2016 Priority Bills

Each year, The Parents’ Campaign closely monitors and takes a position on several education bills. Below are the priority bills for the 2016 legislative session.

Law

HB 33 – Revises the definition of “special needs” to include those with an active IEP within the past five years

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16 
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/17/16
• Amended on House floor to add a reverse repealer (ensures bill will go to a conference committee where it can be amended further or die), 3/1/16
• Bill passed by House as amended, 3/1/16
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/1/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/2/16
• Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/11/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 3/17/16
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/22/16
• Amended by Senate to remove reverse repealer, 3/28/16
• Bill passed by Senate as amended, 3/28/16
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/29/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/31/16
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/31/16
• House concurred, 4/6/16
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/12/16
• Signed by Governor, 4/18/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes any amendments to this bill that would allow students without an IEP to be eligible for vouchers.

HB 989 – Creates a statewide achievement school district comprised of all public schools that for two consecutive years receive an F rating; upon being absorbed by achievement district, governance of the school shall transfer from the local school board to a new statewide achievement district board

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to apply to school districts rather than schools that for two consecutive years are rated F or are persistently failing or are chronically underperforming and to abolish the local school board and terminate the superintendent of a school district that is absorbed into the achievement district, with governance of the local district transferring to a new statewide achievement district board, 2/22/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/22/16
• Introduced and debated in House, laid on table subject to call (chairman can bring bill back up for a vote at any time), 3/2/16
• Amended by House to require that when the statewide achievement district board requests a millage increase, a public meeting must be held in the “local municipality having jurisdiction of the absorbed school district to allow input of local residents on the matter,” 3/3/16
• Bill passed by House as amended, 3/3/16
• Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/11/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 3/22/16
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/22/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/29/16
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/30/16
• House declined to concur, invited conference, 4/5/16
• Members of conference committee: House – Busby, Moore, Roberson; Senate – Caughman, Hopson, Tollison
• Conference report filed, any public school or school district that is rated – for the 2015-2016 school year and thereafter – F for two consecutive years or any two of three consecutive years, or is persistently failing and chronically underperforming, may be absorbed by the Mississippi Achievement School District (MASD); if absorbed, the school or district will remain in the MASD until it has attained and maintained a rating of C for five consecutive years, at which time the State Board of Education (SBE) may decide to revert it to local governance, unless the school is a conversion charter school; the SBE will govern the MASD and choose a superintendent to oversee it, 4/18/16
• Conference report adopted by House, 4/19/16
• Conference report adopted by Senate, 4/19/16
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/26/16
• Signed by Governor, 5/12/16
The Parents’ Campaign supports this concept, but there are a number of inconsistencies in the bill that are a cause for concern. 

HB 1643 – Provides no increase in the MAEP over current year, cuts K-12 education overall by approximately $7.6-million from FY2016 funding levels, including a $1.5-million cut to the Schools for the Blind and the Deaf and a $6.1-million cut to MDE’s operational budget 

• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 3/7/16
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/8/16
• Amendment 1 proposed on House floor to exempt the MAEP and Schools for Blind and Deaf from budget cuts due to House passage of revenue reduction bills, 3/9/16
• Amendment 1 tabled (killed), 3/9/16   See vote
• Unamended bill passed by House, 3/9/16
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/9/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/16/16
• Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/18/16
• Amended by Senate Appropriations Committee to provide an increase to the MAEP of $40-million above the FY2016 funding level and to enact budget cuts from FY2016 funding levels as follows: $8.5-million reduction to MDE’s departmental operations, $5.3-million reduction to vocational-technical education, and $728,000 reduction to the Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, 3/21/16
• Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee as amended, 3/21/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/23/16
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/23/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/28/16
• Bill returned to House for concurrence, 3/28/16
• House declined to concur, invited conference, 4/1/16
• Members of conference committee: House – Frierson, M. Huddleston, Moore; Senate – Branning, Clarke, Tollison
• Conference report filed, 4/16/16
• Conference report recommitted, 4/17/16
• Conference report #2 filed, level funds the MAEP (leaving it underfunded by $172-million for 2016-2017 school year), level funds literacy initiative at $15-million and classroom supplies at $12-million; fully funds the Chickasaw Cession and National Board Certification Program; enacts budget cuts from FY2016 levels as follows: $332,264 reduction to the Schools for the Blind and the Deaf, $2.7-million reduction to MDE’s departmental operations, $2-million reduction to early childhood education programs,  4/18/16   See details
• Conference report #2 adopted by House, 119 yeas, 2 nays, 1 vacancy, 4/18/16
• Conference report #2 adopted by Senate, 51 yeas, 1 nay, 4/18/16
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/29/16
 Signed by Governor, 5/17/16

