Today on the Senate Floor the GOP introduced Senate File 2 which would restrict the Governor’s response to protect students and educators during unprecedented times of need. The GOP has pushed forward their agenda despite the opposition from education organizations including the Association of Metropolitan School Districts, Minnesota Association of School Administrators, the Minnesota School Board Association, and the Minnesota Rural Education Association. Senate File 2 does not create local control, but creates an unfunded mandate on local school districts by forcing them to take on a tremendous responsibility without any additional resources – and removes any future Governor’s ability to lead in an emergency situation.
In response to this bill, Senate DFL Assistant Minority Leader Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) released the following statement:
“There is no doubt that we all want students back in school as quickly as possible, but we need to ensure that it is done safely. This bill does nothing to get kids back in school, rather, it is playing partisan politics with our children. The Senate majority are demonstrating that they would rather spend their time criticizing the governor and restricting his ability to react in times of crisis, rather than coming up with a bipartisan solution on behalf of our students and teachers,” said Senator Melisa Franzen.
“No school board member runs for election prepared to lead a district during a global pandemic. We are in unprecedented times and our local leaders have looked to the state for guidance as the state has access to healthcare experts and data that can inform the best path forward to keep Minnesotans safe. Governor Walz has made extraordinarily difficult decisions on behalf of Minnesotans safety, which has ultimately led to curbing the spread of COVID-19. We should not be taking away his ability, or the ability of future governors, to keep students and staff safe in times of crisis. We need to stop playing partisan politics with our kids’ lives and join us, and the Governor, in fighting the pandemic, not each other.”