for Life Rally on Tuesday and stayed for refreshments afterward so I could visit with you. Also, thank you to those who attended the School Choice rally on Wednesday. I learned once again that the Legislature needs to do more to address the needs of families from all income levels who want more choices for their children's educational needs.
Addressing Teacher Misconduct
The introduction of my bill, House File 23, has received media attention this past week as it follows up on a number of stories that emerged last year when school professionals or other staff violated the teacher code of ethics but were not properly disciplined either professionally or in some cases criminally.
You can watch a story from KSTP on this topic here.
What the proposal does is as follows: it places in statute the existing code of ethics and expands it to include prohibition of sexual contact with a student regardless of age and adds a requirement to provide education in a nondiscriminatory manner to include not discriminating on the basis of policy, ideological or religious beliefs.
I also plan to introduce legislation that makes professional education boards mandatory reporters when offenses occur that are criminal in nature.
This new proposal will require periodic criminal background checks every five years, will close a sex offender loophole by including stays of adjudication in criminal background checks; will expand the list of conduct that are grounds for revocation, suspension or denial of license and will revoke license if the teacher has sexual contact with student.
Staying in Touch
Again, thank you to those who completed the survey I sent out in December as the responses far exceeded what is typical of survey returns.
First results show that the Legislature should conform to the new federal tax law to the extent that it protects Minnesota taxpayers from tax increases, and that the opioid crisis should include multiple ways to find solutions.
I will include more results in future emails.
That’s all for this week’s update. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding a matter related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,