Legislative Update, January 28, 2019: HB 908
** GLMA Legislative Alert **
House Education Committee to Vote on Flexibility Bill on Thursday
The House Education Committee met Thursday, January 28 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss and vote on HB 908 – the “Flexibility Bill.” Though a substitute version was expected to be presented to the committee, the bill as introduced would:
- Eliminate Expenditure Controls – media center, direct instruction, and staff development costs
- Eliminate the 65% Rule – minimum classroom expenditures
- Eliminate Maximum Class Size – maximum individual class size for math, science, social studies, and language arts
- Eliminate Funding for Additional Instruction Days
- Eliminate the Minimum Salary Schedule
House Education Chairman Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) told us that he will allow some testimony on HB 908 during the hearing on Thursday.
He also told us that a substitute of HB 908 will be presented to the committee by the bill sponsor, Rep. David Casas (R-Lilburn), which would only eliminate expenditure controls through the 2013 fiscal year. He suggested that this new version would be a template that the committee members could work from. Meaning: the new version of HB 908 that is presented at the beginning of the hearing may look very different by the end of the hearing.
Options under consideration are:
- Remove expenditure controls from the waiver, but allow waivers for the 65% rule and funding for additional instruction days.
- Allow class size waivers with a cap on increases (i.e. 1 to 2 additional students in elementary grades, 1 additional student in middle and high school grades).
- Allow system flexibility for two years instead of three years, extending blanket waivers through 2012 instead of 2013.
- Require systems to hold public hearings before using the waivers permitted in the bill, and require systems to document use of waivers with the DOE for accountability purposes.
Rep. Coleman said he does not expect the salary schedule to be added back to the bill. If you can join us at the hearing, please do so. Contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org for hearing details and meeting location.
Call to Action
TODAY: Contact House Education Committee members. Ask them to not allow the expenditure controls to be included in HB 908. Explain to legislators the impact a two-year systemwide blanket waiver on expenditure controls will have on your students and your school.
Michelle and Lasa