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February08

Senate Ed. acts on three bills

Continuing contract bill discontinued

 

By a single vote (4-3), the Senate Education committee deferred to the 41st day a bill that allowed school districts to opt out of continuing contract requirements for teachers and establish contract provisions for the teachers the district employs that are in the best interest of the school district.

 

Senate Bill 187’s sponsor, Sen. Al Novstrup (3), said the decision to provide teachers with continuing contract rights should be the decision of school districts and the bill provided local control for school districts to “have the authority to make that decision.”

 

SB 187 resurrected a piece of last year’s education reform package, House Bill 1234, which was passed by the legislature but repealed by voters in November.

 

“It is too soon,” Sen. Mark Johnston (12) said, adding he had concerns about mending a relationship with teachers. “I hope we can put this issue to bed… and continue to lift up this great profession.”

 

Charter School bill chopped

 

Senate Bill 202, which would have allowed pilot programs for up to five charter schools to be placed on American Indian reservation land, was tabled by the committee. The lengthy bill permitted the creation of a public charter school or conversion of a public school into a public charter school and exempted the charter school from all statutes and rules relating to schools, school boards, and school districts.

 

Data reporting bill advanced

 

Committee members unanimously passed Senate Bill 138.

 

In its current version, SB 138 would require school districts seeking state accreditation to submit information on budgets, programs, staff or other requested data to the Department of Education. Bill sponsor, Sen. Timothy Rave (25) alluded to possible changes to the bill on the Senate floor, if needed.

 

“It’s just a vehicle bill,” Rave said. “With some of the ideas that are floating around out there, I think it could be useful.”

 

ASBSD will continue to monitor the bills progress. For updates, check the ASBSD blog or bill tracker.

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