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How are the ALANA Communities Doing in the Current Legislative Session?

 by Chai    

  • The ALANA Exit Poll in the last elections identified core priorities of ALANA voters and this analysis explores how  those priorities are reflected in the current appropriation bills.
  • This analysis only focuses on current appropriations as listed in the various omnibus bills.  There could be an error of omission which we acknowledge given the complexity of the analysis. Also the Governor’s budget is not included as we have been unable to access detailed data from the MMB website.
  • There is “participation bias” in these numbers – namely, these are proposals that came from the community or legislators. Theoretically these numbers could have looked differently if more or other proposals were introduced. So caution should be applied in the analysis of these numbers. The omnibus bills can be found here.
  • The total amount in these tables is $38 million or 0.1 % of at $45 billion budget. ALANA communities pay an estimated 7 percent of all state and local taxes in Minnesota.
  • Only 3 percent of the funding requests below are for business development proposals. In Minnesota there are 31,074 ALANA firms with $5.2 billion in sales employing $37,805 with annual payroll of $1 billion. Ranked as a group will be the 15th largest firm in Minnesota and the 9th largest employer. This is an important engine of economic growth. Chai cautions that this analysis does not imply the other ALANA proposals are not worthy for funding or that money should be allocated from those projects to business development. Rather, Chai points to the opportunity to invest in ALANA business development –as these businesses are also job-creators.
  • Majority of the proposals were in the education and health and human services area.
  • It is unclear whether the large pools of funds open to all Minnesotans operate with cultural intelligence or are accessible to  the ALANA communities. Statutory language for ALANA inclusion like that in the housing funds should be standard across all these large funding pools ( see below)
  • The Transportation Policy bill mentions that in the over $800 million transportation spending the Commissioner can use 0.5 percent of the federal dollars in capacity building and collaboration with certain workforce organizations. That raises the question why this cannot be extended to state dollars too and business development that create jobs? As discovered during the construction of the Green Line, there is a great need to build capacity of organizations helping businesses and the communities cope with the disruptions of construction and to help position them to take advantage of the benefits of such construction.The other reference to business development was in the Omnibus Transportation Bill changing language as it refers to “good faith” efforts by contractors in utilizing ALANA businesses. It appears that such language change still does not put any teeth into holding prime contractors accountable in utilizing ALANA businesses.
  • In education funding most of this funding in this category may be statutory funding of American Indian education as it represents the bulk of funding in this category. The other proposal of around a million dollars was to grow the number of teachers of color in the school system. Given only 4 percent of all teachers are ALANA this funding makes a very small dent in the challenge. This analysis does not cover larger school funding categories but focuses only the education related appropriation requests.Chai observes that due attention has been given to closing the achievement gap but no agreement on core elements. Some of the policy changes include bringing flexibility in teacher testing for teaching licenses; making it easier for people with out-state licenses to teach in Minnesota; very small funding to grow the pool of ALANA teachers; greater attention and accountability in AP, PSEO and other options to earn college credit. There are two elements missing in this debate: How can we transform the learning environment to a 21st century one where “deeper learning” occurs through such strategies such as applied and collaborative learning labs? What incentives can be implemented to have parents/adults more engaged in the learning of their child?ALANA youth are not faring well in STEM education and urgent attention is needed here.In funding for higher education a concern has been raised by the Commissioner for Higher Education that the possibility of a drop in funding of the state grant program would have negative impacts on low income students.Chai thinks the goal to have 50 percent graduation rates for all students by 2025 is too low. Noteworthy are proposals to improve support services for students in higher education. Attention is needed for programs to improve the “learning environment” of college students.
  • ALANA economic interests at the minimum is an estimated $20 billion. As such there is need for ALANA representation in the conference committees. Only 3 ALANA legislators (Senators) are on 3 conference committees.  So it is important that the ALANA economic interests are represented in those conference committees without ALANA legislators (especially the one determining the fate of the ethnic councils).


