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February13

Tech, certificate and hours bills advance

Three bills supported by ASBSD made it through House Education on Wednesday.

 

House Bill 1005, which appropriates $2.85 million for technology-oriented professional development to be used for teacher compensation, passed and was referred to House Appropriations on 15-0 vote.

 

The bill was previous killed by the committee, but was brought back for reconsideration and amended to ensure it was used strictly for teacher compensation. HB 1005 would distribute the dollars to each school district based on a per-teacher basis.

 

“It’s a statement…that we really do support teachers,” Rep. Scott Ecklund said of the bill.

 

Committee members passed House Bill 1181, which allows for the requirement of a certification of health from an employee of a school, on a 13-1 vote.

 

Rep. Peggy Gibson, the bill’s sponsor, said the bill returned the certificate of health clause that was struck during a statute review in 2012.

 

ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said HB 1181 provides “protection of the employee (and) protection of the school.”

 

The certificate of health would verify a physical or mental condition, or lack thereof, that could hinder a school employee from performing their work tasks. The bill was amended to allow a superintendent to request the certificate in place of the school board.

 

Finally, House Bill 1249, which revises the number of school term hours for grades one through five, passed on a 14-0 vote and was approved for consent calendar placement in the Senate by the House Education committee.

 

The bill includes the fourth and fifth grades in the 875-hours of classroom time already required for kindergarten through third grades. Previously, fourth and fifth graders were required to complete 962.5 hours, which is the number sixth through 12th graders are required to complete each year.

 

Pogany said the bill is a “good offer for schools” and brought the law up-to-date with the current practices of school districts that separate K-5 and 6-12 already.

 

For updates on these pieces of legislation, and more, visit the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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