2013 Legislative Session
Summaries and Status of Priority Bills
 
Updated 4/26/13
 
Each year, The Parents' Campaign closely monitors and takes a position on several education bills. Below are the priority bills for the 2013 legislative session. 

Charter Schools 

House Bill 369  Passed by House & Senate, Signed into law by Gov. Bryant
Mississippi Charter Schools Act of 2013: Allows charter schools to locate throughout the state. A (star), B (high performing), and C (successful) school districts must give local school board approval for charters to locate within their districts. Creates the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, which consists of seven appointed members (3 appointed by governor, 3 appointed by lt. governor, 1 appointed by State Board of Education), to serve as the sole authorizer of charter schools. Allows the Authorizer Board to approve a maximum of 15 charter applications each fiscal year. Students may not cross district lines to attend charter schools. Allows state and local per pupil funding to follow students. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability assessments and ratings as traditional public schools. Allows for-profit companies to manage charter schools and does not require the authorizer to grant charters only to applicants with a track record of success. Exempts charter schools from the conflict of interest statute that says public school superintendents, teachers, and school board members may not serve as agents for textbook companies (line 5319). See bill here.
Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13
• Amended by the House Education Committee to remove the exemption of charter schools from the conflict of interest statute that prohibits traditional schools' employees and board members from representing or working for textbook publishing companies
• Committee Substitute bill passed by House Education Committee; 16 yeas, 14 nays; 1/22/13  Read more
The Parents' Campaign's position is that the bill should be amended to:
Require that charter schools and their management organizations be non-profit. 
 Amended on the House floor on a unanimous voice vote to require charter schools and their management organizations to be non-profit, 1/23/13 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the amended Committee Substitute bill. Read why
 Passed by full House; 64 yeas, 56 nays; 1/24/13  See Vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 1/24/13
Motion to reconsider tabled, 1/25/13
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/11/13
 Amended in Committee to strike all existing language and replace with the language of SB 2189, 2/28/13
 Passed by Committee as amended, 2/28/13
 Amended on the Senate floor to limit the number of charters approved to 15 per year and to give veto authority to school boards in C districts until July 2016, 3/13/13
 Passed by full Senate; 30 yeas, 21 nays; 3/13/13
 House invited conference, 3/18/13
 House conferees: John Moore, Charles Busby, Brad Mayo; Senate conferees: Gray Tollison, Terry Burton, Willie Simmons
 Conference report filed, 4/1/13: Link to conference report here. TPC's position on the conference report: Vote yes.
 Conference report adopted by House; 62 yeas, 56 nays, 1 absent; held on a motion to reconsider, 4/2/13; motion to reconsider tabled, 4/3/13  See Vote
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 34 yeas, 18 nays; 4/3/13  See Vote
 Signed by Governor, 4/17/13
 
Mississippi Public Charter Schools Act of 2013: Allows charter schools to locate throughout the state. A (star) and B (high performing) school districts must give local school board approval for charters to locate within their districts. Creates the Mississippi Public Charter School Authorizing Board, which consists of seven appointed members (3 appointed by governor, 3 appointed by lt. governor, 1 appointed by State Board of Education), to serve as the sole authorizer of charter schools. Students may cross district lines to attend charter schools. Allows state and local per pupil funding to follow students. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability assessments and ratings as traditional public schools. Allows for-profit companies to manage charter schools and does not require the authorizer to grant charters only to applicants with a track record of success. See bill here.
•  Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/15/13
•  Amended by Senate Education Committee to prohibit virtual charter schools; Committee Substitute bill passed by Committee as amended, 1/15/13
  Amended on the Senate floor to require charters to be revoked after 2 consecutive years of an F (failing) rating in state accountability system   
• Passed by full Senate; 31 yeas, 17 nays; 1/16/13  See Vote
 Held on a motion to reconsider, 1/16/13
 Motion to reconsider tabled, 1/123/13
 Referred to House Education Committee, 1/24/13 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill. 
The bill should be amended further to:
 Limit charter schools to chronically underperforming school zones
 Eliminate the loophole that allows for-profit corporations to run charter schools
 Require the authorizer to grant charters only to applicants with a track record of success 
 Amended in Committee to strike all existing language and replace with the language of HB 369, further amended to allow students to cross district lines to attend any charter school and to add a "New Start School" provision (explanation here), 3/5/13  
• Died on the calendar, 3/13/13

SB 2714  Dead
Creates a charter school district in Sunflower County. 
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/21/13 
• Passed by Committee, 1/31/13 
Died on the calendar, 2/14/13 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill.
Includes provisions that could be detrimental to students in Sunflower County, including a mandate that the charter school district include at least one virtual charter school. 
 
