History of Minnesota Early Childhood Family Education - Click here for file
Timeline of ECFE, from ECFE Coordinated Outreach
1973 - 1st ECFE bill introduced in Senate. Full-state; l/10 per pupil unit from foundation formula. Did not pass.
1974 - 2nd ECFE bill in Senate — basically identical. Passed Senate; failed House. Compromise to draft Council on Quality Education (CQE) to pilot six programs (Minneapolis, Rochester St. Paul, South St. Paul, Staples) with $230,000 passed in conference committee. Subsequent discussions with both education committee chairs to identify intent — pilot and report back; three year grant limit not contemplated.
1974 - Program size doubled by Senate; approved by conference committee; 12 local grants with $500,000. Little policy discussion; some parent testimony.
1977 - Conference committee approved increase to 22 sites at $854,000 per year as proposed by the State; House concern about policy issues evident and requirement included a study to be presented by January 15, 1979.
1979 - Policy study review during regular session; CQE recommendation to begin gradual expansion to 40 sites negotiated to 36, expecting federal monies to pay for the other four. Appropriation increased to $1.5 and $1.8 million in next biennium. CQE recommendation to start development of a formula to which proven programs could be shifted from grants was tabled; House conferees felt this needed more time for review. No action on Council request for $20,000 to begin long-term data collection effort. CQE staff began preparation of proposal for federal funding; declined on technicality (Dept. required that CQE staffer be named as principal investigator, although nationally known researcher had agreed to do work — State contracting requirement).
1981 - Staff revised 1979 policy study and presented to Legislature. Little discussion legislatively; preoccupation with growing revenue crisis. Document reiterated recommendation for shifting programs from grants to a formula, confining CQE's role to start-up assistance with new operations. Repeated recommendation for support for gathering of long-term data. Appropriation cut 24 percent for FY 82-83 biennium.
1982 - Secured passage in February of provision in Senate aids bill that would begin pilot conversion of experienced programs to variation of foundation aids formula; provision excised in Finance Committee. Evaluation tabled first half of year. Second half, CQE Evaluation Committee instructed preparation of long-range evaluation plan that would over-come funding and technical problems with longitudinal research, and energize other researchers without State funds. Preparation of plan initiated in December after several conceptualizing meetings, due in March, 1983. Council rendered formalizing effort at July seminar.
1983 - New legislation shifted funds and responsibility for ECFE programs to Community Education; changed funding basis from grants to per capita aid. $819,000 allocated to CQE for FY '84 transition grants, (equivalent to approximately 60% of previous year's funding) to be combined with Community Education per capita aid of $.25 in districts which had CQE Early Childhood Family Education programs. Other districts were encouraged to develop or expand ECFE programs but could use the per capita aid for any other community education programs. $.50 per capita aid allocated for FY '85 would be only state aid for ECFE. CQE, with assistance of State Board, mandated to report on review of funding formulas to Legislature by February 15, 1984.
1984 - Internal MDE work group studied funding options described in report to Legislature. Legislation, sponsored by Senator Hughes, passed in April, replaced the $.50 per capita aid in FY '86 with a variation of the foundation aid formula and provided supplemental aid for existing CQE programs in FY '85 (enabled 14 CQE programs to survive which otherwise might not). The new aid/levy formula commences with school year 1985-86. Formula is based upon $79.25 times 0-4 population with levy of .4 mill. CQE programs continue in 29 school districts; an estimated 41 additional districts adopt ECFE. Guide for Developing Early Childhood Family Education Programs disseminated to all school districts in Minnesota.
1985 - Districts could exercise ECFE levy authority for the first time in October; 253 levy. Regional in-service training network established. Teacher licensure task force recommends two new teacher licenses. Introductory course developed; proposed State Board of Education Rules are circulated for review and comment and Guide for Designing the Children's Learning Environment is disseminated to all districts. 1985 Legislature increases levy to .5 mill. Approximately 70 districts have programs in operation; many more involved in planning and outreach.
