Things you need to know:
• 10 Bills Passed Senate Education
• 1 Bill Passed COW
• 6 Bills Passed Third Read
Passed Senate Education
SB 1066 SFB; reforms (Brophy McGee) passed as amended 6-0-1.
This bill subjects both members and employees of the School Facilities Board to Arizona laws on conflicts of interest for public employees. Restrictions are placed on employees regarding financial interests. The SFB is also required to develop and implement policies and procedures that do the following:
• Ensure school districts are notified in a uniform manner of board services and the funds provided by the board for facility construction, renovation, and repair projects. The SFB must provide at least one annual communication to districts and it must develop and maintain a list of district officials who are responsible for facilities management.
• Establish a project eligibility assessment for all projects submitted for Building Renewal Grant funding or emergency deficiencies correction funding. They must also establish standardized criteria for project eligibility.
ASBA is neutral.
SB 1138 county jail education programs; age (Bradley) passed 5-0-2.
This bill increases the funding for county jail education programs and increases the age of prisoners required to be served in a county jail education program from 18 to 21. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1159 school employees; contracts; revisions (S. Allen) passed as amended 6-0-1.
This bill allows employee leasing firms that contract with a school district to withhold wages for up to seven business days during their normal two-week payroll processing cycle and applies to those firms the same payroll policies that districts follow. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1289 schools; national motto; state motto (Griffin) passed 6-0-1.
This bill allows the state motto (Ditat Deus, “God Enriches”) to be read or posted in any school building. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1378 schools; bonds; overrides; funding sources (S. Allen) passed 4-2-1.
This bill requires the informational report or publicity pamphlet for a school district budget override or bond election to include a statement of the total amount of revenues the school district received per pupil from federal, state and local funding sources for the fiscal year and any additional, per pupil revenue or expenditure information the governing board chooses to provide. ASBA is opposed.
SB 1408 declining enrollment; small school districts (Fann) passed as amended 6-0-1.
This bill allows, for FY 2018, a unified school district to use the previous year’s final ADM for calculating funding if the school district has between 500 and 560 students and the current fiscal year’s ADM declines by at least five percent compared to the previous fiscal year. It also appropriates $182,112 from the General Fund in FY 2018 to the ADE to be distributed to districts that meet the following criteria:
• The district is located in a county with a population of less than 100,000.
• The boundaries of the district are not within the boundaries of an incorporated city or town.
• The district serves K-8th graders and for FY 2017 has a 40th day average daily membership of less than 100.
• The district has been notified by the Property Tax Oversight Commission that it is prohibited from establishing a primary tax rate for FY 2018 that is greater than the rate for FY 2017.
• In fiscal years 2016 and 2017 the district primary property tax levy was corrected and reduced by between 275,000 and 310,000 to reflect a settlement associated with a successful property taxpayer appeal in the Arizona tax court.
The recipient district must use the funds to relieve the cash deficit in FY 2017 realized as a result of the property valuation settlement as realized for fiscal years 2014, 2015, and 2016 in Arizona tax court. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1423 common school districts; lapsing; procedure (Griffin) passed 4-2-1.
This bill requires that a district have less than 8 students between the ages of 6 and 21 for two consecutive school years before the county school superintendent can notify the district and its board of supervisors, at which point the board will provide additional time to recruit more students. If the district fails to recruit more students, then the board can declare that the district has lapsed. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1442 personal finance (Yee) passed 6-0-1.
This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a State Seal of Personal Finance Proficiency Program for district and charter schools. It applies the same rules to the Superintendent and the schools that are applied to the State Seal of Biliteracy Program. The program ends on July 1, 2028. The bill also provides the SBE with the ability to establish a required separate personal finance course for high schoolers for the purpose of graduation. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1444 schools; American civics education (Yee) passed as amended 6-0-1.
This bill requires that the SBE include American civics education in social studies and requires the ADE to develop a five-year pilot program for 9-12th graders that enhances the focus on American civics education in participating schools. The program will begin in the 2019 school year and both district and charter schools can volunteer to participate for five consecutive years. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1473 schools; civics literacy state seal (Barto) passed as amended 6-0-1.
This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a State Seal of Civics Literacy Program, which will recognize students who graduate from an Arizona district or charter school with a high level of proficiency in Civics. It has largely the same requirements for the Superintendent and schools that exist with the State Seal of Biliteracy Program. The State Board of Education is required to work with ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, along with other experts on fundamental civic knowledge and civic literacy at universities within AZ, on adopting a list of assessments through research-based methodology to determine a student’s proficiency in civics. This program ends on July 1, 2028. ASBA is neutral.
HB 2460 charter schools; vacant buildings; equipment (Leach) passed. ASBA is opposed.
Passed Third Read
HB 2343 schools; child abuse hotline (John) passed 53-6. ASBA is neutral.
HB 2319 JTEDs; letter grades; prohibition (Bowers) passed as amended 51-6. ASBA is neutral.
HB 2477 high school mathematics; proficiency; notifications (Udall) passed as amended 56-3. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1008 common schools; average daily membership (Petersen) passed 29-0. ASBA is neutral.
SB 1152 education; appropriation; noncustodial federal monies (S. Allen) passed 17-12. ASBA is opposed.
SB 1212 ADE; appropriation; geographic literacy (Kavanagh) passed 29-0. ASBA is neutral.