Important education bills moving at state and federal level

Children in a classroom raising their hands.

Immediate action needed on Federal ESEA Reauthorization

The U.S. House is currently debating legislation that will reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind. A vote is expected as soon as tomorrow, February 27th, and we are asking you to weigh in with your representative now.

The bill includes important language on annual assessments which the Kentucky Chamber has been in favor of and supports keeping the bill as is. We encourage you to click here and urge your representative to keep the bill as is, so that it includes annual assessments, allowing us to see how students are progressing.

Meanwhile in Frankfort:

91-of-teachers-have-computer-access-infographic--3a4b23f933House Bill 449, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, passed the House today 94-0.  The bill would require schools that remain classified as persistently low-performing schools for four years, to implement an internal innovation option.  After failure of implementing existing intervention options, the school shall implement an innovation option that improves student learning and performance by expanding learning experiences for students with new or creative alternatives to existing instructional and administrative practices.

The school turnaround training program must be approved by the Kentucky Board of Education and selected by the local school board. Any approved school turnaround training program shall be provided by a nonprofit organization and have documented success of improving performance of low-performing schools. There are currently 36 schools in Kentucky that are classified as low-performing.

The bill now heads to the Senate for action.

House Bill 498, also sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, requires a targeted focus school to undergo an audit by KDE and implement an internal innovation plan. Within 30 days of receiving the report of the audit, the superintendent shall act on the recommendations in the report and create the innovation plan that has been approval by the school council and the local board of education.

This bill will allow KDE to intervene earlier so that these schools don’t end up becoming priority schools.  There are currently 35 focus schools in Kentucky.

HB 498 passed the House Education committee today and now heads to the floor for action.

Senate Joint Resolution 106, sponsored by David Givens, passed the Senate Education committee Thursday. This resolution would direct the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to develop a performance-based funding model for public postsecondary education institutions.

Timely degree completion is an area where Kentucky’s postsecondary institutions should improve their performance.  To provide meaningful incentives that encourage and reward excellence, a substantial portion of state funding for the institutions should be based on their ability to improve productivity.

SJR 106 now heads to the Senate floor for action.

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