February 20 Legislative Updates

Statehouse Express Podcast

Season 5, Episode 4

At the beginning of the legislative session, we were tracking 64 bills. After crossover, that was narrowed down to 24 and after this week, that number will become even smaller. These next few weeks will be fast and furious. Many bills that passed out of one chamber will probably not get a committee hearing in the second chamber because of lack of time. We’ll be watching second amendments closely as legislators will attempt to get parts of their bills not heard in the second chamber amended into other pieces of legislation.

Last week, both the House and Senate Education committees met for the first time in the second half of the session. Here’s an update on what we’re following in both chambers. 

SB 1, the reading skills bill, is the big one we have been watching. This bill includes things like required literacy training, required summer school for some students, required reading programs that are based in the science of reading, using a required universal screener for students in K-2, and the biggest concern, required retention for students not passing IREAD-3. Unfortunately, the bill’s author does not understand some of the basic differences with non-public schools to see how these requirements would play out in the non-pub world. Most of the push back has been focused on the retention requirement. The bill passed out of committee on party lines 9-4 and now heads to the Ways and Means Committee and then to the full House for second and third readings.

The Senate Education Committee heard six bills last week including HB 1233, the robotics competition bill, expands the definition of a participating school to include non-public schools accredited by a state board-approved third party. It passed out of committee 11-0. HB 1380, which includes the alignment of the October 1 birthdate eligibility across all three choice programs, was held until this week for further amendments.

Listen to the complete podcast episode by clicking the link below.

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