2015 Priority Bills

Each year, The Parents’ Campaign closely monitors and takes a position on several education bills. Below are the priority bills for the 2015 legislative session.

Law

HB 488 – Amends the dyslexia higher education forgivable loan program to allow loan forgiveness for those who serve as dyslexia therapists in private special purpose schools; removes provision requiring that loan recipients provides services in public schools
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/30/15
• Passed by House; 83 yeas, 35 nays, 4 absent or not voting; 2/10/15  See vote
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Appropriations committees, 2/17/15
• Passed by Senate Education and Appropriations committees, 3/3/15
• Strike-all amendment: limits loan recipients teaching in private special purpose schools to 5 at any time, establishes fund for grants to districts to provide approved dyslexia therapy services; passed by Senate, 3/10/15
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/12/15
• House concurred with Senate amendment, 3/23/15
• Signed by Governor, 3/31/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.
HB 1536  K-12 Appropriation – Provides an increase in MAEP for FY2016 of $106.7-million, $40-million of which is to cover the second year of the teacher pay raise ($307.8-million is required for full funding); fully funds National Board Certification program and Chickasaw Cession; provides $12-million for classroom supplies, $3-million for early childhood collaboratives, $3-million for Mississippi Building Blocks, $15-million for literacy program and assessments, $6-million for Teach for America, $3.5-million for Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services, $1.5-million for Performance-based Compensation pilot program, $2.2-million for Digital Interactive Learning pilot program, $1.8-million for State Longitudinal Data System, and $200,000 for Smart Lab project
• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 2/16/15
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/16/15
• Passed by House, 120 yeas, 0 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 2/18/15
• Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/20/15
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/16/15
• Amendment 1: add $25-million to MAEP for FY2016, phase in full funding of MAEP by FY2018; failed to pass the Senate; 20 yeas, 31 nays, 1 absent or not voting; 3/17/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a yea vote on Amendment 1.
• Passed by Senate; 49 yeas, 2 nays, 1 absent or not voting; 3/17/15
• Signed by Governor, 3/25/15
HCR 9 – Proposes an amendment to Section 201 of the Mississippi Constitution to require the Legislature to provide for the establishment, maintenance, and support of an effective system of free public schools; the alternative will appear on the November 2015 ballot as #42A alongside the original, citizen-sponsored initiative measure #42
• Referred to House Constitution Committee and passed by committee, 1/12/15
• Passed by House, 1/13/15  See vote
• Motion to reconsider entered, 1/13/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 1/14/15
• Referred to Senate Rules Committee and passed by committee, 1/14/15
• Passed by Senate, 1/14/15  See vote
• Motion to reconsider entered, 1/14/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 1/15/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a nay vote on the resolution.
SB 2161 – Mandates adoption of new state standards to replace the Common Core State Standards and a new assessment to be aligned with the new standards, creates the Mississippi Commission on College and Career Readiness to assist the State Board of Education in developing and implementing the new standards, directs the State Board of Education to withdraw from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/9/15
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/29/15
• Passed by Senate; 31 yeas, 16 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 2/11/15
• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations commitees, 2/24/15
• Committee Amendment: establish a commission to recommend additional academic standards or propose changes to existing academic standards to the State Board of Education, and to recommend formative assessments aligned to proposed changes that would also reduce the number of high-stakes assessments given in public schools, passed by House Education Committee, 2/26/15
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/3/15
• Amended to require State Board of Education to adopt a minimum of 75 percent of the commission’s recommendations, passed by House, 3/11/15
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/17/15
