The state’s Mandate Relief Council, made up of an 11-member cabinet, met last week. The Council considered 65 requests submitted to it by local governments and school districts to eliminate or revise state-imposed mandates.

The Council voted to send 14 recommendations to the Governor for closer consideration and for possible legislative action.  The school mandates approved for possible repeal include elimination of state special education rules that exceed federal requirements; ending the ability of parents to “unilaterally place children in private in-state or out-of-state programs,” and to create a waiver process to give districts more flexibility in designing special education programs.

Unfortunately, the only thing we can conclude about the Mandate Relief Commission is that it has not lived up to its original promise. Meaningful mandate relief has not yet been achieved, and it does not look like this entity will get us there.

We urge the Governor and Legislature to make eliminating unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts a priority in the upcoming legislative session.

You can read the council’s annual report here.