The omnibus education K-12 conference committee is meeting now. The conference committee is made up of five members from the House and five from the Senate. They meet to reconcile the K-12 education bills passed by the House and Senate.
It’s very important that people contact them expressing concerns on some of the legislation they are considering.
We are very concerned about some of the provisions contained in the Senate bill.
1) A mandate that “comprehensive sex education” be taught to all 7th through 12th grade public school students. This would be an unmitigated disaster. Comprehensive sex education focuses on condom use, says next to nothing about abstinence, nothing about marriage as the appropriate place for sexual activity, and promotes pro-homosexual messages.
2) Establishing early childhood mental health screening for children in the state beginning at age 3. The Senate language refers to “socio-emotional development screening”. Mental health screening is very controversial, especially for young children. It’s difficult enough for adults, but for young children the wrong diagnosis could be very damaging. The socio-emotional component is also contained in the early childhood program promoted in the Senate bill.
3) A Minnesota Early Learning Foundation is also established. This private, nonprofit organization would be unaccountable to the public and given authority by the state to establish new guidelines for early childhood and child care programs. The concern is that those guidelines would include training on controversial social topics like homosexual lifestyles and gay families. The House bill establishes the Foundation as well but restricts the goals to academic outcomes.
There are other concerns about the bill but the above are our major ones.
Please email and/or call members of the conference committee and ask them to:
1) reject the “comprehensive sex ed” mandate on public schools in the Senate bill
2) reject the Senate language on “socio-emotional development” testing for the screening of young children and early childhood program and focus on academic outcomes.
3) keep the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation accountable to the public, focused on academics not social and emotional issues, and prohibit them from developing guidelines that could be mandated on private early childhood or childcare programs.
You can view the language for the House omnibus K-12 bill at:
The language for the Senate omnibus K-12 bill at:
and the Senate’s early childhood language, also dealt with by the conference committee at: http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S2277.2&session=ls84
Members of the Conference Committee –
Rep Mark Buesgens – 651-296-5185 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Denise Dittrich – 651-296-5513 and/or email@example.com
Rep. Sondra Erickson – 651-296-6746 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bud Heidgerken – 651-296-4317 and/or email@example.com
Rep. Barb Sykora – 651-296-4315 and /or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Steve Kelley – 651-297-8065 and/or email@example.com
Sen. Gen Olson – 651-296-1282 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Linda Scheid – 651-296-8869 or http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/bios/sendis46_email.htm – header
Sen. Daniel Sparks – 651-296-9248 and/or email@example.com
Senator LeRoy Stumpf – 651-296-8660 and/or http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/members/bios/sendis01_email.htm – header
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