The Legislative Committee is comprised of elected representatives from each region, plus executive board members and MAISA government relations staff. The committee meets monthly when the state legislature is in session. Each year a new set of goals is approved to guide MAISA's response to proposed legislation, and serve as a blueprint for working with elected officials to write laws that will improve public education for all students.
MAISA Legislative Committee Goals
Legislative Year: 2015-2016
MAISA will continue to work in concert with the Legislative Goals, Priorities and Platforms of MASA. The MAISA Legislative Committee also recognizes the unique issues related to ISDs and RESAs and therefore, recommends the following specific Legislative Goals for the 2015-2016 year.
- Full funding of Section 81, including the restoration of disproportionate cuts taken by ISDs and in the School Aid Fund budget and future adjustments that are proportional to those made in the Foundation Grant given to local districts.
- Maintain Special Education and Vocational Education Millage Equalization dollars.
- Continue collaborative lobbying and education efforts seeking federal statutory rights to Medicaid reimbursement for health services provided to all eligiblestudents by ISD.
- Promote legislation that advocates for appropriate controls, equality in funding, grant, and provider opportunity for online learning. Develop legislation that expands technology-infused and digital learning options using regional cooperatives. Support legislation that advances online, blended, and virtual learning for ISDs.
- Maintain funding and programming for Early Childhood programs.
- Remove barriers to and maximize opportunities for additional ISD and LEA led shared service arrangements that are tailored to local and regional circumstances and are demonstrated to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, while preserving essential services for students.
- Continue lobbying and education efforts in advocating ISD specific federal issues, i.e. Medicaid, ESEA, E-Rate and IDEA reauthorization.
- Support the uncapping of all ISD millages (special education, vocational education and enhancement).
- Support legislation that advances college and career readiness for students. Support the expansion of Early/Middle College options and dual enrollment including ISD and regional models. Work toward permanent flexibility in MMC to allow students additional opportunities to become college and career ready
- Strengthen and develop relationships with advocates and associations whose missions and agendas overlap with MAISA, including encouraging our LEA partners to advocate for ISD/RESA funding.
- Monitor LEA ability to meet maintenance of effort requirements and look for legislative solutions at the federal level.
- Recover payments under best practices.
- Preservation of Section 24 allocations for court placed students, restoration of 51a(8) allocation for FICA added cost for special education, and inclusion of ISDs in any effort to reduce retirement expenses.
- Oppose any further reduction in funding including reduction of tax revenues without guaranteed full replacement.
- Involve ISDs in the “Early Warning” financial distress package of bills. ISDs should receive notification of distress, review the situation, and comment in order to assist LEAs in financial distress.
- Extend or remove sunset to allow for the continuation of the critical shortage list
- Work to apply retirement relief in from state in Sec. 147a of the State Aid Act equally to both LEAs and ISDs
- Continue to invest in technology to ensure school districts are ready for online assessments
- Monitor and engage in any proposed changes to truancy and zero tolerance laws
- Support legislation that supports third grade reading proficiency and prevents retention of students.