 Appointed Superintendents 
 
SB 2199  Dead
Requires the appointment, rather than election, of all local school superintendents by their local school boards beginning January 1, 2016, unless voters in a county have voted to retain the office of elected superintendent. At the expiration of the term of any county superintendent of education elected in the November 2011 general election, the superintendent of said county shall not be elected but shall thereafter be subject to appointment by the local school board. A county-wide referendum on the question of retaining the office of elected superintendent will be held If at any time prior to January 1, 2015, a petition for referendum is filed and signed by not less than 20% or 1,500, whichever is less, of registered voters in a county, excluding municipal separate school district boundaries.  A majority vote will decide the referendum.
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/21/13 
• Passed by Committee, 1/24/13 
Amended on the Senate floor to require that any reverse referendum be held at the time of the November general election in either 2013 or 2014, 2/12/13.
Passed by full Senate; 45 yeas, 6 nays; 2/12/13  See Vote
Referred to House Education Committee, 2/21/13
• Passed by Committee, 2/27/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill.  
• Amended on the House floor to require any county having an elected county superintendent of education to hold a direct referendum on retaining the office of elected superintendent in November 2014, 3/11/13 
• Failed to pass the full House; 52 yeas, 65 nays; 3/11/13  See Vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/11/13
 
• Reconsidered; passed by full House; 62 yeas, 55 nays; 3/13/13
 Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/18/13 
 Senate invited conference, 3/20/13
 Senate conferees: Gray Tollison, Nancy Collins, Videt Carmichael; House conferees: John Moore, Jeffrey Guice, Brad Mayo
 Conference report filed, 4/1/13: Link to conference report here. TPC's position on the conference report: Vote yes. 
 Conference report failed to pass House; 52 yeas, 66 nays; held on a motion to reconsider; 4/2/13
 Died on the calendar, 4/3/13
 
HB 449  Dead
Requires the appointment by their local school boards, rather than election, of all local school superintendents beginning January 1, 2016. If a vacancy occurs in an elected superintendent's position prior to January 1, 2016, the position will automatically become an appointed one.
 Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13 
• Passed by Committee, 1/31/13 
Died on the calendar, 2/14/13 
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill.  
 
Tax Credit Scholarships (Neo-vouchers) and Vouchers 
 
HB 906  Dead
Provides state support for tuition to non-public schools. Individuals and corporations will be given tax credits for donating to an "Opportunity Scholarship Program" and in return, those donations will be used to send low income public school students to private schools.  
 Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13 
• Passed by Committee, 1/30/13 
Died on the calendar, 2/14/13 
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill. 
The bill uses tax credit scholarships (neo-vouchers) to divert state money to private schools, while reducing revenue available to fund public schools. 
 
HB 1004  Dead
Provides vouchers for tuition payments to private schools using MAEP funds. Purported to provide better service to children with special needs eligibility rulings, though the bill states that the private schools receiving vouchers are not required to provide special needs services and do not have to comply with the IEP ruling. Eligibility ranges from minor speech therapy needs to severe disabilities. Children with IEPs or 504 accommodations may transfer to any public school district with capacity; the receiving school district is required to accept the student. Allows districts to avoid responsibility for providing high quality special education services while "pushing students out" to districts that are serving students well. MAEP funding follows the child. 
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13 
• Passed by Committee, 1/31/13
Died on the calendar, 2/14/13
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill. 
Sends MAEP dollars to private schools that provide no special education services. Allows districts to avoid responsibility for providing high quality special education services and to "push students out" to districts that are serving students well without transferring local funding.
 
