If you have some ideas or feelings regarding the tenure bill, now would be a good time to pass them along to the Governor. He has stated he will not sign the bill this session. However, he is receiving a lot of pressure to sign it. Some Republicans have suggested it may be used as a bargaining chip in session ending negotiations. Some other bills being discussed at the legislature which may be of interest to you are as follows:
House File 2568. Doepke. Independent Learning Schools. The puporse is to expand and improve student achievement through adapting learning to the needs and aptitudes of individual students. An individualized learning school may be a charter school, a site-governed school, an area learning center or contract alternative school. Application requirements are spelled out, and waivers available are listed. There is a Senate companion bill and bipartisan support in each chamber.
House File 2790. Bills. Education Boards. An education board has the powers of a school board. The education board provides for a system of public schooling through the supervision of performance contracts with school sites organized as site-governed schools, area learning centers, contract alternative schools or chartered schools. A school board may become an education board by adopting a resolution to convert and then converting all the school sites in that district to site- governed schools or a combination of site-governed schools, area learning centers, contract alternative schools or chartered schools. How the conversion may be brought about is spelled out. So too is the purpose of education boards and their duties. The bill has a Senate companion and is bipartisan.
Senate File 1073. Nelson. This legislation strongly encourages school districts to assist all students by no later than grade 9 to explore their college and career interests and aspirations and develop a plan for a smooth and successful transition to postsecondary education or employment. What the students' plans must be designed to do is spelled out in great detail. Involuntary career tracking is prohibited. Ideas for funding are suggested. Again there is a House companion and bipartisan support.
House File 2580. Loon. This legislation would apply to public schools, including charter schools. The schools would be among the state's persistently lowest performing schools. If 51 percent or more of the parents of students attending such a school, including feeder schools, sign a petition requesting the school board implement one of four intervention models (or other alternative governance arrangement), then the school board must so act. Models include a turnaround model, a restart model, a school closure model and a transformation model. These are defined. This legislation does not have bipartisan support, but I believe it has a Senate companion.
Ralph D. Maves, MSPA Lobbyist