Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Update from the final House Education Committee

The House Education Committee held its final meeting of the session this morning. The docket contained all of the Senate SOL Reform bills and a handful of other pieces of legislation.

SB2 (Marsden) requires that all textbooks approved by the Board of Education after July 1, 2014 must note that the Sea of Japan is also referred to as the East Sea. After much discussion and debate, the bill reported on a 19-3 vote.

SB144 (Edwards) is identical to HB365 and requires all revisions to SOL assessments be finalized by December 31 of the school year prior to the school year in which the revised assessment will be administered. Due to the fiscal impact HB365 was tabled in the Appropriations Committee. SB144, as amended to include an enactment clause, was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee 18-1.

SB270 (Miller) was reported 19-0 from the full committee. This bill requires only math and reading SOL assessments for grade 3.

SB305 (Deeds) requires that the Board of Education promulgate regulations to (1) increase the number of students and grade levels that are eligible for expedited retakes  and (2) allow students in grade 3 through 5 who score 390 to 399 on a SOL assessment to receive remediation and retake the assessment. The bill was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee 18-1. It will be before the Appropriations subcommittee tomorrow afternoon.

SB306 (Deeds) was conformed by the committee to HB930 (Greason) and unanimously reported. With the substitute the bill reduces SOL assessments in grade 3 through 8 from 22 to 17 assessments. It requires local school boards to certify instruction and the completion of local assessments in the other Standards of Learning subject areas. Further, the bill creates the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee. The committee, led by the Secretary of Education, will include a variety of stakeholders that are tasked to make recommendations on the Standards of Learning assessments, authentic individual student growth measures and alignment between the Standards of Learning and assessments and the School Performance Report Card. The bill also allows the Board of Education to make future further reductions in the number of SOL assessments in grades 3 through 11.

SB388 (Barker) was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee with a with a substitute. The substitute bill requires the Board of Education to promulgate regulations providing local school boards maximum flexibility to determine the date for administering SOL assessments.

SB389 (Barker) directs the Board of Education to promulgate regulations for eligibility of expedited retakes of SOL assessments for each student regardless of grade level or course. The bill was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee on an 18-1 vote.

SB532 (Stuart) was reported and referred to the Appropriations Committee on a 12-8 vote. The bill requires training for certain staff in the administration of insulin and glucagon and the certification of the Superintendent that the requirements of Board’s Manuel for Training Public School Employees in the Administration of Insulin and Glucagon have been met. Additionally the bill requires that a student with diabetes, with written parental and prescriber consent, be allowed to carry and use supplies and equipment for immediate treatment of their diabetes. 

SB636 (Hanger) directs the Board of Education to review SOL assessments and develop a plan to reduce the number of assessments required by at least 25 percent. Given the other SOL bills that have passed or will pass the General Assembly this session, the committee felt the bill was no longer necessary and was tabled.

Several of these bills were referred to the House Appropriations committee. The Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee will meet tomorrow at 3pm to vote on these bills. Check back tomorrow for an update from the Appropriations subcommittee.