• Senate declined to concur and invited conference, 3/25/15
• Conferees: Representatives Moore, Dixon, and Barker; Senators Tollison, Hill, and Polk
• Conference report filed, provides for creation of the Mississippi Commision on College and Career Readiness, which will recommend additional academic standards or propose changes to existing academic standards and present those recommendations to the State Board of Education, the Governor, and the appropriate committees of the Legislature by December 1, 2015; prohibits the Mississippi Department of Education from requiring school districts to administer the Partnership for Assessment of College and Career Readiness (PARCC) test or any other consortia-developed test, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year; removes the requirement for students to pass assessments in the Subject Area Testing Program (SATP) for high school graduation, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year; 3/30/15
• Conference report adopted by House, 3/31/15
• Conference report adopted by Senate, 3/31/15
• Vetoed by Governor, 4/23/15
The Parents’ Campaign has not taken a position on this bill, but has concerns about maintaining the high quality of Mississippi’s academic standards in the future.
SB 2191 – Allows public school districts or individual schools within a district the flexibility to implement innovations for the purpose of improving instruction, allows districts to establish a virtual school (not just online classes)
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/16/15
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/29/15
• Passed by Senate; 48 yeas, 0 nays, 4 absent or not voting; 2/10/15
• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/24/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors amendments to this bill to remove the provision for virtual schools.
• Strike-all amendment: replace SB 2191 with language of HB 861, thereby removing the provision for virtual schools, passed by House Education Committee, 2/26/15
• Passed by House; 118 yeas, 2 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 3/4/15  See vote
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/5/15
• Senate concurred with House amendment, 3/18/15
• Signed by Governor, 3/31/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea on the amended bill.
SB 2695  – Diverts funds from the State Treasury to pay tuition for students with special needs (IEP) to attend private school; school receiving vouchers is not required to provide special education services and has no state oversight or accountability
See analysis of SB 2695 by The Parents’ Campaign Research & Education Fund here.
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/27/15
• Strike-all amendment: replace SB 2695 with language of HB 814, failed to pass; 17 yeas, 32 nays;  2/11/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea on the strike-all amendment.
• Unamended bill passed by Senate; 28 yeas, 22 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 1/27/15  See vote
• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/24/15
• Strike-all amendment: replace SB 2695 with language of HB 394 (House voucher bill), passed by House Education Committee, 2/26/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay on the strike-all amendment.
• Amendment 1: strike all and replace with bill to establish position of autism services coordinator and a fund to provide supplemental services for children with special needs, available for up to 4,000 children annually and managed by Mississippi Department of Health; failed to pass the House; 56 yeas, 59 nays, 6 absent or not voting; 3/11/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea on Amendment 1.
• Amendment 2: strike all and replace with bill to establish Office of Special Needs Counsel; failed to pass the House; 54 yeas, 62 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 3/11/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea on Amendment 2.
• Amendment 4: strike all and replace with Amendment 1, amended to have fund managed by Mississippi Department of Education; failed to pass the House; 57 yeas, 60 nays, 4 absent or not voting; 3/11/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea on Amendment 4.
• Strike-all: replace SB 2695 with language of HB 394 (House voucher bill); passed by House; 65 yeas, 51 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 3/11/15  See vote
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/13/15
• Senate concurred with House amendment, 3/26/15
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/26/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/31/15
• Signed by Governor, 4/16/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.