1986 - First year of program implementation under statewide funding formula; 253 districts have programs. Funding based upon $79.25 times 0-4 population, includes $6,534,000 levy and $6,170,700 state appropriation. Curriculum and evaluation committees are formed. Department of Education reports to Legislature on study of programs to meet the developmental needs of 4 and 5 year old children and on past evaluations of Early Childhood Family Education. 279 districts levy for ECFE.
1987 - Although 279 districts officially levied for ECFE, 300 school districts are involved in ECFE programming. State appropriation of $6,028,600 and levy of 9,028,881 equals $l5,887,920, formula based upon $79.25. Evaluation Round Table at Spring Hill with Irving Lazaar, Douglas Powell and Heather Weiss heightens evaluation focus. Harvard Family Research Project focuses on program as one of "pioneering" states. Curriculum committee compiles comprehensive resource guide. Long term data collection effort is established. Two new teacher licenses are adopted.
1988 - 310 school districts have ECFE programs. 290 districts levied $10,720,788; state aid equals $7,539,867 for total of $18,260,655; formula based upon $84.50 times 0-4 population. (Approximately 20 districts are providing programs with carryover funds from earlier years or other sources.) Minnesota program is featured on "CBS Sunday Morning" and in National Community Education Journal. Statewide promotional materials are developed by business-education partnership with advertising agency. Harvard Family Research Project (Mott grant) concentrates on 9 sites to study relationship of Community Education and ECFE. Program is featured at Education Commission of the States (ECS) Conference in St. Louis.
1989 - 326 school districts have ECFE programs. These districts levied $10,641,955; prorated state aid equals $8,124,400 for total of $19,766,355. 150,000 children and parents participated in program. Minnesota program is showcased at U.S. Department of Education Conference in Washington, D.C. and participates in National Colloquium on Early Childhood Policy at Annapolis. ECFE initiates "Early Childhood Vision Sharing" one day workshops which attract 800 participants statewide. Minnesota Legislature appropriates $25,000 for the biennium for program evaluation, authorizes hiring of second professional staff and increases funding to $85.45 and $87.75 for FY 90 and 91 respectively.
1990 - 340 school districts, encompassing 96% of the 0-4 population, implement ECFE programs. Funding includes $13,727,605 levy and $9,726,074 state aid for a total of 23,453,679. More than 175,000 parents and children participate. A forms manual and skill progression handbook are developed; the Guide for Developing Early Childhood Family Education Programs is revised and disseminated to all districts. Program is featured at National Parent Involvement in Education Conference at Charlotte, NC. The Legislature appropriates $450,000 for ten grants for expansion of ECFE to include Kindergarten to grade 3 children and their parents.
1991 - 365 school districts, encompassing more than 97% of the 0-4 population, implement ECFE. Funding includes $13,817,700 levy and $10,549,000 prorated state aid for a total of $24,366,700. More than 213,000 parents and children participate. Legislative support for the program is strong. Revenue is increased from $87.75 per 0-4 population to $96.50 for FY 92 and $101.25 for FY 93. Administration of Way to Grow initiative transferred from State Planning Agency to MDE. Legislature establishes Learning Readiness program with lead responsibility assigned to MDE. Both Way to Grow and Learning Readiness concepts based on ECFE experience and philosophy.
1992 - 384 school districts encompassing more than 98% of the 0-4 population implement ECFE. Funding includes $14,620,000 levy and $12,370,000 state aid for a total of $26,990,000. Legislature appropriates $1.60 per 0-4 population for ECFE home visiting/violence prevention training as part of comprehensive violence prevention initiative. Changing Times, Changing Families: Minnesota Early Childhood Family Education Parent Outcome Interview Study is completed and disseminated.
