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February01

Three education bills cross Chambers

Three education bills crossed Chambers on Wednesday (1/31).

 

Senators passed Senate Bill 46, which requires school districts to adopt a policy limiting the use of restraint and seclusion, on a 32-3 vote.

 

Sen. Deb Soholt told her fellow Senators the bill would “give guidance for the school district for their local control decision making” as it relates to passing school district policy.

 

The bill sets four provisions that would be required within the school district policy, they include:

  • A procedure for notifying the parent or guardian of the student on the same business day, unless the student is emancipated, of an incident requiring the use of restraint or seclusion;
  • A prohibition on the use of prone restraint, defined as physical pressure applied to any part of the student’s body to keep the student in a face down position on the floor or other surface;
  • A prohibition on the use of involuntary confinement of a student locked alone in a room;
  • Training on crisis prevention and the proper use of restraint and seclusion.

ASBSD supports SB 46 and testified in favor of the bill during its committee hearing.

 

“We want the best sample policy,” ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman testified, adding the Association has shared the sample policy with other education stakeholders for input.

 

“We believe it important…for school districts to be able to write their own policy within the parameters of Senate Bill 46.”

 

House members passed two education related bills, as well.

 

On a 47-19 vote, Representatives approve House Bill 1143, which revises certain provisions regarding the tax exemption of certain school owned property.

 

HB 1143 would specifically codify language exempting housing owned by school districts for certified teachers to be tax exempt.

 

“This property is owned by the school,” Rep. Oren Lesmeister, the bill’s prime sponsor, said on the floor. “If a school district wants to offer affordable housing this way, I say great.”

 

Rep. Lesmeister noted the bill would not result in an additional tax burden for local tax payers because it has never been previously collected and would benefit “mostly rural schools.” ASBSD supports the bill.

 

“It (makes a) minor change, but to these school districts, it’s huge,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified during the bill’s committee hearing. “They use this practice to attract teachers.”

 

Representatives also passed House Bill 1099, which revises certain provisions regarding dual education credit, on a 59-9 vote.

 

Rep. Jason Kettwig said the bill “takes a program that is working and has been successful and puts it into law.”

 

The bill codifies the dual credit program that allows students in grades 9-12 to take general education college courses as high school credit with students in the 11-12 grades earning college credit through the program.

 

While SB 46 heads to the House, HB’s 1143 and 1099 move to the Senate, each awaiting committee hearing.

 

For updates on the bills, check the ASBSD Blog, Bill Tracker page and Twitter feed.

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