Day 9: Education Bills Begin to Move
by Jim Puckett on 2/1/2010

As the month of February began, several education-related bills have reached the level for action by the House of Representatives.  On this ninth day of the session, HB 651 was passed by the vote of 166-0.  The bill allows the Department of Education to utilize electronic means to provide schools with a list of names and addresses of registered sexual offenders rather than mailing the information as is now the practice.

Today, however, much of the action was in the meeting of the Appropriations Education Subcommittee where representatives of the Professional Standards Commission and Department of Education reviewed their FY 10 supplemental budget requests.  There was no good news in either presentation as proposed cuts in both budgets will have an impact upon the delivery of services for both departments.  For local school districts, the budget forecast of six total furlough days for employees, state cuts in QBE, equalization, and most other categories foretell difficult decisions that must be made during the current year, with  more disturbing news to follow when the FY 11 state budget is reviewed.  

On Tuesday, the following bills are listed for action by the full House:

HB 905 Extends the sunset provision on the capital outlay law to June 30, 2015;

HB 906 Extends for three years the deadline for notification of certificated personnel of the intention to issue contracts to May 15

HB 907 Allows a school to qualify for middle school funding even if one or more of grades 6, 7, or 8 is housed in a separate facility

HB 923 Provides that educators working on a leadership certificate as of April 1, 2009 who finish that program by July 1, 2013 to receive pay on the leadership certificate even in not working in a leadership position

 

Meetings scheduled for Tuesday, February 2:

  • 12:00  Setzler Subcommittee of the Non-Civil Judiciary Committee (132 Capitol) to discuss HB 927 bullying legislation.
  • 3:00 Senate Education and Youth Committee (307 CLOB), agenda TBA.

On the Federal front, published reports indicate the Obama administration has outlined some of the proposed changes it would like to No Child Left Behind, including:

  • the replacement of the current system for judging schools based on student test scores and the shift toward increased competition in distributing federal education dollars
  • elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to academic proficiency. 
  • replacement of the accountability system established in No Child Left Behind with a new system built around the goal of helping all students graduate high school college- and career-ready.” 
  •  changes in federal financing formulas so that a portion of the money is awarded based on academic progress, rather than by formulas that apportion money to districts according to their numbers of students, especially poor students

The changes would have to be approved by Congress.  Stay tuned.