2017 Legislative Session 
Summaries and Status of Priority Bills
 

Updated 4/19/17

Each year, The Parents' Campaign closely monitors legislation that affects public schools. Below are our priority bills for the 2017 legislative session:
  

HB 203  Limit School Board's Authority to Increase Millage - DEAD - Prohibits school board from raising ad valorem taxes for the support of the school district unless approved by voters in a referendum

• Double-referred to House Education and Ways and Means Committees, 1/3/17
• Committee substitute passed by House Education Committee, 1/25/17
• Laid on table subject to call by Ways and Means Committee, 1/31/17
• Died on calendar in Ways and Means Committee, 1/31/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

HB 267  Elect All School Board Members - DEAD - Requires the election, rather than appointment, of all school board members every four years, beginning at the time of the statewide election in 2019 for three members, and at the time of presidential election in 2020 for two members

• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/3/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by House Education Committee; exempts municipal, municipal separate, and special municipal separate school districts that have and maintain an A or B accountability rating, if rating drops to C for two consecutive years or to D or F in any year, district must change to elected method of selecting board members, 1/30/17
• Awaiting action by House of Representatives
• Died on calendar in House, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

HB 293  Shorten School Year - DEAD - Reduces total number of required school days from 180 to 170 for students and 187 to 177 for teachers

• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/3/17
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/26/17
• Awaiting action by House of Representatives
• Died on calendar in House, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

HB 580  Virtual Schools - DEAD - Brings forward relevant code sections related to virtual schooling for unidentified changes, could be amended to allow virtual charter schools

• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 1/13/17
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/31/17
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 1/31/17
• Awaiting action by House of Representatives
• Died on calendar in House, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill. 
 

HB 1036  Expand Dyslexia Vouchers - DEAD - Expands availability of dyslexia vouchers to students through 12th grade, removes current limitation on using vouchers only at special purpose schools and expands to private schools 

• Double-referred to House Education and Revenue and Expenditures Committees, 1/16/17 
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/25/17
• Amended by House Revenue and Expenditure Committee to add a reverse repealer, returning bill to House Education Committee, 1/26/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by House Education Committee; requires state or SACS accreditation for Mississippi nonpublic schools accepting vouchers, includes exception for DeSoto County residents seeking nonpublic schools in adjacent state, 1/31/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by House Revenue and Expenditures Committee, 1/31/17
• Awaiting action by House of Representatives
• Died on calendar in House, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

HB 1043  Expand Special Needs Vouchers - DEADRevises the definition of "special needs" to include siblings of private school voucher recipients, expanding special needs vouchers to students who do not have disabilities

• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/16/17
• Died on calendar in House Education Committee, 1/31/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

HB 1046  Expand Dyslexia Vouchers - Expands availability of dyslexia vouchers to students through 12th grade in special purpose schools

• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/16/17 
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/26/17
• Passed by House, 2/9/17
• Transmitted to Senate, 2/10/17
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/20/17
• Strike-all amendment passed by Senate Education Committee; expands availability of dyslexia vouchers to students through 12th grade and allows vouchers to be used at private schools (current law limits to special purpose schools) in Mississippi or out of state, 2/23/17
• Strike-all passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/28/17
• Passed by Senate, 3/8/17  See vote
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/14/17
• House declined to concur, invited conference, 3/15/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes the Senate strike-all version of this bill.
• House conferees named, 3/21/17  Reps. Barker, Moore, Roberson
• Senate conferees named, 3/24/17  Sens. Barnett, Blackwell, Tollison
• Conference report filed, removes Senate strike-all language and retains current law's restriction of vouchers to special purpose schools; as in original House version of the bill, the conference report expands availability of dyslexia vouchers to students through 12th grade in special purpose schools, 3/27/17
• Conference report adopted by House, 3/29/17
• Conference report adopted by Senate, 3/29/17
• Sent to Governor, 4/3/17
• Signed by Governor, 4/13/17
The Parents' Campaign does not have a position on the conference report.
 

