Worrisome education bills are scheduled for floor votes in both chambers.
Please make sure your legislators understand that recent changes to the House and Senate charter school bills reveal a troubling focus on expanding charter schools to C-rated districts.
There is a tendency among some legislators to cast C-rated districts as under-performing. To the contrary, a recent study shows that many C-rated districts are doing some of the best work in our state. See that study. This comes at a time when 2015 ratings, based on the more difficult PARCC assessments, are yet to be released. Many speculate that a number of B districts, and possibly some A districts, will drop to a C with the new accountability model and continued changes in state assessments, fueling the agenda of those who wish to privatize public education statewide.
Find contact information for the legislators who represent your school district.
Share the same message with:
Lt. Governor Reeves Capitol: 601.359.3200
Speaker Gunn Capitol: 601.359.3300
Bills to be voted on by the House:
• SB 2161 – Allows students in districts rated C, D, or F to cross district lines to attend a charter school; local and state funding follows the student; allows charters to locate without local board approval only in districts rated D or F. VOTE NO or amend to allow only students in D or F districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school.
• SB 2158 – Provides for calculation of the MAEP formula using average daily membership (enrollment) rather than average daily attendance. VOTE YES, oppose amendments that change the MAEP formula to reduce required funding or dilute equity provisions.
Bills to be voted on by the Senate:
• HB 33 – Revises the definition of “special needs” to include those with an active IEP within the past five years. OPPOSE AMENDMENTS that expand voucher eligibility to students without an IEP.
• HB 458 – Original version of this bill opened the MAEP statute for undetermined amendments; the Senate Education Committee amended the bill by striking original language and inserting the language of SB 2158 – the average daily membership bill. VOTE YES, oppose amendments that change the MAEP formula to reduce required funding or dilute equity provisions.
• HB 1044 – Allows students in all school districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school; local and state funding follows the student; allows charters to locate in districts rated C, D, or F without local board approval. VOTE NO.
The House has passed SB 2438, which provides for the appointment, rather than the election, of all school superintendents, effective in 2019. See that vote.
Many of you have expressed dismay at the way constituents have been treated by some legislators during this session. A fundamental principle of our democracy is a representative government that is responsive to the people. This week, both the House and Senate have been in turmoil, as allegations of broken promises, improper procedures, and inappropriate political maneuvering have swirled around the Capitol. In the current environment, it is especially critical that we stay in close contact with our legislators, work with them to ensure that the interests of public school students are well served, and make others in our communities aware of legislators’ votes on education bills.
If we don’t stand up for our children, who will?