Friday, February 1, 2013

Governor's School Takeover Legislation Advancing

Yesterday morning the Senate Committee on Education and Health reported and referred the Senate version of the Governor’s takeover legislation to the Senate Finance Committee.  Last evening that committee reported the bill with “the clause” tacked on it.  The “clause” is a provision that makes legislation effective only if there are funds to pay for it.  Several members of both the Education and Health and Finance Committees expressed some concern over the sweeping nature of the bill and placed the “clause” on it to ensure that it would still be revised.  This morning the House version of the bill was before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Public Education.  Yet another version (the fourth at last count with a promise of more versions to come) was introduced.  It made clear that if the state takes over poorly performing schools, not only will the federal and state funds follow the student, but all local funds, including aspirational funding, would follow the student as well.  The full Appropriations Committee is expected to report the bill at its meeting this afternoon.  This takeover bill is perhaps the most intrusive piece of legislation K-12 education has ever faced.