Newly-Created MN Collaborative Governance Council Tackles Education Issues
With the recent establishment of a Collaborative Governance Council, Minnesota is working to make its number of education headaches far less than its number of lakes. S.F. No. 2511, effective June 1, 2010, establishes a nine member council dedicated to easing collaboration challenges between schools and the government which are associated with early childhood through 12th grade education policy, flow of information, and distribution of funds. Specifically, the council will review legislation which hinders group endeavors, work to streamline the distribution of government funds and services, use technology to create a broader, unified knowledge base, modernize financial matters by electronic means, and develop models for future joint efforts.
Rep. Marsha Swails (contact info.) and Rep. Carol McFarlane (contact info.) co-sponsored the bill after a statewide tour of school districts and much discussion about school-government relations, specifically focusing on widespread problems and successful practices. Swails and McFarlane plan for the council to be able to address these problems through efficient legislation and effort as well as make any successful practices more widely known.
To do this, State Auditor Rebecca Otto has been appointed the council’s chair. Along with Otto, the council includes a mix of 8 representations from municipal, nonprofit, union, education, and business organizations.
Otto will convene the first meeting before July 31, 2010, and the council will meet at least quarterly afterwards in preparation to submit its findings to the governor by February 1 of each year. These findings must also be made available to the public. Currently, the council is established until 2015.