Reading Initiative, Teacher Quality, and Merit Pay
 
HB 890  Dead
Governor's Education Works Program. Reading Initiative: Requires screening of all K-3rd students to identify reading deficiencies and provides intensive reading instruction for those students who have deficiencies. Requires that students be retained if deficiencies are not resolved by end of third grade; allows good cause exemptions for some students. Requires retention of students who show substantial deficiencies in reading or math in seventh grade and prescribes  remedies for those deficiencies. Provides training for teachers and principals in kindergarten through grade three to improve reading instruction. Provides reading coaches to improve reading instruction and intervention. Teacher quality: Raises entry standards for teacher education programs to require a minimum ACT score of 21 and GPA of 3.0. It establishes a Teacher Education Scholars Program to provide scholarships to college and university students in teacher education programs who hold a minimum ACT score of 28 and a GPA of 3.5.  Merit pay:  Provides for a pilot program in four school districts (Clarksdale, Gulfport, Lamar County, Rankin County) to implement a performance-based compensation system for school years 2013-2015. 
 Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13
• Committee Substitute bill passed by Committee, 1/30/13 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the Committee Substitute bill. 
• Amended on the House floor to include a $5,000-per-year teacher base pay raise, 2/11/13 
• Passed by the full House; 111 yeas, 4 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 2/11/13  See Vote
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/15/13
 Amended in Committee to include language from several bills: SB 2189 (charter schools) as it passed the Senate with an added provision to limit the number of charters approved to 15 per year and a change to give veto authority to school boards in C districts until July 2016, SB 2347 (literacy initiative without teacher training and reading coaches), and a "New Start School" provision (explanation here); also omits the reading initiative and merit pay provisions in the original version of HB 890, 3/5/13
 Passed by Committee as amended, 3/5/13
 Amended on Senate floor to remove the "New Start School" provision and to phase in the teacher education requirement of an ACT score of 21 as follows:  in 2015-2016 at least 60% of students entering teacher education programs must have a minimum ACT score of 21 and a 3.0 GPA, moving to 70% in 2016-2017 and 80% in 2017-2018; 3/12/13
 Passed by full Senate as amended; 28 yeas, 23 nays; 3/12/13
 Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/12/13
 Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/14/13
 Returned to House for concurrence, 3/18/13
 Motion to invite conference failed; 58 yeas, 60 nays; 3/26/13
 Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/26/13
 House invited conference; 61 yeas, 56 nays; 3/27/13
 House conferees: John Moore, Brad Mayo, Charles Busby; Senate conferees: not yet named
 Died in conference, 4/1/13  


SB 2658
  
Passed by House & Senate, Signed into law by Gov. Bryant
Governor's Education Works Program. Reading Initiative: Requires screening of all K-3rd students to identify reading deficiencies and provides intensive reading instruction for those students who have deficiencies. Requires that students be retained if deficiencies are not resolved by end of third grade; allows good cause exemptions for some students. Requires retention of students who show substantial deficiencies in reading or math in seventh grade and prescribes  remedies for those deficiencies. Provides training for teachers and principals in kindergarten through grade three to improve reading instruction. Provides reading coaches to improve reading instruction and intervention. Open Enrollment: Allows students to transfer within districts and between districts throughout the state if receiving district accepts enrollment based on capacity.  Teacher Quality: Raises entry standards for teacher education programs to require a minimum ACT score of 21 and GPA of 3.0. It establishes a Teacher Education Scholars Program to provide scholarships to college and university students in teacher education programs who hold a minimum ACT score of 28 and a GPA of 3.5.  Merit Pay:  Provides for a pilot program in four school districts (Clarksdale, Gulfport, Lamar County, Rankin County) to implement a performance-based compensation system for school years 2013-2015. 
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/21/13
• Amended in Committee to remove the Reading Initiative and Open Enrollment portions of the bill 
 Committee Substitute bill passed by Committee as amended, 1/31/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the Committee Substitute bill.
 Amended on the Senate floor to provide a $6,000/year supplement to scholars who teach in a school rated D or F with the supplement to be paid for a maximum of five years. After the five years, the teacher must obtain National Board Certification to continue to receive the supplement.
 Passed by the full Senate; 42 yeas, 9 nays; 2/12/13  See Vote 
 Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/21/13
 Amended in Education Committee to strike all of SB 2658 and replace with the language of HB 890 as it passed the House, amended to remove the 7th grade provisions and the $5,000 teacher base pay raise, further amended to add a $6,000/year salary supplement to scholars who teach in a D or F school and to stipulate that scholars must achieve National Board Certification in order to continue receiving the supplement after five years, 2/27/13
 Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/27/13
 Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/5/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the amended bill.  
• Amended on the House floor to remove the minimum 21 ACT score from teacher education entry standards, 3/11/13  
• Passed by full House; 82 yeas, 38 nays; 3/11/13  See Vote
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/13/13  
• Senate invited conference, 3/20/13
 Senate conferees: Gray Tollison, Nancy Collins, Videt Carmichael; House conferees: John Moore, Becky Currie, Brad Mayo
 Conference report filed, 4/1/13: Provides for a scholarship program for teacher education students with a 28 ACT and 3.5 GPA, and a merit pay pilot program in four districts; does not include a literacy initiative (see SB 2347 below) or licensure requirements (addressed in a separate bill). TPC's position on the conference report:  Vote yes.
 Conference report adopted by House; 114 yeas, 0 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 4/2/13  See Vote
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 42 yeas, 10 nays; 4/3/13  See Vote
 Signed by Governor, 4/17/13  

