2018 Legislative Session Summaries and Status of Priority Bills
Each year, The Parents’ Campaign closely monitors and takes a position on several education bills. Below are the priority bills for the 2018 legislative session.
Bills Passed by House and Senate, Signed by Governor
• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 2/12/18
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 2/13/18
• Passed as amended by House, 2/13/18
• Held on motion to reconsider, 2/13/18
• Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/14/18
• Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 2/19/18
• Passed as amended by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/7/18
• Passed as amended by Senate, 3/8/18
• Returned to House for concurrence, 3/12/18
• House declined to concur, sending bill to conference committee, 3/13/18
• Conferees named by House: Read, Bennett, Bounds, 3/19/18
• Conferees named by Senate: Clarke, Tollison, Burton, 3/21/18
• Conference report #1 filed: “dummy” report with $0, 3/24/18
• Conference report #1 recommitted for further conference, 3/25/18
• Conference report #2 filed: increases overall K-12 by $12.8-million over current year, including $3.1-million increase to MAEP, $2.5-million increase to pre-k, and $5-million increase to school recognition program, underfunds the MAEP by approximately $240-million for 2018-2019 school year, 3/25/18
• Conference report #2 adopted by House, 3/26/18
• Conference report #2 adopted by Senate, 3/26/18
• Signed by Governor, 4/12/18
Bills That Died on Calendar or in Committee
HB 957 Replaces Mississippi Adequate Education Program school funding law. Components of HB 957 include: requires less funding than current law requires; contains no objective formula for determining base student cost; does not require that funding keep pace with inflation, and makes no provision to consider a recalculation for seven years; harms low-income school districts disproportionately (uses Census data as the poverty measure; Census data counts all children who are residents of the district, including those who are home-schooled and in private schools, meaning the poverty measure of a community is based on an overall higher income population than that of the public school district itself; and Census data is known to undercount low-income households); imposes severe financial penalties on school districts with an attendance rate lower than 93% on days auditors make two unannounced “count” visits read more; requires school districts to pay community colleges 100% of the base student amount for any student enrolled in a dual credit program with a community college, regardless of how few dual credit courses the student takes; inflicts serious financial consequences on districts that exceed the required student-teacher ratio – ignores impact of teacher shortage but does offer possibility of waiver or exemption; although the plan promises an increase over the current underfunded appropriation, leaders have said that they might take much of that increase from general education funds currently provided schools outside of the MAEP formula, further reducing total school funding.
• Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 1/11/18
• Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 1/16/18
• Passed by House, 1/17/18, Yeas: 66, Nays: 54, Absent: 1
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 1/17/18
• Motion to reconsider tabled, bill sent to Senate, 1/18/18
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/16/18
• Strike-all version passed by Senate Education Committee, 2/27/18
• Motion to recommit (kill) HB 957 Strike-all passed by Senate, 3/1/18
• Died in committee, 3/1/18
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.
SB 2400 Sets the election of all local school board members in Mississippi (who are elected rather than appointed) every four years at the time of the statewide general election, beginning in 2023, eliminating staggered terms of service for board members and opening school boards to takeover by privatization-backed candidates; in addition to the statewide change for elected board members, the bill restructures the board of trustees of the Natchez-Adams Special Municipal Separate School District, renaming it the Natchez-Adams County School Board and transforming it to an all-elected board, beginning with the election of all five trustees in November 2019 and every four years thereafter.
• Double referred to Senate Education Committee and Senate Elections Committee, 1/15/18
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/24/18
• Passed by Senate Elections Committee, 1/30/18
• Amended on Senate floor to include staggered terms of service for school board members: positions 1 and 5 to be elected beginning in 2023 and every four years thereafter, and positions 2, 3, and 4 to be elected in 2024 and every four years thereafter, 2/7/18
• Passed by Senate, 2/7/18
• Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/7/18
• Motion to table the motion to reconsider failed, 2/12/18
• Died on the calendar in Senate, 2/12/18
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill in its original form and favors amending it to create staggered terms of service for school board members.
SB 2623 Opens vouchers to all students; over 10 years, takes $1.5-billion from public schools to subsidize tuition at private, for-profit, and cyber schools; specifically prohibits holding the majority of private voucher schools accountable for how public funds are expended; provides for a mobile app through which parents of voucher students can use state funds to pay “educational” expenses, inviting fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars; prohibits entities from requiring data from the private schools that operate using our tax dollars, with one exception: allows PEER to request test scores of voucher students (parents and private schools can pick their own tests), but no other data, from private schools serving 30 or more voucher students; allows parents to roll over unused voucher funds from one year to the next; funds nearly 2,500 vouchers in 2018-2019 and adds 4,000+ new vouchers every year thereafter.
• Referred to Senate Education Committee, 1/15/18
• Passed by Senate Education Committee, 1/30/18
• Died on the calendar in Senate, 2/8/18
The Parents’ Campaign opposes this bill.