ASBSD Weekly Legislative Roundup
The fourth week of legislative session proved busy for legislation related to K-12 education.
House Bill 1087, which would allow school boards to “create, establish and supervise” a “sentinel” program that would arm staff, security or volunteers on school grounds, passed the House of Representatives on a 42-27 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate State Affairs committee.
The conversation on school funding got started with hearings on House Bills 1201 and 1202 held by the House State Affairs committee.
HB 1201, which called for an increase to the per-student allocation dollar amount for the next three years, was deferred to the 41st Legislative Day and action on HB 1202, which would change the index factor increase for education funding from three percent to four percent, was deferred to Monday.
Good news came in terms of funding with the Senate Education committees passage of Senate Bill 159, which provides school districts with a 25 percent bump in state aid for each Limited English Proficiency student.
K-12 got another boost when the Senate passed SB 96. The bill would allow school districts with an enrollment under 100 to remain open, if they are exercising joint powers or intergovernmental cooperation in education. Districts could share teachers, courses or curriculums among other services while students remain in their home district.
Discussion on open meeting laws continued in the form of Senate Bill 167. Senate Local Government committee members deferred the bill, which would have required executive and closed sessions of government bodies be recorded and records maintained for one year, to the 41st day.
Another busy week is expected starting Monday as more K-12 education bills are heard by committees. For updates, bookmark ASBSD blog and bill tracker.
“Quotes” of note
“I think this is an abysmal situation we’ve created for our students and teachers.” Rep. Peggy Gibson (22) said during the House State Affairs committee hearing on HB 1201.
“More guns are not the answer when there are so many other non-risky methods.” – Rep. Ray Ring (17) said during the Senate’s discussion on HB 1087.
“A gun-free zone did not make Sandy Hook gun free.” – Rep. Scott Craig (33) said during the Senate’s discussion on HB 1087.
“It throws a wet blanket on those sort of necessary things that happen in executive session.” – Sen. Craig Tieszen (34) said during the Senate Local Government committee hearing on Senate Bill 167.
“There is no problem. School boards follow the (executive session) rules.” Executive Director Wade Pogany said during testimony on SB 167.
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