SB 2347  
Passed by House & Senate, Signed into law by Gov. Bryant
Literacy-based Promotion Act: Requires screening of all K-3rd students to identify reading deficiencies and requires that districts provide intensive reading instruction for those students who have deficiencies. Requires that students be retained if deficiencies are not resolved by end of third grade; allows good cause exemptions for some students. Requires retention of students who show substantial deficiencies in reading or math in seventh grade and prescribes  remedies for those deficiencies. Does not provide training or reading coaches.  
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/21/13  
 Committee Substitute bill passed by Committee, 1/31/13
 Passed by full Senate; 51 yeas, 0 nays; 2/7/13  See vote    
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill.
The bill should be amended to:
Provide adequate training for teachers and administrators and to provide reading coaches to improve reading instruction and intervention.   
 Referred to House Education Committee, 2/20/13
 Amended in Committee to make the provisions of the bill subject to appropriation and to add a reverse repealer, 2/27/13
 Passed by House Education Committee, 2/27/13
 Passed by full House, 3/5/13
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/11/13
• Senate invited conference, 3/20/13
• Senate conferees: Gray Tollison, Terry Burton, Angela Hill; House conferees: John Moore, Rita Martinson, Becky Currie
 Conference report filed, 4/1/13:  Requires retention of third grade students not proficient in reading, does not prescribe reading coaches and re-training for teachers and principals, includes unfunded mandates, based on a woefully inadequate $9.5-million appropriation. TPC's position on the conference report: Vote no.
 Conference report adopted by House; 99 yeas, 16 nays, 4 absent or not voting; 4/2/13  See Vote
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 49 yeas, 3 nays; 4/3/13  See Vote
 Signed by Governor, 4/17/13
 
Early Childhood Education

HB 781
  
Dead
Early Learning Act of 2013: Establishes a scholarship-based prekindergarten program with funding on a phased-in basis. Provides for prekindergarten to be implemented first in underperforming school districts and allows for a state income tax credit for donations to qualified prekindergarten providers. Establishes the "Prekindergarten Provider Fund" as a special fund in the state treasury.
 Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 1/21/13
• Committee Substitute bill passed by House Education Committee, 1/31/13 
• Committee Substitute bill passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/5/13
• Amended on the House floor to remove the tax credit provision and to remove the stipulation that participating childcare centers have a rating of at least a "3" on QRIS, 2/14/13
• Passed by full House as amended; 93 yeas, 19 nays, 8 present not voting; 2/14/13  See Vote
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/22/13
 Amended in Committee to strike all of HB 781 and insert SB 2395, 2/28/13
 Died on the calendar, 3/13/13 
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the Committee Substitute bill.  
  