1993 - 380 school districts encompassing 99.6% of the 0-4 population levy to implement ECFE. Funding includes $17,529,000 in local levy and $13,633,000 in state aid for a total of $31,162,000. Legislature continues the ECFE home visiting/violence prevention effort with $1.60 per 0-4 population in state aid for FY 94 and new levy for FY 95. $10,000 is appropriated for each year of the biennium for evaluation of Early Childhood Family Education. The McKnight Foundation awards $150,000 for evaluation of program outcomes, with emphasis on identifying strategies that work best with low income, disadvantaged children within a universal access collaborative program model.
1994 - 379 school districts encompassing more than 99% of the 0-4 population levy to implement ECFE. Funding includes $17,642,000 in local levy and $14,544,000 in state aid for a total of $32,186,000. Home visiting revenue for 1994-95 and subsequent years is derived from a levy established for this purpose in 1993. Data is collected in fall of 1994 and spring of 1995 for McKnight Changing Times, Changing Families — Phase II evaluation study.
1995 - 369 school districts encompassing more than 99% of the 0-4 population levy to implement ECFE. Funding includes $18,194,300 in local levy and $14,267,900 in state aid for a total of $32,462,000.
1996 - 360 out of 362 school districts encompassing more than 99% of the 0-4 population levy for and implement ECFE. Funding includes $18,080,200 in local levy and $14,044,200 in state aid for a total of $32,124,400 statewide. Changing Times, Changing Families — Phase II: Immediate Outcomes of Lower-Income Participants in Minnesota’s Universal Access Early Childhood Family Education evaluation study funded by The McKnight Foundation is completed and disseminated at several state and national conferences. The study receives award for “best evaluation” from the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and is published in American Journal of Evaluation.
1997 - 350 school districts are offering the program to more than 99% of 0-4 population. The formula with maximum revenue at $101.25 per 0-4 population generates $18,197,600 in levy and $13,575,200 in state aid for a total of $32,492,800. The Legislature increased future program funding by 9.8% for FY 98, an additional 2.2% for FY 99, allocated $2,000,000 for ECFE Infant Development Grants and designated $100,000 of the ECFE aid for early childhood technology grants.
1998 - 350 out of 353 districts levy to implement ECFE programming with maximum revenue increased to $111.25 per 0-4 population. Funding includes $20,237,500 in local levy and $14,993,280 in prorated state aid (including special one-time aid related to 1997 formula change) for a total of $35,230,780 statewide. Early Childhood Family Education Infant Development grants awarded to 174 school districts and 21 programs receive early childhood technology grants. Legislature allocates $250,000 for ECFE-Head Start joint programming grants. As part of a simplification process, the levy for ECFE is lowered from .653% to .45% adjusted net tax capacity (ANTC) resulting in a funding ratio of approximately 50% state aid: 50% local levy.
1999 - 344 out of 347 school districts levy to implement ECFE programming with maximum revenue increased to $113.50 per 0-4 population. Funding includes $23,762,535.03 in local levy and $13,786,999.00 in prorated state aid for a total of $37,549,534.03 statewide.
The legislature appropriated an additional $2.46 in state aid per 0-4 population to bring the per capita total to $115.96 for FY 00. In addition, the revenue factor of $113.50 was increased in the funding formula to $120 per child for FY 02 and thereafter. The increase to $120 was initially intended to begin in 2001; however, a calculation error discovered during conference committee negotiations resulted in lack of funds in the committee budget to allocate for this purpose, leaving a gap in funding for 2001 unless corrected next year. The levy rate is changed to .5282% of adjusted tax capacity (ATC) and legislature mandates CFL to develop plan for integrating child care and early childhood education programs and services. Report due January 15, 2001 must include budget recommendations, proposed legislation and recommendations for financial incentives to programs providing cooperative services.
