Good News for the Weekend

Posted 3/4/16

HB 47 is dead! After first passing the House, it was held on a motion to reconsider, after which several representatives changed their votes from yea to nay. On deadline day, it was recommitted by Chairman Moore - a procedural move that killed the bill. Please thank the House members who contributed to the demise of this very bad legislation. See the vote here.

Unfortunately, SB 2161 passed the Senate (expands charters schools into C districts) and moves to the House, though it was not without a fight. Please also thank the senators who voted NO on this bill. See that vote.

Click here to see the status and votes on all the education bills we are tracking.

RED FLAG ALERT:

Please note two additional harmful bills (both headed to the Senate): HB 458 and HB 33. In each case the bill includes a reverse repealer, a measure that will force the bill to conference where changes could be made in secret.

The conference process is intended to be used to negotiate final language when the chambers disagree on details of a bill. Unfortunately, it appears that "conference" will be used as a back door to the MAEP formula (HB 458), circumventing the legislative committee process to make changes to the MAEP that will reduce school funding without a full public vetting. The same problem applies to HB 33, another voucher bill. Here's why that is problematic:

Most often, conference committee members work out details in private and hold a last-minute public meeting to announce the changes that have been made to a bill. In recent years, many conference reports have been held until the deadline, making it difficult for the public - and most legislators - to know what changes have been made before the conference report is brought up for a vote.

The Senate should let these bills die, forcing the authors to bring their bills back next year to have proposed changes vetted in the education committees.

Ask the senators who represent your school district to vote NO on HB 458 and HB 33.

Contact information for all legislators in your school district

Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves. Capitol: 601.359.3200

It's been a long week - and you did a LOT of work to protect the interests of our children and their public schools. Thank you! Please take a look at your legislators' Ed Report pages - some legislators are reaching out to you asking for your input. Please provide them the input they are seeking - it's exactly the way a democracy is supposed to work!