Legislative day 21 was an indicator of what we will see the remainder of the session.  There will be some good policy that will pass but there will also be poor policy that will receive the backing of legislators due to a set of values they have committed to and not much reasoning will change minds.  The following bills that were heard today in Senate Ed and Youth:

SB 18 – Sen. Donzella James(D)-Intra District transfers – Siblings attend the same school as long as they reside in same residence.  The republicans on this committee fell all over this bill because it aligns with their choice agenda.  It is a piece of legislation that is not needed- school districts already have the latitude to accomplish what this 3 page bill looks to make into law.  Unnecessary bill. It was hearing only. NO vote was taken.

SB 96 – PSC  – Sen.. Jason Anavatarte (R) – bill contains information that the PSC is mostly engaged in currently.  Remain neutral on teacher certification programs whether they are profit or non profit. Consider out of state accredited teacher certification programs.   A simple two page bill. Passed out of committee.

SB 169 – Sen. Chuck Payne (R) A bill that is attempting to change the tribunal discipline hearing schedule by placing limits on timeline of the actual hearing.   Hearing must be held no later than twenty days after the beginning date of the suspension. School District/school must provide assignments for student in ISS, OSS, and  other out of school suspensions. This bill passed out of committee.

SB 170Student Teacher Speak Act – Sen. John Albers (R) – Provides a process for a student 16 or older can be selected to be a student adviser to the State Board of Education as an ex officio member.  Also providing a process for the same at the local board of education level. This is encouraged not mandated at the local level.  This passed the committee.

In the House Ed Subcommittee the following bills were moved:

HB 318 – Rep. Scott Hilton (R) Expanding charter commission authority and allows violation of 3% cap on enrollment, requires State Board of Education to supervise new commission employees,(not a good practice) and retain 3% admin fee.  This is not good policy according to this editor. The language is lacking clarity and purpose. Many suggestions were submitted to help make the language clearer.  None have been accepted at this point. Not even handed accountability as well as a lack of alignment with existing language in code for charter schools.  GSSA will continue to support language changes. This bill passed out of subcommittee.

HB 338 – Rep. Chris Erwin (R) presented for the second year in a row the Student Technology Protection Act.  This sailed through the House last year and stalled in the Senate.  This bill’s intent is to protect students while using school sponsored computer servers or machines. This bill passed the subcommittee.

Another busy day for tomorrow day 22.  The bills are coming at a fast and furious pace. Good policy takes time to develop and the legislature seems to be accelerating the process.  Again, good policy takes time and input from many different perspectives is needed on most bills.  I will have a report tomorrow.  Have a good evening!

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