Information on the current legislation and legislative news.
This Wednesday, the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee will take up HB 4059 which would prohibit a school district from entering into a contract that pays union officials for time conducting union business. The bill was introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy). Supporters of the bill say that money should be going into the classroom and not into the pockets of union officials and union dues should fund union activities
Today, the Senate passed SB 619, 621-623, 709, and 710—all part of the so-called education reform package. The bills passed on party-line votes with SB 619 barely squeaking by. The bills have been referred to the House Education Committee. Only SB 624—mandating schools of choice—is left after tie bars to the bill were broken.
Despite testimony and research showing cyber schools are not an effective alternative to traditional schools, SB 619 removes all limitations on cyber schools. Democrats offered five amendments—one to limit the amount of state aid a cyber school student would receive to 50 percent; another to require a cyber school website that included management and third-party vendor contracts; and another to make the student/teacher ratio be equivalent to that of public schools—but all of them failed. Sen. Hoon-Young Hopgood (D-Taylor) chastised the Senate for “putting on the blinders” about the effectiveness of cyber schools.
Citing a blatant conflict of interest, Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg) last week introduced SB 773 which would prohibit the spouse, child, parent or sibling of school employees from serving on the district’s school board.
After hearing brief testimony from community college representatives on SB 622-623 and SB 709-10—all of which expand dual enrollment—the Senate Education Committee passed a series of amendments to SB 620, 623, 709-10 in the so-called education reform package.
The full Senate passed a version of SB 618 by a 20-18 vote this afternoon that removed the cap on charter schools.
A 37-1 Senate vote today ended retiree health care for lawmakers not vested in the plan by 2013.
There is a good chance that portions of the Senate “education reform” package, SB 618-624 will come up for a vote soon.
Senate Bill 618, which eliminates the cap on charter schools and allows for the outsourcing of teachers, was reported out of the Senate Education Committee and is now headed to the floor of the full Senate for a vote -- perhaps as early as next week.
As part of the continued legislative attack on public school employees and their unions, the House introduced a four-bill package (HB 5023-5026) that deals with strikes, picketing, dues deduction and the hiring of scabs. The bills were referred to the House Committee on Oversight, Reform and Ethics.
SB 618 was reported out of the Senate Education Committee this afternoon and now moves to the full Senate. SB 618 allows the outsourcing/privatization of teachers and removes the cap on charter schools.
Committee members voted 3-2 on the bill and on a substitute amendment that broke the tie-bar between SB 618 and SB 624 which mandates schools of choice.