Day 27 had much more activity on the House side especially the House Education Committee. The following bills were heard and voted upon in the full House Ed Committee:
HB 340 – Rep. John Corbett (R) Protecting teacher planning period exceptions apply. This bill has some good balance to the protection of teacher planning periods but student and teacher safety will be a priority and teachers are able to have an assignment during planning periods no more than two days per week. Passed out of committee with updated language.
HB 538 – Rep. Bethany Ballard (R) Literacy Act – This bill language and dates of various requirement were changed in committee late this evening. Detailed changes to come. Passed out of committee with changes.
HB 537 – Rep. Becky Evans (D) Certification adding reading to certification process. Evidenced based reading instruction is the addition to the cert process. Additional changes to this bill for improvements. Details to come once the substitute is available online. Passed out of committee with changes.
HB 506 – Rep. Ginny Erhart (R) Accreditation to change its focus. Details to come with new substitute bill not posted yet. Passed out of committee with changes.
HB 504 – Rep. Matt Hatchett (R) Freeport tax exemption level 1. This bill attempts to relieve from school systems the Freeport exemption level 1 in the local tax digest calculation. This will impact Local Five Mill Share and potentially the Equalization school systems receive. The intent is to benefit school systems with the removal of the exemption from this calculation. We will continue to monitor the impact of this well intended legislation. The bill was passed out of the Education Committee.
The Senate had no education bills on the Senate floor today. The Senate Ed committee did not meet today.
Amended budget update: AFY23 budget remains in negotiations in conference committee between both chambers. No breaking news on that yet.
Reminder that Monday, March 6, 2023, will be crossover day which means that any bill needs to pass at least one chamber for it to survive the session. There will be a frenzy of activity Monday. We expect SB 233 the voucher bill authored by Rep. Greg Dolezal will come to the Senate Floor on Monday. I suggest that we use this weekend to reach out to your local Senator about your position on vouchers.
Some suggested voucher talking points:
$6,000 per student of public taxpayer money going with a child to subsidize their private education.
The state will embark on funding two systems public and private.
Private schools are not subject to the same accountability measures public schools are currently required to operate.
Private schools have a selective process for student acceptance and enrollment. Public school receive all students.
The dual school system funding the state would take on is not sustainable. (theoretically) Currently 100,000 students in private school at $6,000 per child in this proposal would cost 600 million. That again, is just not a sustainable fiscally.
These are just a few talking points you certainly have some local issues that can be added to make the point of the imbalance of treatment of public v private in this proposed legislation. Have a good night. Much more to come next week.