01-28-2015 Alerts

Remember to go here for email addresses of committees. The most critical items below are in red and would be the ones to write quick letters on, RIGHT NOW. Anything under “House Education Committee” means you should email those committee members before their meeting at 2 today. Make sure you scroll up from an item and ensure it’s in the right committee. HB means House bill, SB means Senate bill.

https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/2015-legislation

 

House Education Committee
Wed, Jan 28, 2:00 pm

30 House Building

  1. HB0069 English Language Arts Instructional Tool   (C. Moss)
  • General Description: This bill provides for English language arts instruction in public schools.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires the State Board of Education to select one or more technology providers, through a request for proposals process, to provide software licenses for an interactive web-based English language arts instructional tool for students in grades 4 through 12;

o   specifies criteria for the State Board of Education to consider in selecting a provider;

o   provides for the distribution of the English language arts instructional tool licenses to school districts and charter schools; and

o   requires the State Board of Education to annually report testing data regarding the English language arts instructional tool to the Education Interim Committee.

Morgan: AGAINST.

Uses state money to fund curriculum. The State’s job is to provide standards, not curriculum. There is a conflict of interest when the state is financially invested in a curriculum and has the power (despite not having the authority) to coerce district compliance.

Such systems will deny parents the ability to opt their child out, and provide the third party contractor with the immense amounts of personal data, ideologies, and experiences children tend to write about in school essays.

However parents will be able to have full legal access to the program as it is test prep material and not the test itself. (20 USC § 1232h Right to Review Curriculum.)

 

  1. HB0081 Local School Board Meetings Requirements   (C. Hall)
  • General Description: This bill establishes meeting location requirements for local school boards.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires a local school board to hold the local school board’s public meetings within the geographic boundary of the local school board’s school district;

o   an exception for meetings held during a declared disaster or local emergency; and

o   makes technical changes.

Morgan: FOR

Enforces reasonable requirements for local school board meetings. Such as they must be located within the district, and conduct a meeting in accordance with parliamentary order and procedure; ethical behavior; and civil discourse.

This will give the minority more of an opportunity to voice concerns.

Gives a well-defined exception for disaster events..

 

  1. HB0093 School District Amendments   (C. Hall)
  • General Description: This bill amends certain provisions related to the creation of a new school district.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   provides that a qualifying city or interlocal agreement participant may not submit
for voter approval a measure to create a new school district if the results of a
feasibility study show that the five-year projected average annual revenue of the
proposed new school district exceeds the five-year projected average annual cost of the proposed new school district by more than 5%; and makes technical and conforming changes.

Oak: FOR

I think this bill is meant to prevent the financial problems of a Canyons/Jordan split. As such I am for it. However, another bill may come along soon that is better than this.

 

  1. HB0054 Public Education Increased Funding Program   (J. Draxler)
  • General Description: This bill amends income tax provisions and provides for public school funding.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   increases the income tax rate imposed on an individual’s state taxable income from 5% to 6%; creates the Income Tax Growth Account within the Education Fund;

o   requires the increased collections from the state’s income tax to be deposited into the Income Tax Growth Account;

o   subject to legislative appropriation, requires the State Board of Education to distribute money from the Income Tax Growth Account to local education agencies  (LEAs) through the Pay for Performance Incentive Pay Program and the Digital Teaching and Learning Technology Program;

o   creates the Pay for Performance Incentive Pay Program;

o   requires an LEA to develop a pay for performance incentive payment plan to distribute incentive payments to outstanding classroom teachers within the LEA and submit the plan to the State Board of Education for approval;

o   creates the Digital Teaching and Learning Technology Program;

o   provides that an LEA may use money received from the Digital Teaching and Learning Technology Program for certain purposes;

Morgan: AGAINST

A tax increase from 5% to 6% means a 20% increase in taxes. A huge amount of money to fund two education programs. Such a huge influx of money will tremendously increase State power and influence over districts, and dramatically change the way schools think about money.

Requires 25% of the money be spent on digital devices, software, and infrastructure.

Is this even necessary, wouldn’t schools put that much money towards technology anyways? Why not allow them to use if for textbooks if they want?

I want proper legal protections put in place to protect my kids before the technology is.

Takes 75% of the money. Reinforces the current teacher accountability program, and provides a precedent of attaching monetary strings for district compliance in these programs. Get them hooked on the money, then change the rules of the game. I would rather pay my taxes directly to the district than run it through the state and have it come back with strings. Did I mention how much money we are talking about here? 1/6 of state income tax revenue.

Accountable to whom? (Current law)

  • (a)        self-evaluation; to self
  • (b)        student and parent input; to students and parents
  • (c)        peer observation; to other teachers
  • (d)        supervisor observations; to principals
  • (e)        evidence of professional growth; to third part companies providing professional growth seminars – how many propaganda seminars did you attend this year?
  • (f)        student achievement data; and to grades
  • (g)        other indicators of instructional improvement;

However the only party required to participate is the one giving the evaluation. The above mentioned ideas are just suggestions. Only multiple lines of evidence are required.

