2011 Charter School Champion - Representative Mark Buesgens
MN Association of Charter Schools
The following is the citation that was read during the presentation of Rep. Buesgen's award:
The Minnesota Association of Charter Schools is proud to recognize your leadership in authoring and championing charter school legislation in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
In the 2011 legislative session, Rep. Buesgens, a longtime supporter of charter schools, took it upon himself to ensure that the charter school authorizer extension legislation (which had become entangled in a web of political intrigue within the House of Representatives) passed that body. His courageous action to ensure passage of this bill in the House produced some negative political consequences for him.
His leadership and championing of charter schools, however, is not something that began this session.
Since his election in 1998, Rep. Buesgens has championed charter school legislation - when he authored legislation to expand the definition of sponsors to include nonprofit organizations and reform charter school governance. In his first term, he also co-authored a bill to put charter schools under a Board of Government Innovation and Cooperation instead of the MN Department of Education. Over the years he has authored and co-authored legislation on a number of issues including: charter school students being able to participate in extracurricular activities in their resident district, extending charter contracts to five years, changing the requirements for teacher majority boards, allowing charter schools access to public school buildings that have been closed by districts, providing charter school students with equitable funding from the Permanent School Endowment Fund, and creating medical technology charter high schools.
Throughout his legislative career he has been willing to speak out, even when he was a lone voice, to champion innovation in education, as well as equity and fairness for students who attend charter schools.
So, on behalf of the members of the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, it is an honor and privilege to call you, Rep. Mark Buesgens, a “Charter School Champion.”