Several committees met this week to consider legislation. Next Tuesday, June 9, is the deadline for committees to report (i.e., pass) general bills that originated in the other chamber. If a general bill is not passed out of committee by Tuesday’s deadline, it will die on the calendar. Here is an update on several of the bills we are tracking:
Early Learning Collaboratives - SB 2286 expands this program and increases state funding for its support. House Education passed SB 2286 this past Monday. The bill is awaiting consideration by House Appropriations.
ESA Vouchers - SB 2594amends current law governing the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act (i.e., SPED vouchers) and strengthens the accountability of these funds. House Education passed SB 2594 this past Monday. The bill is awaiting consideration by House Appropriations.
Gifted Education – HB 666 requires districts to provide Gifted Education in Grades 7 and 8. It has been passed by both Senate Education and Senate Appropriations, so it now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
Teacher Licensure –HB 994 and SB 2511 are both designed to address the state’s teacher shortage, as they revise the entry requirements for teacher preparation programs. HB 994 is awaiting consideration by Senate Education while the full House passed SB 2511 with an amendment which stripped two sections from the bill, including one that addressed supplemental endorsements for teachers at the Mississippi School of the Arts. SB 2511 now heads back to the Senate where that chamber may agree with the amendment or may invite conference on the bill.
Teacher Pay Raise – The Senate passed SB 2001 on February 5. The bill increases the salary schedule by $1,100 for novice teachers (two years of experience and less) and by $1,000 for all other teachers. The bill has been double referred in the House to both House Education and House Appropriations. SB 2001 must meet next Tuesday’s deadline or it will die on the calendar.
Click here for our latest bill tracking spreadsheet which reflects action as of today at 2:00 p.m. on all bills we are tracking.
Senate Education met earlier today and recommended that Bill Billingsley of Madison be confirmed as a member of the Charter School Authorizer Board. Then Lt. Governor Tate Reeves nominated Billingsley to the board. Billingsley previously owned a home health care business and he and his wife now rescue abused horses. The full Senate will now consider Billingsley’s appointment. Senate Education Chairman DeBar informed the committee that Dr. Jean Young of Petal has notified his office that she is withdrawing from her reappointment to the Charter School Authorizer Board. Young’s withdrawal leaves three vacancies on the seven-member Charter School Authorizer Board.