 

 

  1. HB0067 Grants for Digital Learning   (J. Anderegg)
  • General Description: This bill provides funding for local education agencies to facilitate digital learning.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   provides for grants to local education agencies for:

o   the purchase of digital content and hardware;

o   professional development for educators; and

o   peripherals and networking equipment;

o   establishes requirements for a local education agency to participate in the grant program;

o   requires the State Board of Education to report on the use of the grants to facilitate digital learning; and

o   repeals provisions related to grants for digital learning on July 1, 2025.

Morgan: AGAINST

$10,000,000

$5,000,000 of the appropriation under this section is to be used to purchase the digital content and hardware

$5,000,000 of the appropriation under this section is to be used for the professional development

The appropriation under this section is: ongoing, subject to availability of funds; and non-lapsing.

Is this even necessary, wouldn’t schools put that much money towards technology anyways? Why not allow them to use if for textbooks if they want?

I want proper legal protections put in place to protect my kids before the technology is.

Shows financial bias towards digital learning, when we should objectively weigh the pros and cons of digital learning against traditional learning.

 

 

Senate Education Committee

Tues, Jan 27, 2:00 pm

210 Senate Building

  1. SB0060 American Civics Education Initiative  (H. Stephenson)
  • General Description: This bill requires an individual to pass the basic civics test as a condition for receiving a high school diploma or adult education secondary diploma.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires a high school student to pass a basic civics test as a condition for receiving a high school diploma;

o   requires a student enrolled in an adult education program to pass a basic civics test as a condition for receiving an adult education secondary diploma;

o   specifies the number of correct answers an individual must provide to pass a basic civics test; and

o   requires the State Board of Education to make rules.

Morgan: AGAINST

Seems like a good idea but
“Basic civics test” means a test that includes all 100 questions on the civics test form used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

If the federal government changes their questions do we change ours? What kind of power does that give them over our students? I think a little more clarification is needed.

 

  1. SB0033 Public School Early Graduation Amendments  (A. Osmond)
  • General Description: This bill amends and enacts certain early graduation requirements and incentives.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires a public school to prepare a sample early graduation schedule to provide to an eighth grade student and the student’s parent or guardian;

o   requires a public school to notify an eighth grade student and the student’s parent or guardian of early graduation requirements and the centennial scholarship requirements; and

o   increases the centennial scholarship amount for students who graduate high school early.

Morgan: I don’t understand the need to require schools to inform everybody of everything, but other than the seemingly unnecessary layer of bureaucracy, the increase is from $1000 to $2000 seems a small amount considering how much we save by getting them out of school early. However the effectiveness of this program is dependent on the kids going into college academically prepared..

Oak: FOR. Incentives to exit the school system early save the taxpayers money, and hopefully motivate students early on to accelerate, though I think the amount should be larger such as $2000 per year early for use at a state college.

 

3…. SB0034 Charter School Authorization Amendments   (A.. Osmond) 

  • General Description: This bill allows a municipal legislative body to authorize a charter school located within the municipality’s boundaries.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   allows a municipal legislative body to authorize a charter school to be established and operated within the municipality’s boundaries, subject to the approval of the State Board of Education;

o   specifies procedures for the application and approval of a charter school authorized by a municipal legislative body;

o   allows a municipal legislative body to impose a fee, up to a certain amount, for costs of oversight of, and technical assistance to, a charter school; and

o   prescribes a municipal legislative body’s responsibilities related to authorizing a charter school.

Morgan: AGAINST

Bad for those of us against or for charters as it provides another layer of bureaucracy which will further restrict their current freedom bringing them a step closer to the public school model and make it harder to remove charters from the system as municipalities could claim dependency on the money.

 

 


  1. SB0037 Data Reporting Regarding Front-line Teachers  (A. Osmond)
  • General Description: This bill establishes reporting requirements for the State Board of Education related to quantifying the number of certain teachers.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   requires the State Board of Education to:

  • report data to the Education Interim Committee on the allocation of resources for front-line teachers; and
  • make the data available on the Internet.

Morgan: Requires LEA’s to report aggregate data regarding how much they spend on teachers. Seems alright.


  1. SB0038 Behavioral Testing and Tracking Restrictions  (A. Osmond)
  • General Description:  This bill amends certain provisions in code with references to behavioral testing and tracking.
  • Highlighted Provisions:

o   eliminates references to behavioral testing or tracking in public schools; and

o   makes technical changes.

  • 81 (e) allow the Department of Workforce Services to analyze and report on student userinterests[,and education paths[, and behaviors] within the education system [so as to predictively determine appropriate career and educational outcomes and results]; and
  • [(d) the use of student behavior indicators in assessing student performance; and]
  • 163 (1) The State Board of Education, through the state superintendent of public instruction, shall develop a plan to analyze the results of the U-PASS scores for all grade levels and courses required under Section53A-1-603 [and the student behavior indicators referred to in Section 53A-1-602]…..

Morgan: FOR – I appreciate that Aaron is getting behind some of our principles, even if we don’t always agree. This is a step in the right direction for sure. Simple and well done.

Oak: FOR

2 thoughts on “01-28-2015 Alerts”

  1. This money will be used by districts to coerce/reward compliance with Common Core. Last year Alpine district rolled out its new teacher evaluation standards, and they are linked tightly with Common Core.

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