Bill could require study of Minnesota’s early education programs

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An early childhood education bill that would have brought sweeping changes to the Minnesota’s early education programs was amended in the State Government Committee Thursday, requiring a study and report to the legislature. An early education access fund to consolidate the funding will be created by July 1, 2020. Under the amendment, the Legislative Coordinating Commission will design a request for proposal process to select a vendor to conduct the study.

The original bill heard earlier this week in the Education Policy Committee would have consolidated all early education funding into one agency under the direction of an executive director that would have power to develop early learning programs and allocate funding. The bill would have also capped funding for certain programs, in particularly Head Start and Early Head Start, and potentially cut early education options for Minnesota’s most vulnerable children. The executive director, who would be appointed by the Governor, would have the power over programs in the Departments of Education and Human Services and serve as the Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet.

The amended bill was referred to the Education Finance Committee for further discussion. (SF 1845)