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March06

News and Notes from Tuesday night

Levy bill hoghoused

 

Senators hoghoused House Bill 1239 on a 28-5 vote on Tuesday.

 

The original version of HB 1239 would have authorized school districts to set a tax levy at 30 cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation for pension and health insurance funding purposes. ASBSD supported the bill.

 

The hoghoused version of the bill would appropriate funds to the Board of Regents to cover the increase to employee health insurance costs.

 

Dollar amount attached to innovation grant

 

House Bill 1164 was amended and passed by Senators on a 34-0 vote.

 

The amended version attached $500,000 in one-time money to HB 1164 for innovation grants to utilize technology in creative and innovative ways to enhance learning and achievement of their students. The amendment also opened the grant funds to Education Service Agencies along with teachers and school districts.

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

ELL funding bill passed by Reps.

 

Senate Bill 159 was approved by the House of Representatives on a 60-9 vote.

 

SB 159 provides school districts with increased state aid for each Limited English Proficiency student scoring below a level four on the state-administered language proficiency assessment. The increase is currently set at ½ percent, but is expected to change as the budget process proceeds.

 

“We need to ensure that our newest citizens are being taught the English language,” Rep. Peggy Gibson (22) said.

 

SB 159 coincides with a provision in Senate Bill 235, which provides a 25% funding increase for ELL students under the same conditions. SB 235 is an omnibus economic development bill that would provide funding for certain education programs.

 

ASBSD supports both bills.

 

$1.5 million devoted to scholarship

 

Representatives amended Senate Bill 233 to include $1.5 million on a 51-18 vote.

 

SB 233 establishes a critical needs teaching scholarship and creates a trust fund program for student’s working towards a teaching degree in a critical needs curriculum area. Sen. Tim Rave (25) has requested $5 million in one-time dollars from the general fund to start the scholarship’s trust fund.

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

For updates on these bills, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.

 

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