The second week of the legislative session wrapped March 25 with significant movement of key pieces of legislation. HB 460 by Rep. Brass was put on the calendar for consideration by the full House. This bill would expand the purposes to early childhood programs for which a parish governing authority may levy a special tax. Currently, the purpose is limited to juvenile justice programs. HB 460 is scheduled for a House floor vote on Tuesday, March 29th, in the afternoon. Stand supports this legislation.
Moving at a rapid pace is HB 162 by Rep. Marino, which would provide for the elimination of expungement fees in very limited circumstances. It passed the House on March 23 by a vote of 95-0 and has moved to the Senate, where it is pending assignment to a Senate committee. HB 162 is supported by Stand.
There was also substantial committee activity. 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 supprots this bill.
Stand also supports HB 333 by Rep. Brass, which would require the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) 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, on which Stand Louisiana’s Executive Director Carrie Monica sits.
Finally, in the Wednesday Committee meeting, Stand supported 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 physical 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.
All three bills were reported favorably out of committee. HB 207 is scheduled for House floor debate on March 29. HBs 333 and 550 have not yet been scheduled.
In the Senate, the Senate Education Committee reported favorably on SB 261 by Senator Fields, which would provide for public postsecondary education transfer pathways. Stand supports this bill, which is critical for full implementation of dual enrollment programs in secondary schools. It awaits consideration by the full Senate.
SB 45 by Sen. Foil would require public school governing authorities to adopt policies for cameras in special education classrooms by December 31, 2022. It awaits a vote by the full Senate. Stand supports this legislation.
The House Education Committee agenda is heavy for the week of March 28, with six types of Education Savings Accounts bills on the schedule. Most of the bills have pending amendments; Stand will review the amendments prior to taking a position on any of the bills.
HB 231 by Rep. Brass, which would provide for the transfer of academic credit from public postsecondary education institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees to institutions that grant associate’s degrees. Like SB 261, this bill would ease the way for full implementation of high school dual enrollment programs. Stand supports this legislation.
There is legislation that Stand will oppose in House Ed. HB 363 by Rep. Bryant would provide that student learning targets used to inform the student growth component of teacher and administrator evaluations shall be developed collaboratively between the person being evaluated and his evaluator. It further would prohibit a target not developed in this manner from being used in the evaluation. Stand opposes this legislation.
The Legislature will pause at some point to conduct a veto session on reapportionment. That could occur Wednesday, March 30th, and committees could possibly be suspended until after the veto special session.
We will continue to keep you informed throughout the session. All bills can be viewed at the legislative website legis.la.gov.