SB 2161  Charter Schools & Funding – Allows any student in any district to cross school district lines to attend a charter school anywhere in Mississippi, with funding following the student to charter school in other district; allows charter schools to locate in C-rated districts without local school board approval; gives charter school teachers up to three years to obtain licensure and allows charter school teachers to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)

• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/5/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 2/17/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/1/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/2/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/4/16
• Referred to House Education Committee, 3/14/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to prohibit charter schools from locating in C districts without local board approval, to allow students in districts rated C, D, or F to attend charter schools in another district, and to require charter schools to give an enrollment preference to underserved children, 3/18/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 3/18/16
• Amendment 1 proposed on House floor to require charter schools to provide transportation to all children who request it, 3/28/16
• Amendment 1 tabled (killed), 3/28/16
• Amendment 2 proposed on House floor to prohibit charter school employees from participating in PERS, 3/28/16
• Amendment 2 defeated on voice vote, 3/28/16
• Amendment 3 proposed on House floor to allow only students in D and F districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school in another district, 3/28/16
• Amendment 3 tabled (killed), 3/28/16  See vote
• Bill passed by House, 3/28/16  See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/28/16
• Motion to table the motion to reconsider – Rep. Holland asked members to vote nay on the motion to table so that the bill could be reconsidered for the purposes of an amendment to allow only students in D and F districts to cross district lines to attend charter schools, 3/30/16
• Motion to table passed by House, 58 yeas, 57 nays, 4 not voting, 2 absent, 3/30/16   See vote
• Bill returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/30/16
• Senate concurred, 4/7/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 4/11/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 4/13/16   See vote
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/13/16
• Signed by Governor, 4/14/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes allowing charter schools to locate in C districts without local board approval and opposes allowing students who are not in underperfoming (D and F) districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school.

SB 2438  Appointed Superintendents – Provides for all school district superintendents to be appointed, after January 1, 2019

• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 2/10/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 2/11/16   See vote
• Referred to House Education Committee, 3/14/16
• Passed by House Education Committee, 3/18/16
• Bill passed by House, 3/24/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/24/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/25/16
• Bill sent to Governor, 3/30/16
• Signed by Governor, 4/4/16
The Parents’ Campaign supports this bill.

SB 2858 – Reduces state revenue by $575-million upon full implementation; eliminates corporate franchise tax; eliminates corporate and individual 3% and 4% tax brackets; provides self-employment tax deduction

• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 2/8/16
• Passed by Senate Finance Committee, 3/9/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/10/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/10/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/17/16
• Referred to House Ways and Means Committee, 4/1/16
• Amended by House Ways and Means Committee to remove all original provisions of the bill and replace with elimination of the individual 3% tax bracket, beginning in calendar year 2017; reduces state revenue by $134-million, 4/4/16
• Passed by House Ways and Means Committee as amended, 4/4/16
• Amendment 3 proposed on House floor to require that provisions of the bill will not take effect until after a law is enacted to authorize and establish a lottery in Mississippi, 4/5/16
• Amendment 3 passed by House, 4/5/16
• Amendment 7 proposed on House floor to require that provisions of the bill will not take effect until the MAEP is fully funded, 4/5/16
• Amendment 7 tabled (killed), 4/5/16
• Bill passed by House as amended, 4/5/16   See vote
• Senate declined to concur, invited conference, 4/7/16
• Members of conference committee: House – Lamar, Smith, White; Senate – Fillingane, Kirby, Polk
• Conference report filed, 4/16/16
• Conference report recommitted, 4/17/16
• Conference report #2 filed, reduces state revenue by $415-million annually when fully phased in (over 12 years), 4/17/16
• Conference report #2 adopted by House (requires 3/5 vote/71 members to pass); 74 yeas, 43 nays, 4 present or not voting, 4/18/16   See vote
• Conference report #2 adopted by Senate (requires 3/5 vote/31 members to pass); 34 yeas, 14 nays, 2 paired votes, 4/18/16   See vote
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/26/16
• Signed by Governor, 5/13/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

Dead

HB 29 – Gives authority to the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) to evaluate each school district’s curricula and programs of instruction and intervention to determine if they meet the committee’s definition of evidence-based; adds bureaucracy and reduces local control; withholds MAEP funds from districts not meeting PEER’s requirements

