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HR 1162 - General Assembly; state-wide education policy; clarify authority - CA

Tracking Level: Passed
Sponsor: Jones,Jan 46th
Last Action: 5/3/2012 - House Date Signed by Governor
House Committee: Ed
Senate Committee: ED&Y

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

HR 1162, Jones – 46   OPPOSE 

CA to allow state legislature to determine policy for local boards of education including which charter schools to approve.  The proposed language amends the clause that says public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation, “and the General Assembly may by general law provide for the establishment of education policies for such public education.”  To the clause defining the local school board having the power to manage and control local schools is added “provided, however, that the authority provided for in this paragraph shall not diminish any authority of the General Assembly otherwise granted under this article, including the authority to establish special schools as provided for ….”  Further, “Special schools shall include charter schools, provided however, that special schools shall only be public schools.”  The question to be voted upon is much simpler in the substitute wording, but suggesting what is in the full amendment is not very clear to the voter. The local board of education may call a referendum to provide funds to state chartered special schools. The General Assembly seems intent on creating another set of schools not overseen by the local boards of education, and paying for them, when it cannot pay for the schools it has. It has since 2003 taken over $5 billion from the QBE formula, and seemed very dismayed that the local school boards do not want to spend more to create schools that take away their students and don’t offer any better, and in many cases, a worse education than provided by the locally elected school board.  Language indicates it will not take money from the local school board’s QBE allotment, it does not promise that it will not cause a negative impact on current schools. There is, after all, only one pot of money to be parceled out. If another entity is promised funding, it has to come out of some other entity’s budget.  Enabling language is HB 797.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text