Dead

HB 156 – Removes requirement for a combined state and federal accountability system; revises name of state standards from “Common Core State Standards” to “Mississippi College- and Career-ready Standards”
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/12/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/21/15
• Passed by House; 95 yeas, 21 nays, 6 absent or not voting; 1/22/15  See vote
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/9/15
• Died in committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
HB 385 – Requires the state to contract with a single-source vendor to develop and administer statewide assessments for students in grades 3-12; vendor must have at least 50 years of experience in the administration of a nationally recognized college entrance readiness exam
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/12/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/21/15
• Passed by House; 116 yeas, 3 nays, 3 absent or not voting; 1/29/15
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Accountability, Efficiency, and Transparency committees, 2/17/15
• Died in committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign has not taken a position on this bill.
HB 394 – Diverts funds from the State Treasury to pay tuition for students with special needs (IEP) to attend private school; school receiving vouchers is not required to provide special education services and has no state oversight or accountability
See analysis of HB 394 by The Parents’ Campaign Research & Education Fund here.
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/16/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/3/15
• Died on calendar, 2/12/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.
HB 449 – Prohibits school personnel from engaging in political activity of any kind, including contacting legislators, on school time or property; further prohibits school board members and superintendents from political activity during school hours or on their personal time or property, including lobbying the Legislature for policy change or attempting to influence the outcome of any candidate, political party, or issue during an election; any violation will result in a misdemeanor offense with a fine of up to $10,000
See analysis of HB 449 by The Parents’ Campaign Research & Education Fund here.
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Died in committee, 2/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.
HB 471 – Provides for use of Average Daily Membership (ADM) rather than Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to calculate MAEP funding; could be improved by removing the ADA benchmark requirement
• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations committees, 1/19/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/28/15
• Committee Substitute passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/3/15
• Committee Substitute passed by House Education Committee, 2/3/15
• Passed by House; 80 yeas, 39 nays, 3 absent or not voting; 2/11/15  See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/11/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/16/15
• Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/19/15
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/3/15
• Passed by Senate; 52 yeas, 0 nays, 0 absent or not voting; 3/4/15  See vote
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/5/15
• House declined to concur and invited conference, 3/23/15
• Conferees: Representatives Moore, Frierson, and Busby; Senators Clarke, Burton, and Wiggins
• Conference report filed, provides for use of Average Daily Membership (ADM) rather than Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to calculate MAEP funding, except in cases where ADA falls below 94.5% of ADM or above 103% of the auditor’s student count; changes the requirement that students be present for 63% of the instructional day in order to be counted as present for the full day by revising the language to 60% of the normal school day; 3/30/15
• Conference report adopted by House, 3/31/15
• Died on calendar, 4/1/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
HB 479 – Changes the definition in grades 3-11 of “at-risk” students from poverty-related to those who score Basic or Minimal on all state assessments in the previous year
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/30/15
• Died on calendar, 2/12/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.
HB 582  Increase Salary of Assistant Teachers  DEAD – Provides for a $1,000 increase to the base salary (currently $12,500) of assistant teachers, starting with the 2015-2016 school year
• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations committees, 1/19/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/28/15
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/3/15
• Amended by House to provide a $2,500 increase, 2/11/15
• Passed by House; 115 yeas, 0 nays, 7 absent or not voting; 2/11/15  See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/11/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/13/15
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Appropriations committees, 2/17/15
• Died in committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
HB 745 – Clarifies good cause exemptions to include certain students with disabilities who have an IEP or 504 plan or have been retained previously
• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Committee Substitute Passed by House Education Committee, 2/2/15
• Amendment 1: hold harmless this year’s third-graders who do not meet the cut score on new state reading test and provide intensive remediation, passed by House; 65 yeas, 55 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 2/10/15  See vote
• Amended bill passed by House; 117 yeas, 1 nay, 4 absent or not voting; 2/10/15
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/11/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/13/15
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Appropriations committees, 2/17/15
• Died in committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
HB 814 – Establishes a separate line item for state funding designated for special education, creates a position of statewide coordinator of Autism Spectrum Disorder services, creates the Children with Special Needs Fund to provide financial assistance to families of children with disabilities
See analysis of HB 814 by The Parents’ Campaign Research & Education Fund here.
• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations committees, 1/19/15
• Died in committee, 2/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.

HB 861 – Allows public school districts or individual schools within a district the flexibility to implement innovations for the purpose of improving instruction

