The first week of the legislative session was relatively quiet in the education and criminal justice worlds, with the exception of HB 460 by Rep. Brass. This bill was heard last Thursday in the House’s Administration of Criminal Justice Committee. HB 460 would expand the purposes to early childhood programs for which a parish governing authority may levy a special tax. Currently, the purposes for which a governing authority may level a special tax is limited to juvenile justice programs. If the bill passes, monies not used for juvenile justice could be used to provide early childhood education.
Stand supports the legislation, which was reported favorably out of committee with no objection. It is scheduled to be considered on the House floor this week.
Also supported by Stand was HB 162 by Rep. Marino, which would provide for the elimination of expungement fees in very limited circumstances. This too was reported favorably from the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice with no objection and will next be considered in the full House, likely sometime this week.
The pace at which bills are being scheduled and heard is picking up, and the House Education Committee has scheduled meetings for both Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
On Wednesday, Stand will support three bills. HB 207 by Rep. Hughes would require high school students in the career major strand to take Geometry. This bill aims to assist students on the career education path to be able to be successful on the ACT exam, which includes Geometry.
Stand also supports HB 333 by Rep. Brass, which would require the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to include information on certain curricula options as part of the secondary school advisement policy. This bill was filed at the request of the state Dual Enrollment Task Force; Stand Louisiana’s Executive Director Carrie Griffin Monica is a member of the Task Force.
Finally in the Wednesday meeting, Stand will support HB 550 by Rep. Emerson, which would put into law a Type 2 charter school’s ability to establish a Learning Pod at a site outside of the site of the original charter school. It would also require the charter to notify its authorizer within 30 days of the establishment of a Learning Pod.
While seven bills are currently scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Thursday, Stand has not taken a position on any of them. The Senate Education Committee will also meet this week, but the agenda has not yet been posted.
We will continue to keep you updated on legislative activity throughout the session. All bills can be viewed at the legislative website at https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillSearch.