Thursday, January 17, 2013

Report from Senate Education and Health

During its meeting today, the Senate Committee on Education and Health reported a number of bills of interest to school boards. Among the bills the Committee adopted was a substitute for Senator Martin’s SB 1189 which authorizes the Board of Education to grant waivers to school boards from regulatory requirements to increase the quality of instruction and improve student achievement. The bill would also authorize the BOE to grant waivers from the certain SOQ staffing requirements so long as the school board employs a sufficient number of personnel division-wide to meet the SOQ requirements. This bills are an attempt to give school boards additional flexibility. The Committee also reported SB 1131 (McWaters) that exempted charter school applications initiated by one or more school boards from having to go through the Board of Education review process. The Committee reported SB 1158 (Barker) which directs the BOE to adopt regulations authorizing school boards to determine the date for administering the SOLs. This is a very significant flexibility bill.