Here is a breakdown of key bills ASBSD is tracking, with the blue text being links to additional webpages with more information, that are still alive this session:
Senate Bill 76: Includes teachers, administrators and other educational professionals to the licensure endorsement process. ASBSD is supporting the bill, which passed the Senate Commerce committee on an 8-0 vote and the Senate floor on a 33-1 vote. “We need teachers,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany testified, adding “anything you can do to put teachers in our state” we’re thankful for.
Senate Bill 118: Expands tuition reduction eligibility for all teachers. ASBSD is supporting the bill, which passed Senate Education on a 7-0 vote and was then referred by the Senate to the Joint Appropriations committee. “Whether it’s preschool or K-12,” Pogany said, “it’s a good idea.”
Senate Bill 182: Requests a uniform method for calculating high school credit received from completing postsecondary courses. ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which passed Senate Education on a 6-0 vote, then the full Senate on a 35-0 vote and has been assigned to House Education. Sen. Jessica Castleberry, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the bill ensures “a student will be successful” for credits earned regardless of “where they reside.
The bill removes the provision in current state law limiting public comment to just regularly scheduled official meetings of the public body and an amendment added on the Senate floor prohibits public comment at meetings specifically for the purpose of executive session, but permits a public body to set the time allowed for public comment on a topic and to the total time for public comment, which could result in challenges of unfairness by the public to the time allotted by the board.
House Bill 1123: Allows boards to lengthen terms from three to four years, or decrease terms to two years, subject to referendum. ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which passed the House Local Government committee on a 12-0 vote and the full House unanimously.
Rep. Greg Jamison, the bill’s prime sponsor, said it allows local school board “if they so choose” to “determine their lengths of their elected terms.”
The initial version of HB 1123 extended board terms from three to four years, but an amendment developed by the committee added the two-year length term option with Rep. Julie Auch noting the legislature runs every two years and the shorter terms would allow the community to elect new board members “if we have a school board that may not be open to hearing from parents.”