HB 1294  Dummy Bill for MAEP Rewrite - DEAD

• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 1/3/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by House Appropriations Committee; brings forward all code sections of education funding statute for unidentified amendments later in legislative process, requires school systems adopt a uniform system of accounting; Rep. Steve Holland offered an amendment to delay effective date of any education funding changes from 2017 to 2018, amendment defeated on a committee vote of 6-19, 1/31/17
• Awaiting action by House of Representatives
• Died on calendar in House, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes any changes to the MAEP in the 2017 session; legislators and the public need sufficient time to review proposed changes and provide feedback on them.
 

HB 1502  K-12 Appropriation for FY 2018 – Bill providing for K-12 appropriation; does not include the sections pertaining to MAEP funding, which means the bill does not provide for the operational funding of schools and teachers; other line items are level funded with current fiscal year

• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 2/14/17
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/15/17
• Passed by House, 2/15/17
• Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/16/17
• Strike-all amendment passed by Senate Appropriations Committee; inserts MAEP funding that was omitted from original House version of bill (MAEP funding level with current year), adds $20-million for school recognition program, adds language that appeared in last year's K-12 funding bill that prohibits payments or fund transfers to the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents (MASS), 3/9/17
• Amended by Senate to delete section prohibiting payments to MASS, 3/13/17
• Passed by Senate as amended, 3/13/17
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/15/17
• House declined to concur, invited conference, 3/16/17
• House conferees named, 3/21/17  Reps. Barker, Moore, Read
• Senate conferees named, 3/23/17  Sens. Clarke, Tindell, Tollison
• Conference report filed, funds the MAEP $40.4-million below FY 2017 appropriation (before mid-year budget cuts), Schools for Blind and Deaf same as FY 2017, new School Recognition Program at $20-million, early childhood initiatives (pre-k collaboratives) at $4-million, literacy initiative at $15-million, and fully funds the National Board Certification Program, 3/27/17
• Conference report adopted by House, 3/27/17
• Conference report adopted by Senate, 3/27/17
• Sent to Governor, 4/3/17
 

HB 1703  Tax Credit Scholarships (Vouchers) - DEADProvides state tax credits to businesses and individuals that donate to an organization set up to grant "scholarships" (vouchers) to private school students; vouchers can be used to pay up to 90% of private school tuition, with no cap on tuition amount; no cap on total tax credits allowed statewide

• Referred to House Ways and Means Committee, 2/15/17
• Died on calendar in House Ways and Means Committee, 2/22/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

SB 2036  Elect School Board Members at Time of Statewide Election - DEAD

• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/5/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by Senate Education Committee; requires school board members who are currently elected to stand for election at the time of the statewide election every four years (no staggered terms) beginning 2019; 1/31/17
• Awaiting action by Senate
• Died on calendar in Senate, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

SB 2575  Tax Credit Scholarships (Vouchers) - DEAD - Provides up to $69,000,000 in state tax credits to businesses and corporations that donate to an organization set up to grant "scholarships" (vouchers) to private school or home school students, and up to $23,000,000 in state tax credits to businesses and corporations that donate to an educational improvement organization set up to provide grants for public school innovations

• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 1/16/17
• Died on calendar in Senate Finance Committee, 2/22/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

SB 2585  Tax Deduction Scholarships (Vouchers) - DEAD - Provides a $5,000 state tax deduction for private school tuition or home schooling expenses; no cap on total tax deductions allowed statewide

• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 1/16/17
• Died on calendar in Senate Finance Committee, 2/22/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.
 

SB 2607  Dummy Bill for MAEP Rewrite - DEAD

• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/16/17
• Committee substitute bill passed by Senate Education Committee on a vote of 10-4; brings forward code sections related to MAEP for unidentified amendments later in legislative process, requires school systems adopt a uniform system of accounting; 1/31/17
• Awaiting action by Senate
• Died on calendar in Senate, 2/9/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes any changes to the MAEP in the 2017 session; legislators and the public need sufficient time to review proposed changes and provide feedback on them.
 

SB 2947  Tax Credit Scholarships (Vouchers) - DEAD - Provides a dollar for dollar state tax credit for private school tuition or home schooling expenses, up to the amount of public school base student cost; no cap on total tax credits allowed statewide

• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 2/3/17
• Died on calendar in Senate Finance Committee, 2/22/17
The Parents' Campaign opposes this bill.