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MDE Operations to be Limited During Government Shutdown
6/30/2011 4:02 PM

Minnesota Department of Education Operations to be Limited During Government Shutdown

Court ruling deems some state aid to schools will continue; other agency operations will cease
(June 30, 2011 -- Roseville, MN) – The Minnesota Department of Education announced today that some state aid payments to schools that have been deemed critical will continue during a state government shutdown.

Yesterday, Ramsey County District Court Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin ordered the payment of state education aids with open or standing appropriations for FY 2012.  General education aid, property tax credits, and debt service equalization aid will be paid to school districts, charter schools and cooperatives, with the first payment for FY 2012 being made on July 15.  

In the absence of legislation appropriating funds for state education aids and funding MDE operations, no other state or federal aids will be paid by MDE to school districts, charter schools, libraries, and nonprofits for the next biennium, unless determined by the courts to be critical. 
The Court ruling does not change the staffing levels at the Department.  Six (6) full-time equivalent (FTE) positions will provide critical services during the shutdown, including the state aid payment function and required monitoring of maltreatment of minors reporting.  Other department services, including teacher licensing and annual state assessment reporting were not part of the court’s ruling and therefore will not be continued during a shutdown.

The Department’s website will be available on a very limited basis.  The MDE website will remain open after July 1 for the purpose of viewing information posted to the website before July 1.  However, data submission systems used for ADM/LEP projections, MARSS-WES reporting, health and safety reporting, and state special education aid will not be open.  Districts, schools and grantees will not be able to upload or enter information into any of the site’s interactive applications. 

Charlene Briner
Communications Director
MN Department of Education