Below are a list of proposals that made it to the Conference Committees

6.31 SW Minnesota initiative foundation to grow entrepreneurs in diverse populations $400,000
8.27 the Neighborhood Development Center $770,000 $255,000
129.2 the Eastside Enterprise Center $500,000
Little Africa Virtual Network/Female Business Incubator/Rev Loan Fund $275,000 Passed through House and Senate Committees but only in Senate Omnibus bill integrated in competitive grants
Business Development $1,170,000 $755,000 1,030,000 with Little Africa
10.11 Industrialization Center (OIC) programs $1,300,000 $3,000,000 (1,000,000 for Emerging Workforce Coalition each year)
11.17 Minnesota High Tech Association to support, SciTechsperience internships $2,000,000
12.11 Cloud Area Somali Salvation Organization Youth $280,000
YMCA CDL Training $517,000 $400,000
Twin Cities Rise $900,000
Resource Inc $1,000,000
Foreign Trained HC Prof $250,000
15.14 the UMMAH Project, Inc Somali Youth $200,000
 Jobs $6,447,000 $3,400,000
Subd. 6. Home Ownership Assistance Fund $1,600,000 1,770,000
Subd. 10. Homeownership Education, Counseling, Training $1,582,000 1,714,000
Abused victim rental assistance etc $500,000
Ujaama Place $300,000
Home Line 400,000 $400,000
Capacity Building Grants 750,000 $750,000
 Housing $4,832,000 4,934,000
Environmental Monitoring 423,000
Urban Agriculture (Jobs Omnibus) $500,000
STEAM 4-H (Agriculture Omnibus) 300,000
Services for the Future: American Indian 2812000 237,000
American Indian Teacher Prep 380,000 460,000
Collaborative Urban Educator 780,000 1,000,000
We Win Institute 50,000 One time
American Indian Education Aid 3,371,000
Network for the Dev of Children of African Descent 70,000
 Education  3,972, 000 5,188,000
Health and Human Services
Anti-terror pro active measures 250,000 250,000
Emergency Shelter – East African Women 200,000
Culturally Specific Mental Health Svc 100,000 one time
Violence Against Asian Women Working Group 200,000
Ojibwe Ambulance Svc – Leech Lake 200,000
International Medical Graduate 2,000,000
Somali Women Health Program 250,000 250,000
Af Am Mentol Cigarette 400,000
Tribal TANF 250,000
Targeted Home Health Visiting 75,000
Tribal Community Health Boards 2,575,000
White Earth Transfer 2,800,000
Tribal Health Grants 894,000
Decreasing Infant Mortality $2,000,000 $4,000,000 reduce disparity
 Health  3,150,000 13,544,000
Higher ED
13.7 McCullough-Zander Success in Nursing                100,000
Indian Scholarships 3,200,000 7,000,000
Tribal College Grants 300,000 300,000
MMEP 90,000 90,000
 Higher Ed 3,590,000 7,390,000
 General Pools
Business Development Competitive Grant Program $2,850,000 $2,850,000 Diversity business focus needed
Minnesota Investment Fund $31,000,000 $31,000,000 Diversity business focus needed
MN Job Creation Fund $24,000,000 $24,000,000 Diversity business focus  needed
Job Skills Partnership Grant $16,821,000 $16,821,000 Diversity business focus  needed
Achievement Gap Elimination Aid $62,622,000 65,539,000  Not sure how this is working
Interdistrict desegregation $15,033,00 $15,033,00   Not sure how this is working
Early Learning Scholarships 37,884,000 30,584,000  Need to be intentional on ALANA inclusion given the achievement gap
Agriculture, Growth Innovation Fund $20, 470,000 12,470,000 Need to include urban agriculture and immigrant farmers
Challenge Program $20,850,000 34,850,000 Diversity mentioned but no goals
Housing Trust Fund $25,552,000 $25,552,000
Urban Initiative Fund $700,000  Current proposal of “urban challenge” grant appears to have more of a “low income” rather an ALANA focus.
State Grant Program            372,426,000 300,562,000

1 Comment on How are the ALANA Communities Doing in the Current Legislative Session?

  1. david zander // May 12, 2015 at 6:07 am //

    Great data here.
    The Kathleen McCullough Zander Success in Nursing Program in the Higher Ed omnibus bills adds $100,000. Mentors foreign born nursing students.

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