2000 - 343 out of 347 districts levy for ECFE. Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $115.96, $113.50 from the formula supplemented with $2.46 additional state aid. Funding includes $18,346,349 in levy and $20,786,666 in state aid for a total of $39,133,015 statewide. Parents advocate strongly for correction of funding gap. Legislature votes to continue $2.46 in supplementary aid for one more year.
2001 - 338 out of 343 districts levy for ECFE. Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $120. Funding includes $21,027,000 levy and $20,758,000 state aid for total revenue of $41,785,000 statewide. ECFE was one of three early childhood programs studied by the Office of the Legislative Auditor. The January 2001 report included a recommendation that school district ECFE fund balances be limited and closely monitored. In response, the Legislature established a reserve account limit of 25 percent and a process for reducing the excess through reallocation to other eligible ECFE programs.
The report on a plan for integrating child care and early childhood programs and services, as required in 1999 legislation, was presented in January. Despite substantial discussion, the proposed legislation and recommendations were not included in the final omnibus bill.
The Guide for Implementing Early Childhood Family Education Programs was revised for the third time and disseminated to all programs. Special workshops were held to discuss the Guide and present the newly developed Early Childhood Family Education Program Enhancement Process and disseminate the Early Childhood Family Education Program Enhancement Process Manual.
2002 - 338 of 343 districts levy for Early Childhood Family Education. Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $120. Statewide revenue of $41,799,695 is comprised of $21,011,220 in levy authority and $20,788,475 in state aid entitlements.
A waiver application process is implemented for school districts anticipating ECFE reserve closing 6/30/2002 fund balances exceeding the new statutory limit of 25 percent of 2002 current revenue in cases of “extenuating circumstances.” The governor’s supplemental budget proposes cutting all but $500,000 in ECFE state aid and allowing each school district to levy to retain current funding level. No cuts are passed by the legislature and state aid for ECFE remains unchanged.
2003 - 336 of 343 districts levy (01-pay02 levy cycle) for Early Childhood Family Education. Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $120. Statewide revenue of $42,062,901 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $22,081,659 in levy and $19,981,242 in state aid entitlements. Aid and levy of districts with 2002 fund balances exceeding the statutory limit are reduced by a total of $1,650,879. Statutes call for the aid portion of these penalty adjustments to be reallocated to districts without excess reserves; however, the Governor instead uses the aid recovered to help reduce the state’s budget deficit. The excess fund balance penalty adjustments to aid entitlements are accompanied by pro-ration, reducing aid entitlements by an additional $124,297, to $19,102,326. Governor’s unallotments—additional cuts to balance the state’s budget—reduce FY03 aid payments by another $36,801.
Governor Pawlenty presents a 2004-2005 biennial budget plan to the legislature that proposes reductions in ECFE funding of $10.825 million (29.7% statewide) in the second year, FY 2005. The Governor’s new formula would set revenue at $120 times the estimated number of children age 0-4 from families eligible for the free or reduced price lunch program and $65 per capita for the balance of the district’s population age 0-4. Estimated reductions in revenue to individual districts range from 2% to 46%, depending on percentage of a district’s K-12 pupils eligible for free or reduced price lunch. The proposed budget also recommends repeal of the statute reallocating aid reductions taken from districts with excess fund balances to other ECFE programs.
The 2003 legislature maintains the ECFE formula but reduces the amount of revenue per resident age 0-4 from $120 in FY 2004 to $96 in FY 2005, a 20% reduction. The amount of total program revenue generated by local levy remains at $22.135 million. New language encourages programs to target services to families of children age birth to three if funding is insufficient to serve all children, and to refer parents to other public and private programs for four and five year old children. Teacher licensure language remains unchanged despite attempts by MCEA to reduce requirements. Legislation continues fund balance limit of 25%, eliminates reallocation of recovered state aid, thus returning aid reductions to the General Fund. Expanded coordination language requires districts to describe their coordination strategies.
2004 - Approximately 288,000 children and parents participated in Early Childhood Family Education.
