Friday, April 20, 2012

And Just Like That!  It only took a little over a day for the conference committee on the omnibus education funding/policy bill (HF 2949) to finish its work.  The framework of the agreement was introduced yesterday, with most of the provisions contained in the framework adopted at yesterday's meeting.  The group finished up its work at a relatively short meeting this morning and the formal conference committee report will be available sometime in the next 12 hours (or so) and I will post it when it becomes available.

Some of the major provisions include:

  • Expansion of PSEO to include 10th grade students.
  • Clarification of language related to the early graduation scholarship program that was passed last session.
  • Extension of two years for students who have not passed the math GRAD test to fulfill their graduation requirements by achieving a passing score on all state and local coursework and credits required for graduation or full participating in two retests of the mathematics GRAD test.
  • Encouragement to enhance opportunities for individualized learning for students.
  • Tightening of some provisions relating to charter schools.
  • Allowance for students to meet a portion of their high school science requirements in a career and technical education course that meets state standards.
  • Requirement that school districts reserve the salary differential between an employee who is deployed in the National Guard (or other reserve unit of the United States Armed Forces) and that person's replacement in an account that would be used to fully pay the salary of the eligible deployed employees.  Funds that remain at the end of the fiscal year can go toward the payment of substitutes and, after that, for any purpose.
  • Clarification of how literacy aid will be calculated to remove issues with how each district organizes their elementary school grade structure.

I'll be providing more later.  There is nothing overly controversial here, although the expansion of PSEO is  consequential.

Trust Lands Conference Committee Likely to Wrap Up This Afternoon.  The conference committee on HF 2244 has been moving more slowly, but will likely wrap up this afternoon.  While the stated goal of HF 2244 is very clear, constructing the machinery to provide greater transparency in the process of management and marketing has proven more complicated.  I will post that report as soon as it becomes available.

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