Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Update from the House Education Committee

This morning, the House Education Committee acted on many of the bills from Tuesday's House Education Reform subcommittee. 

HB1585 (Stolle) would allow a division superintendent, with the school board's approval, to establish a school schedule that wold provide for year-round school or, for any school that has not achieved full accreditation, to set the school start date.  The bill would also allow the superintendent to determine the schedule for the entire school division if more than 15% of the schools in the school division have not achieved full accreditation.  Among other things, this bill would allow superintendents and school boards to start the school year in schools not fully accredited prior to Labor Day without obtaining a waiver from the post-Labor Day start requirement.  This bill was reported 15-5 from the House Education Committee. 

HB1490 (Habeeb) was amended in the Education Reform subcommittee on Tuesday morning.  As amended, the bill directs the Board of Education to promulgate regulations to provide the same criteria for eligibility for an expedited retake of any Standards of Learning test, with the exception of the writing Standards of Learning tests, to each student regardless of grade level or course.  The bill also has an emergency clause, which means that, if enacted, the legislation would allow for expedited retakes this spring.  The committee approved reporting and referring the amended bill to Appropriations 20-0. 

HB1615 (Greason) would allow the required end-of-course or end-of-grade assessments for English, mathematics, science, and history and social science to be integrated to include multiple subject areas.  This bill would not, however, require the use of integrated assessments.  This bill was passed unanimously by the committee.

HB1674 (Greason) would reduce the frequency that a school's accreditation status is reviewed by the Board of Education.  The bill was amended in subcommittee to allow the Board of Education to review the accreditation status of schools every one, two, or three years, as determined by the Board of Education.  The amended bill would also require that a school that is not fully accredited be reviewed in the subsequent year.  The amended bill was reported by the full committee. 

HB2088 (Murphy) relating to graduation requirements for economics and personal finance was stricken from the docket at the request of the patron.

The committee will meet again on Monday morning.