335 of 343 districts certify a levy for ECFE (02-pay03 levy cycle). Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $120. Statewide revenue of $42,226,440 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $22,155,316 in levy and $20,071,124 in state aid entitlements. Aid and levy of districts with 2002 fund balances exceeding the statutory limit are reduced by a total of $618,226.
Parent Involvement in Kindergarten and Third Grade Education: What Former Participants in Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and Other Parents Report study released. Study funded by Minnesota Department of Education and consortium of 13 school district ECFE programs including Anoka-Hennepin, St. Paul, Eden Prairie, Forest Lake, Hopkins, Robbinsdale, Chisago Lakes, Hermantown-Proctor, Jackson County Central, Mankato, North Branch, Shakopee, and St. Francis and conducted by the University of Minnesota Center for Survey Research and evaluator Marsha Mueller.
A new UFARS object code is created (object 120 – Early Childhood/School Readiness/Adult Basic Education Administration/Supervision), to distinguish Early Childhood Family Education and School Readiness coordinator salaries from administrators’ salaries (coded in UFARS under object code 110 – Administration/Supervision), to monitor the 5% statutory limitation for 110 administrative costs.
2005 - Approximately 145,600 parents and approximately 125,900 children participated in a range of Early
Childhood Family Education activities.
338 of 343 districts certify a levy for ECFE (03-pay04 levy cycle). Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $96. Statewide revenue of $33,695,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $21,855,000 in levy and $11,840,000 in state aid entitlements. Penalty adjustments of districts with excess ECFE reserve fund balances reduce their FY 2005 revenue by $501,586.
The 2005 legislature increases the ECFE formula rate to $104 per resident age 0-4, effective for FY 2006 revenue.
2006 - Approximately 150,955 parents and approximately 132,479 children (duplicated counts) participated in Early Childhood Family Education activities.
Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $104. Statewide revenue of $36,376,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $21,765,000 in levy and $14,611,000 in state aid entitlements.
The phrase “and other relatives” is added to “parents” in Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 124D.13, subdivision 2, Program characteristics. For example, programs to educate parents and other relatives…
2007 - Approximately 145,394 parents and 128,917 children (duplicated counts) participated in Early Childhood Family Education activities.
Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $112. Statewide revenue of $39,921,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $21,957,000 in levy and $17,964,000 in state aid entitlements.
A purpose was included in the amendment to Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 124D.13, subdivision 1. “The purpose of the early childhood family education program is to provide parenting education to support children's learning and development.”
“Program characteristics” in Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 124D.13, subdivision 2, was changed to “Program requirements.”
2008 - During the 2007-2008 school year, 335 of 340 school districts offered ECFE. Approximately 145,246 parents and 126,367 children (duplicated counts) participated in Early Childhood Family Education activities.
Formula sets maximum revenue per resident age 0-4 at $120. Statewide revenue of $43,433,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $21,993,000 in levy and $21,440,000 in state aid entitlements.
2009 - Approximately 162,580 parents and 127,832 children (duplicated counts) participated in Early Childhood Family Education activities.
Statewide revenue of $43,684,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $30,202,000 in levy and $13,482,000 in state aid entitlements.
Early Childhood Family Education programs still have to report annual data, but the proposed biennial plan requirement is removed from the final bill. (Minnesota Statutes 2009, section 124D.13, subdivision 13)
2010 - Approximately 128,062 parents and 122,123 children (unduplicated counts) participated in Early Childhood Family Education activities.
Statewide revenue of $43,634,000 (before penalty adjustments for excess fund balances) is comprised of $21,738,000 in levy and $21,896,000 in state aid entitlements.
2015 - ECFE celebrates 40th birthday.
Governor Dayton proclaims the week of October 20-25, 2014 as Early Childhood Family Education week.
Early Childhood Family Education marks 40-year milestone: The Robbinsdale school district is celebrating the 40th anniversary of ECFE with an open house at the New Hope Learning Center. Star Tribune, October 22, 2014.