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Updated: Febuary 24st, 2017

Call Today to Help Protect Special Education in Minnesota

We need your help today to protect Minnesota’s special education law by calling your Representatives to oppose HF 998. The House Education Innovation Policy Committee is voting on a bill tomorrow at 8:15 am (HF 998) that would require the Minnesota Department of Education to conduct an independent cost benefit analysis to evaluate the “economic and educational effects of conforming Minnesota's special education laws with minimum federal requirements.” We are extremely concerned this is a step to strip back MN’s additional protections for students with disabilities that exceed federal requirements, such as having transition planning begin at 9th grade rather than age 16 and requiring short-term objectives in the IEP.

PACER strongly opposes this bill and is encouraging parents and advocates to call members of the House Education Policy Committee immediately to oppose this bill. If your Representative is on this committee or an author of the bill (see lists below), we need your help!

Thank you very much! Please let us know if you receive a response from your Representative by emailing me at

Paula Goldberg
Executive Director

Below are some talking points to use in phone calls or letters:

  • There have been several task forces over the past decade that have already examined the ways in which MN’s special education law exceeds federal standards. Another study is a waste of time and money.
  • The legislature should not be looking for justification to cut back services, and it would be very challenging to develop a measure that weighs the educational benefits parents know MN’s provisions bring their children against any potential cost. (Examples of ways MN’s law exceed federal requirements include starting transition planning in 9th grade rather than age 16 and requiring short-term objectives in addition to annual goals as parts of students’ Individualized Education Programs.)
  • Minnesota has a proud reputation of providing high quality education to its students and should be focused on implementing strategies to improve special education.

House Education Policy Committee Members

Sondra Erickson 15A (R) (Princeton)

Brian Daniels 24B (R) (Faribault)

Carlos Mariani 65B (DFL) (St. Paul)

Cal Bahr 31B (R) (East Bethel)

Peggy Bennett 27A (R) (Albert Lea)

David Bly 20B (DFL) (Northfield)

Drew Christensen 56A (R) (Savage)

Matt Grossell 02A (R) (Bagley)

Barb Haley 21A (R) (Red Wing)

Randy Jessup 42A (R) (Shoreview)

Mary Kunesh-Podein 41B (DFL) (New Brighton)

Fue Lee 59A (DFL) (Minneapolis)

Erin Maye Quade 57A (DFL) (Apple Valley)

Laurie Pryor 48A (DFL) (Minnetonka)

Jason Rarick 11B (R) (Hinckley)

Dean Urdahl 18A (R) (Grove City)

JoAnn Ward 53A (DFL) (Woodbury)

Bill Authors

Glenn Gruenhagen (R) (Glencoe)

Debra Kiel (R) (Crookston)

Joe McDonald (R) (Delano)

Gene Pelowski (DFL) (Winona) 

Cindy Pugh (R) (Chanhassen)

If you are not sure who represents you, you can look it up here:

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