Last week was the first full week of legislative committee meetings and it wasn’t long before the House and Senate took up important and sometimes controversial legislation. All bills and committee agendas may be found on the legislative website at legis.la.gov or the #LA LEGE app.
Last Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, two bills that Stand is tracking were heard.
· SB 150 (Sen. Robert Mills) would create The Louisiana Literacy Advisory Commission within the State Department of Education. It was reported favorably as amended.
· SB 197 (Sen. Peacock) would revise teacher certification requirements such as the required 2.2 GPA for entrance into a teacher education program. If a student does not have the mandatory GPA, if this bill passes the student could still enter a program on a conditional basis. It also would allow a certification candidate who did not pass PRAXIS examinations to be issued a conditional teaching certificate. SB 197 was reported favorably as amended.
On Thursday, the House Education Committee met and reported favorably HB 191 (Rep. Jefferson), which would add in statute that a teacher providing instruction in a public school but not employed by the public school governing authority may be credited with his years of teaching if he is performing services for the school pursuant to a corporate contract with a company approved by BESE to provide these services and he receives a successful evaluation according to BESE policy. Stand LEAD Fellow Tibberly ______ testified in support of the bill.
This week is a very full week of committee activity. Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary C Committee will hear SB 111 (Rep. Duplessis), which would provide resources to update the technology systems at the Louisiana Supreme Court and State Police. With updated technology, expungement of criminal records of those already eligible will be more streamlined which would lessen the cost and make the process more efficient. Stand strongly supports this legislation, which would allow more citizens to get jobs, housing, and better the lives of themselves and their families while helping to improve the economy. Keep an eye out for Stand’s Action Alert requesting contacts to Judiciary C members in support of SB 111.
The House Education Committee will meet twice this week, with both days having full agendas. On Tuesday, Stand will be present to oppose HB 164 (Rep. Cox) which would lower from 17 to 15 the required ACT score to qualify for a TOPS-Tech award. TOPS-Tech is a merit-based scholarship and lowering the ACT would result in watering down standards. When standards are lowered, too often students do not get the specialized attention they may need to be successful.
We will also be there to support HB 462 (Rep. Edmonds) which would require public school governing authorities to post fiscal information on their websites.
On Wednesday, Stand will support HB 242 (Rep. Hilferty) which would prohibit any form of corporal punishment in public schools unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent for the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline for his child. Requires the state Dept. of Education to create the document with which a parent would provide consent each school year. This bill prohibits any form of corporal punishment for students with exceptionalities.
Stay tuned for Action Alerts and Updates!