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Legislative Update - Week 1

 

Budget - On Tuesday, a Joint Budget Hearing was held for legislators to listen to needs for the FY2019 Education Budget. Dr. Ed Richardson and Dr. Andy Craig told legislators the highest priority of the K-12 budget request is funding for classroom instructional supplies, supporting teachers, and school systems. Also, three Superintendents, Matt Massey, Heath Grimes and Zickeyous Byrd, brought attention to needs identified in the State Departments Budget request. The critical importance of ARI in school systems was discussed by Heath Grimes. Matt Massey spoke about funding for NBCT.The reason for increasing funds for school Nurses and the JAG (Jobs for Alabama Graduates) program was identified by Zickeyous Byrd. Dr. Richardson told legislators he was trimming the bureaucracy of the Alabama State Department of Education and keeping it trimmed. This will allow more money to go to the local school systems, which is where it belongs.

Pay Raise - Sen. Authur Orr (SB162) and Rep. Bill Poole (HB174) filed bills seeking a 2.5% pay raise which reflects Gov. Ivey’s budget proposal. Another bill (HB154) by Rep. Ford ask for a 6% pay raise.

Bills in CommitteeHB27 sponsored by Rep. Alan Baker received a favorable report from the House Education Policy Committee. The Students First Act provides due process procedures for discipline and termination of employment for public K-12 employees. This bill 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.In addition, HB71 by Rep. Terri Collins, which codifies the qualifications for the Secretary of Early Childhood Education, received a favorable report.

Next Week

The ETF Budget should be in the House Ways and Means Education Committee. According to Rep. Bill Poole and Speaker Mac McCutcheon, the budget will move fast.

Bills in Committee – In the House, HB70 by Rep. Collins, which adds four nonvoting members to the SBE. The four members are the current and immediate past Teacher of the Year, and delegates from Boys State and Girls State. In the Senate, SB14 by Sen. Gerald Dial requires all K-12 teachers give a 30-day notice of terminating their employment any time of the year. SB22 by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, would add the requirement to post personnel vacancies to the local board’s website, and change the time it must be posted before the position is filled from 14 days to 7 days.

Convene Report - The House will convene Tuesday, January 16 at 1:00, 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.

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