• Referred to House Performance Based Budgeting Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Performance Based Budgeting Committee to remove the provision withholding MAEP funds from districts not meeting PEER’s requirements, 2/22/16
• Passed by House Performance Based Budgeting Committee as amended, 2/22/16
• Bill passed by House, 3/1/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/1/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/2/16
• Referred to Senate Education and Accountability, Transparency, and Efficiency Committees, 3/14/16
• Died in committee, 3/22/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 47 – Requires that school district ratings be based solely on the previous school year’s assessment results, even in years when a new assessment is implemented; duplicates a significant portion of MDE’s accountability ratings process in the Office of the State Auditor

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/17/16
• Bill passed by House, 3/1/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/1/16
• Recommitted to House Education Committee, 3/4/16
• Died in committee, 3/4/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 49 – Makes educators subject to misdemeanor conviction, a fine of up to $10,000, and loss of professional license and certification if they contact legislators during school day or commit other offenses; school board members and superintendents subject to misdemeanor conviction and a fine of up to $10,000 if contact legislators at any time about legislation or policy of any kind

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Died in committee, 2/23/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 91 – Allows any student of any public school in a school district rated D or F to transfer to another school within the district or to another school district; receiving school or district may deny the request if it does not have capacity to accept student; per pupil funding to follow the student

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to require each local school board to issue a public statement regarding the district’s capacity and to accept that number of transferring students, 2/23/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/23/16
• Recommitted to House Education Committee, 3/2/16
• Died in committee, 3/2/16
The language in this bill is vague, although it was improved by the amendment to give districts control over capacity decisions. The Parents’ Campaign will continue to watch this bill closely.

HB 458Opens the MAEP statute for undetermined revisions

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to add a reverse repealer (ensures bill will go to a conference committee where it can be amended further or die), 2/22/16
• Bill passed by House, 3/2/16
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/2/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/4/16
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 3/11/16
• Amended by Senate Education Committee to strike all language in HB 458 and replace with SB 2158 as it passed the Senate – provides for use of Average Daily Membership (ADM) rather than Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to calculate MAEP funding, unless ADA falls below 95%, includes reverse repealer, 3/22/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee as amended, 3/22/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/29/16
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/30/16
• House declined to concur, invited conference, 4/5/16
• Members of conference committee: House – Busby, Frierson, Moore; Senate – Burton, Clarke, Tollison
• Died in conference, 4/18/16
The Parents’ Campaign supports ADM, but opposes any change to the MAEP statute that would reduce the amount of funding produced by the formula or that would weaken equity provisions.

HB 943 – Sends taxpayer dollars to private, for-profit, virtual, and home schools to cover the costs of tuition and other expenses  See complete analysis

• Double-referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/8/16
• Passed by House Education Committee and returned to House Appropriations Committee, 2/18/16
• Died in committee, 2/23/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 958 – Makes educators subject to fines if they contact legislators during school day; school board members and superintendents subject to fines if contact legislators at any time about legislation or policy of any kind

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to remove teachers from the bill, to expand the provisions to public university and community college administrators and board members, and to disallow public school, community college, and university administrators and board members from using their official position to lobby the Legislature for policy change, 2/23/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/23/16
• Recommitted to House Education Committee, 3/2/16
• Died in committee, 3/2/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 990 – Provides for the election of all school board members every four years at the time of the presidential election; changes boards that are currently appointed to all elected

• Referred to House Education Committee, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to elect three members of a board at the time of a presidential election and two members at the time of a statewide gubernatorial election, to exempt districts rated A and B but if rating falls to C or below the district will have to change to all-elected board from that point forward, 2/22/16
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/22/16
• Introduced and debated in House, laid on table subject to call (chairman can bring bill back up for a vote at any time), 3/1/16
• Recommitted to House Education Committee, 3/2/16
• Died in committee, 3/2/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

HB 1044 – Allows students to cross school district lines to attend charter schools anywhere in Mississippi, with funding following the student to charter school in other district

