Monday, April 09, 2018

Second Post of a Day/Night Double Header.  The House and Senate were back in session today.  The only education-related hearing was the Senate Education Finance Committee, which featured five bills, four of which concerned school facilities safety. Of the bills heard, SF 3243--Senator Pratt's bill that increases the Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue by $100 per pupil unit for Fiscal Year 2020 through Fiscal Year 2027--has the biggest chance of making it into the Senate omnibus education funding bill.  Other bills that were heard were Senator Wiger's SF 2507, a bill that includes cybersecurity along with the Governor's school safety revenue increase, and SF 2508, a bill that would create a new facilities funding category (School Improvement Revenue) that would provide districts with $212 per pupil equalized at the same rate as Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue to be used for facilities improvement.  The text of SF 2508 was Recommendation 4 in the final report of the School Facilities Finance Working Group issued in 2014.  It would replace the current lease levy, which is unequalized.  Before going further, in my testimony in support of all of the school safety bills, I pointed out that SF 2508 would solve a lot of issues facing the state's school districts, including that of building improvements for school safety and it is probably the best long-term strategy to pursue.  Unfortunately, it's not a budget year and even if there is some money left on the table after the Legislature and Governor agree on a tax conformity plan, it won't be enough to fund this measure going into the future.  The last of the school facility bills was Senator Clausen's SF 3472, which increases the school safety levy and makes certain that cooperative units receive a proportional increase in the total revenue increase.

The final bill of the day was Chair Nelson's SF 2774, which provides a $273,000 grant to Kognito, a group that provides evidence-based online suicide prevention training for teachers and students.  Here is a link to the Suicide Prevention simulations that are part of the training offered by Kognito:  Kognito Suicide Prevention

Bill Introductions

Introductions are down to a trickle!


SF 3896--Eaton--Increases and modifies Gifted and Talented Revenue.

SF 3904--Abeler--Appropriates money for a study comparing charter school and school district financing.

SF 3911--Dziedzic--Requires affirmative consent instruction.

SF 3914--Clausen--Defines cultural competency required for teacher licensure.


HF 4325--Poston--Allows for identification of students for free lunch using the Community Eligibility Program.

HF 4328--Loon--Governor's Education Funding Proposal.

HF 4329--Bernardy--Makes School Readiness Plus program funding permanent.

HF 4330--Peterson--Establishes Help Me Grow program.

HF 4331--Dean--Requires one credit in government and citizenship for high school graduation.

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