|News from Week 7
Neither chamber’s Education committees met this week, but we did see several K-12 education-related strikers in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. HB 2310 (school procurement; lowest bidder; repeal), HB 2525 (experienced teacher retention pilot program) and HB 2670 (study committee; special education; gifted) all passed through House Appropriations and are supported by ASBA.
SB 1101 (schools; calculated opportunity index) passed through Senate Appropriations with support from ASBA. SB 1161 (school facilities; revisions) also passed on Tuesday. This bill is similar to SB 1438, which failed in the Senate Education committee last week but was resurrected as a striker in Appropriations. ASBA is opposed to 1161 and is working with the sponsor and stakeholders on some amendments.
Head over to Capitol Impact for our staff summaries of all the bills we heard this week.
USDOE Unveils Federal Tax Credit Proposal
On Thursday, US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled a proposal to create a $5 billion federal education tax credit for contributions to STO-like programs that states would have the ability to create to fit their own education systems. NSBA released a statement opposing the measure, and ASBA joins in that position. The proposal has almost zero chance of advancing through the Democratically controlled U.S. House of Representatives. Read NSBA’s full statement here.
February State Board of Education Meeting
The State Board of Education met on Monday, while we were busy with Lobby Day. Most notably, the Board contemplated how to measure growth in the A-F accountability model when high schools will be administering the AZMerit, ACT, or SAT. The technical advisory committee reported that for the 2018-2019 letter grades, there isn’t a statistically valid growth measure, so growth will be eliminated and replaced with dropout rate for this year.
For 2019-2020 letter grades, the Board directed the committee to further look into a way to scale the scores across these three tests to create a reliable growth indicator or find an alternate growth measure, like subgroup graduation rates. For a summary of Board action, click here.