• Double-referred to House Education and House Revenue and Expenditures General Bills Committees, 2/8/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to allow charter schools to locate in A, B, and C districts without local board approval, 2/17/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 2/17/16
• Amended by House Revenue and Expenditures General Bills Committee to remove amendment allowing charters in A, B, and C districts without local board approval, 2/19/16
• Passed by House Revenue and Expenditures General Bills Committee as amended, returned to House Education Committee, 2/19/16
• Passed by House Education Committee, 2/22/16
• Amended on House floor to limit crossing district lines to attend a charter school to only those students who reside in a district rated D or F, 3/1/16
• Bill passed by House as amended, 3/1/16   See vote
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 3/11/16
• Amended by Senate Education Committee to strike all language in HB 1044 and replace with SB 2161 as it passed the Senate – allows charter schools to locate in C-rated districts without local board approval, allows any student in any district to cross district lines to attend a charter school anywhere in the state (statewide open enrollment in charter schools), provides for funding to follow student to charter school in another district, gives charter school teachers up to three years to obtain licensure and allows them to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System, 3/22/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee as amended, 3/22/16
• Died on calendar, 3/30/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes allowing charter schools to locate in C districts without local board approval and opposes allowing students who are not in underperfoming districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school.

HB 1080 – Provides taxpayer-funded vouchers to private, for-profit, virtual, and home schools to cover the costs of tuition and other expenses

• Referred to House Revenue and Expenditures General Bills Committee, 2/8/16
• Died in committee, 3/16/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

SB 2158  Average Daily Membership  DEAD  Provides for use of Average Daily Membership (ADM) rather than Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to calculate MAEP funding, unless ADA falls below 95% of ADM; in effect as of 2017-2018 school year

• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/5/16
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 2/17/16
• Amended on Senate floor to add a reverse repealer (ensures bill will go to a conference committee where it can be amended further or die), 3/1/16
• Bill passed by Senate as amended, 3/1/16   See vote
• Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/14/16
• Amended by House Education Committee to change ADA threshold from 95% to 94.5%, 3/18/16
• Passed by House Education Committee as amended, 3/18/16
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/21/16
• Bill passed by House, 3/29/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/29/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/30/16
• Bill returned to Senate for concurrence, 3/30/16
• Died on calendar, 4/14/16
The Parents’ Campaign supports this bill.

SB 2385  Sends taxpayer dollars to private, for-profit, virtual, and home schools to cover the costs of tuition and other expenses   See complete analysis

• Double-referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/5/16
• Died in committee, 2/23/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

SB 2695 – Provides taxpayer-funded vouchers to private, for-profit, virtual, and home schools to cover the costs of tuition and other expenses

• Double-referred to Senate Education and Finance Committees, 2/8/16
• Died in committee, 3/16/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

SB 2858  Reduces state revenue by $575-million upon full implementation; eliminates corporate franchise tax; eliminates corporate and individual 3% and 4% tax brackets; provides self-employment tax deduction

• Referred to Senate Finance Committee, 2/8/16
• Passed by Senate Finance Committee, 3/9/16
• Bill passed by Senate, 3/10/16   See vote
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/10/16
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/17/16
• Referred to House Ways and Means Committee, 4/1/16
• Amended by House Ways and Means Committee to remove all original provisions of the bill and replace with elimination of the individual 3% tax bracket, beginning in calendar year 2017; reduces state revenue by $134-million, 4/4/16
• Passed by House Ways and Means Committee as amended, 4/4/16
• Amendment 3 proposed on House floor to require that provisions of the bill will not take effect until after a law is enacted to authorize and establish a lottery in Mississippi, 4/5/16
• Amendment 3 passed by House, 4/5/16
• Amendment 7 proposed on House floor to require that provisions of the bill will not take effect until the MAEP is fully funded, 4/5/16
• Amendment 7 tabled (killed), 4/5/16
• Bill passed by House as amended, 4/5/16   See vote
• Senate declined to concur, invited conference, 4/7/16
• Members of conference committee: House – Lamar, Smith, White; Senate – Fillingane, Kirby, Polk
• Conference report filed, 4/16/16
• Conference report recommitted, 4/17/16
• Conference report #2 filed, reduces state revenue by $415-million annually when fully phased in (over 12 years), 4/17/16
• Conference report #2 adopted by House (requires 3/5 vote/71 members to pass); 74 yeas, 43 nays, 4 present or not voting, 4/18/16   See vote
• Conference report #2 adopted by Senate (requires 3/5 vote/31 members to pass); 34 yeas, 14 nays, 2 paired votes, 4/18/16   See vote
• Bill sent to Governor, 4/26/16
• Signed by Governor, 5/13/16
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.

Your support makes all the difference.

A new year and a new, more education-friendly Legislature present a monumental opportunity to provide teachers and students the tools they need to be successful – and an urgent need to get it right. Help us seize this moment for our children and our public schools. #GivingTuesday ….. Read more.