SB 2395  Passed by House & Senate, Signed into law by Gov. Bryant
Early Learning Collaborative Act of 2013: Establishes a scholarship-based prekindergarten program with funding on a phased-in basis. Provides for prekindergarten to be implemented first in underperforming school districts and allows for a state income tax credit for donations to qualified prekindergarten providers. 
 Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 1/21/13
• Committee Substitute bill passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/31/13 
• Committee Substitute bill passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/5/13
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the Committee Substitute bill. 
• Passed by full Senate; 46 yeas, 5 nays; 2/7/13  See Vote  
 Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/20/13
 Amended in Education Committee to strike all of SB 2395 and insert the amended version of HB 781, 2/27/13
 Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/27/13
 Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/5/13 
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the bill. 
 Passed by full House; 103 yeas, 13 nays, 4 present not voting; 3/12/13  
 Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/13/13
 Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/14/13
 Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/14/13
 Senate invited conference, 3/20/13
 Senate conferees: Gray Tollison, Terry Burton, Brice Wiggins; House conferees: John Moore, Toby Barker, Charles Busby
 Conference report filed, 4/1/13: Link to conference report here. TPC's position on the conference report: Vote yes.
 Conference report adopted by House; 99 yeas, 16 nays; 4/2/13  See Vote
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 37 yeas, 11 nays; 4/2/13  See Vote
 Signed by Governor, 4/17/13

Districts of Innovation
  
HB 118  Dead
Authorizes the State Board of Education (SBE) to create a program whereby local school boards can apply to become Districts of Innovation. Authorizes SBE to prescribe the statutory requirements with which applicants must comply and to identify areas in which districts may request waivers of statutory requirements. Allows approval of up to five districts of innovation per year; initial approval will be for a period of five years.
 Referred to House Education Committee, 1/11/13  
• Committee Substitute bill passed by Committee, 2/4/13
 Passed by the full House; 99 yeas, 15 nays, 6 absent or not voting;  2/11/13  See Vote 
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/15/13
 Died in Committee, 3/5/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the Committee Substitute bill. 
   
School Boards
     
HB 519  Dead
Gives boards of supervisors and municipalities veto authority over school districts' requests for increases in local funding.  
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/21/13
 Committee Substitute passed by Committee, 1/31/13
Died on the calendar, 2/14/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on the Committee Substitute bill.
Would give undue influence to entities that are not tasked with providing a high quality education to public school children
 
SB 2141  Dead
Requires election of all school board members every four years at the time of presidential election.  
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/14/13
 Committee Substitute passed by Committee, 2/5/13
 The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on the Committee Substitute bill.
Would remove continuity from school board functions. A complete turnover of a board in the middle of a school year would be unnecessarily disruptive; terms should be staggered to provide continuity.  
 Amended on the Senate floor to instead create a task force to study the selection and governance structures of local school boards in Mississippi and to provide a report for consideration in the 2014 legislative session, 2/14/13
 Passed by full Senate as amended, 2/14/13 
 Referred to House Education Committee, 2/21/13
 Passed by Committee, 2/27/13
 Passed by full House, 3/6/13
 The Parents' Campaign does not have a position on the amended bill.
 Enrolled bill signed by Senate and House, 3/11/13
 Vetoed by Gov. Bryant, 3/18/13  See veto statement
 Veto referred to Senate Education Committee, 3/20/13
• Died on the calendar
 
K-12 Appropriations

HB 1648  Passed by House & Senate, Signed into law by Gov. Bryant
Funds K-12 public schools for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 at same level as FY 2013, plus funds to cover increased retirement costs. Would result in funding of MAEP at $300,597,101 below the amount required by law (full funding).
• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 2/18/13
 Passed by Committee, 2/19/13 
 Passed by full House, 2/20/13
 Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/27/13
 Amended in Committee to add $8-million for pre-k program and $7.5-million for the Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) school safety program, 3/13/13
 Passed by full Senate, 3/14/13 
 Returned to House for concurrence, 3/19/13
 House invited conference, 3/20/13
 House conferees: Herb Frierson, John Moore, Reecy Dickson; Senate conferees: Eugene Clarke, Terry Burton, Videt Carmichael
 Conference report filed, 3/30/13
 Conference report adopted by House and Senate, 3/31/13  See details
 Signed by Governor, 4/17/13
 
Summaries of additional education bills are available from the Mississippi Department of Education: see Senate education bills here and House education bills here

 
 
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