Kindergarten, ed. materials and curriculum bills heard in House
Kindergarten, education materials and curriculum bills all faced hearings on the House side.
HB 1163, which allows students who are 5-years-old by September 30 and have passed a screening process to be enrolled in Kindergarten, was passed 12-3 by the House Education committee and the House, 40-28. The Senate Education committee also passed the bill on a 6-1 vote.
Rep. Jess Olson, the bill’s prime sponsor, said it would “clarify the process on Kindergarten enrollment” and give school and parents “flexibility” when it comes to enrolling a student.
As noted, the bill allows a student who will turn 5-years-old by September 30 to enroll in Kindergarten IF they demonstrate readiness through “screening instruments selected and administered by the school district in which the child resides.”
ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which now awaits a hearing in the Senate Education committee.
A bill opposed by ASBSD fell in House Education.
House Bill 1310, which requires extensive review of nearly all educational materials and allows for a lawsuit to be filed if a violation is perceived, was defeated on a 10-4 vote.
Rep. Sue Peterson, the bill’s prime sponsor, said it “provides transparency” by requiring nearly all education materials for the classroom to be posted on the school district’s website.
“I’m asking your help with no more regulations,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany asked of the committee. “I’m worried about the message this sends to teachers. It assumes there is no transparency.”
Another bill dealing directly with the classroom headed to the Senate.
On a 13-2 vote in House Education and a 50-18 vote in the House, House Bill 1337, which dictates curriculum and prohibits other actions in schools, was passed after being amended.
Rep. Sue Peterson, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the proposal “will protect our most vulnerable students from being indoctrinated by critical race theory” despite the amended version of HB 1337 never mentioning critical race theory or indoctrination, beyond its title.
The bill says a “state agency or public school district may not allow any curricula, instruction, standards, or training that promotes a divisive concept, or which directs or compels students or employees to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to a divisive concept.”
A “divisive concept” has a wide ranging definition that ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said will create confusion about what “can we talk about” in classrooms and causes problems by superseding the current process of implementing standards and curriculum.
“When we step outside the standards and curriculum process, we make that a very political thing,” Pogany said.
HB 1337 awaits a hearing in the Senate Education committee.
For updates on these bills and other pieces of legislation from the 2022 session, check the ASBSD Blog and Billtracker page.
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