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Legislative Update - Week 6

Bill Signed Into Law:

SB14 (Rep. Fincher and Sen. Dial) requires all K-12 teachers to give a 30-day notice (currently 5 days) of resignation any time after the school year begins. ACT# 2018-83. 

Bill Awaiting the Governor's Signature:

SB28 (Sen. Pittman) - Repeals a criminal statute that provides conflicting procedures found in the Students First Act. If passed, would allow local school boards to start due process procedures without waiting for criminal proceedings to be complete. 

Bills Passed the Senate:

SB26 (Sen. Chambliss) - Notification provided to school of low-risk sex offender expanded to included local superintendent of education and board of education, school is required to report to local law enforcement, state board of education required to develop and local board of education to adopt a model policy for monitoring juvenile sex offenders in school.

SB159 (Sen. Shelnutt) - Grants all professional educators’ associations same level of access to employees of public schools.

Bills Passed the House:

Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed HB174, the 2.5% pay raise and HB175, the ETF budget which would increase spending from the ETF by $216 million, to $6.6 billion. Additionally, passed HB178, HB179, and HB180. The following are the increases in the ETF Budget as listed in last week's update:

  • Pay raise – 2.5% for all active K-12 and two-year college employees.
  • PreK – $20 million increase. $5,000 additional to the Governor’s “Strong Start, Strong Finish” initiative.
  • Foundation Program (all increases from FY18)
    • OCE - $22.7 million
    • Classroom Materials - $5.4 million
    • Technology - $4.2 million
    • Library Enhancement - $3.1 million
    • Professional Development - $580,000
    • Transportation - $3.9 million
    • Fleet Renewal - $2.6 million
    • Technology Coordinators - $ 1.9 million
    • School Nurses - $780,000
  • Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) received additional $5 million - of that increase, $1.6 million will be used for 15 regional reading coaches. 
  • National Board-Certified Teacher (NBCT) received a $1.5 million increase to provide an additional stipend for NBCT certified teachers to teach literacy, math, and science in at-risk schools. 
  • Career Tech - $1.3 million increase for K-12 career tech.
  • Community College System received $16.1 million total funding increase and $125,000 increase for the volunteer firefighter certifications.
  • Additional line-items include a $1 million increase for the Department of Child Abuse Prevention and Neglect. Public libraries received a $450,000 increase.

Committee Meetings:

SB44 (Sen. Coleman-Madison) – Under existing law any incorporated municipality in the state with a population of 5,000 or more may establish a city board of education. The bill would increase the minimum population to 25,000, require SDE to determine the financial capability of a city to sustain a school system before the city could establish a city school system. These revisions would not apply to cities that have met the inhabitant criteria under prior law and executed formal separation agreements before the effective date of this amendment. Additionally, the bill requires proposed city school system to acquire or build its own school facilities. A public hearing was held on this bill Wednesday and no vote was taken.

SB269 (Sen. Whatley) – Revises the content and course materials for public K-12 sex education. The bill was given a favorable report.

SB270 (Sen. Whatley) - Bill would allow the administration of autoinjectable epinephrine on K-12 school campuses by students. A favorable report was given to the bill. 

Bills Introduced:

HB405 – (Rep. Moore) - Existing law requires the State Board of Education and all local boards of education to develop and implement a comprehensive character education program in grades K-12. This bill would require a comprehensive character education program to be taught in grades K-12 in each public school, consisting of instruction provided five times a week during the school year, for a duration of not less than 40 minutes per day. This bill would also require the comprehensive character education program to address methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts against fellow students.

HB413 (Rep. Beckman) - This bill would require local law enforcement to notify the local superintendent of education and the local board of education, in addition to the principal, when a low-risk juvenile sex offender is planning to establish or has established a fixed residence within their jurisdiction, would require juvenile sex offenders to notify local law enforcement of any change in school attendance, and would provide that failure to comply with either constitutes a Class C felony. This bill would also require the State Board of Education to develop, and each local board of education to adopt, a comprehensive model policy for the supervision and monitoring of low risk juvenile sex offender students attending school with the general student population and would require alternative educational placement for any juvenile sex offender who is a moderate or high risk for re-offense.

SB314 (Sen. Whatley) - Creates a separate fund in the State Treasury known as the Education Retirees' Trust Fund for Cost of Living Adjustments for the purpose of establishing a permanent trust and investment account for the funds and earnings received to provide education retirees with cost-of-living increase or one-time bonuses.

NEXT WEEK

All attention to the Senate. The general fund budget could be on the floor and the ETF budget could be in committee.

Committee Meetings:

SB148 (Sen. Ward) - Juvenile Justice, provisions relating to the juvenile justice system substantially revised, adoption of policies for absenteeism and school misconduct required, Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Fund created. A public hearing is called for Wednesday, February 21 at 1:00 in room 325.

Convene Report - The House will convene Tuesday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 2:00 p.m. the same day.

To join the CLN contact the CLAS Communication Coordinator Susie Ellison via email susie@clasleaders.org or call (800) 239-3616.