• Referred to House Education Committee, 1/16/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 1/30/15
• Passed by House; 118 yeas, 1 nay, 3 absent or not voting; 2/10/15  See vote
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/17/15
• Died in committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
HB 1629 – Reduces state general fund revenue by $1.7-billion over 15 years
• Referred to House Ways and Means Committee, 2/23/15
• Passed by House Ways and Means Committee, 2/24/15
• Amendment 1: this act shall not be in effect until the MAEP has been fully funded for three consecutive years, failed to pass the House; 54 yeas, 63 nays, 5 absent or not voting; 2/25/15 See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a yea vote on Amendment 1.
• Amendment 2: this act shall not be in effect until PERS has been funded at 80% for three consecutive years, failed to pass the House; 53 yeas, 66 nays, 3 absent or not voting; 2/25/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a yea vote on Amendment 2.
• Passed by House; 83 yeas, 32 nays, 7 absent or not voting; 2/25/15  See vote
• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 3/5/15
• Amended by striking all of the original language of HB 1629 and replacing with a phased-in elimination of 3% and 4% state income tax brackets and a phased-in elimination of the franchise tax; passed by Senate Finance Committee, 3/16/15
• Amendment 1: delay implementation of all tax cuts in HB 1629 until after MAEP is fully funded; failed to pass the Senate; 16 yeas, 34 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 3/17/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a yea vote on Amendment 1.
• Passed by Senate; 40 yeas, 11 nays, 1 absent or not voting; 3/17/15
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/18/15
• House failed to concur (3/5 vote required); 67 yeas, 52 nays, 2 absent or not voting; 3/18/15  See vote
• Motion to reconsider entered, 3/18/15
 Died on calendar, 3/23/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a nay vote on the bill.
SB 2300 – Clarifies requirements for distribution of state and local funds; includes provision allowing charter school operators to transfer any year-end remaining funds to its operations in other states
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/16/15
• Committee Substitute: limit transfer of year-end remaining funds to charter schools in Mississippi, passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/29/15
• Passed by Senate, 2/5/15
• Referred to House Education and Appropriations committees, 2/24/15
• Amendment: allow charter operators to transfer any year-end remaining funds to its operations in other states, passed by House Education Committee, 2/26/15
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/3/15
• Failed to pass the House, 3/10/15
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/10/15
• Reconsidered for the purpose of amendments; Amendment 1: strike entire section allowing transfer by charter school operators of year-end remaining funds to other operations, passed on a voice vote; Amendment 2: insert language of HB 582 to raise pay of assistant teachers from $12,500 to $15,000 annually, passed on a voice vote
• Amended bill passed by House, 3/12/15  See vote
• Returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/13/15
• Senate declined to concur and invited conference, 3/18/15
• Conferees: Representatives Moore, Frierson, and Busby; Senators Tollison, Burton, and Collins
• Conference report filed, provides for county-wide open enrollment for charter schools by allowing students to cross district lines to attend a charter school within the county of residence; clarifies requirements for distribution of state and local funds; does not include the assistant teacher pay raise amendment; provides for a $5,000 salary supplement for National Board Certified Teachers who are teaching in a geographic shortage area; provides for technical changes to the Teaching Fellows Program, including increasing the forgivable loan amount to $8,000 annually, requiring a minimum ACT score of 23, or equivalent, and limiting Teaching Fellows to attendance at a public four-year university that has been designated as a Teaching Fellows Institution by the State Board of Education; 3/30/15 
 Died on calendar, 4/1/15
SB 2302 – Provides, subject to appropriation, an additional $5,000 supplement annually for National Board Certified Teachers who are teaching in a geographic shortage area, starting with the 2015-2016 school year
• Double-referred to Senate Education and Finance committees, 1/16/15
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/27/15
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 1/29/15
• Amended by Senate to establish a Teaching Fellows Program to provide $8,000 forgivable college loans annually for up to 40 qualified students who intend to teach in Mississippi; in addition to loan forgiveness, recipients would receive $5,000 incentive pay for teaching in geographic shortage areas; the amendment does not change the additional $5,000 NBCT supplement for geographic shortage areas, 2/10/15
• Passed by Senate; 51 yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent or not voting; 2/10/15  See vote
• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations committees, 2/24/15
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/26/15
• Died in House Appropriations Committee, 3/3/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of yea.
SB 2329 – Committee substitute bill requires local school districts to administer assessments to home-schooled students who want to participate in the district’s extracurricular activities, in order to show that the student meets grade-level requirements; school district will not receive funding for the student or compensation for administering assessments
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/19/15
• Committee Substitute passed by Senate Education Committee, 2/3/15
• Defeated by Senate; 17 yeas, 31 nays, 4 absent or not voting; 2/12/15  See vote
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.
SB 2839 – Reduces general fund revenue by $382-million through a phase-out of the corporate franchise tax and a portion of the income tax
• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 2/17/15
• Passed by Senate Finance Committee, 2/23/15
• Passed by Senate; 38 yeas, 9 nays, 5 absent or not voting;  2/24/15  See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/25/15
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/26/15
• Referred to House Ways and Means Committee, 3/9/15
• Amended to phase out the corporate franchise tax over a 10-year period and passed by House Ways and Means Committee, 3/12/15
 Died on calendar, 3/17/15
The Parents’ Campaign favors a vote of nay.

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