- In his first State of the State address Governor Brad Little made the state’s early literacy efforts a top priority, requesting to double the program’s budget to $26 million to ensure more Idaho students can read on grade level. Governor Little said “Our goal must be to ensure all kids begin at the same starting line in life. By the third grade, our students must learn to read so they can read to learn.”
- Last week, the Indiana Senate Committee on Education and Career Development passed SB 420. Sponsored by Senators Jeff Raatz and Dennis Kruse, SB 420 establishes a tax credit for workforce education contributions. The bill has been reassigned to the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy for further consideration.
- Earlier this month, The Indiana State Board of Education paved the way toward expanding its computer science offerings statewide. Indiana became only the third state to implement Code.org’s nine policies, committing to an enhancement of the state’s STEM education. The policies will help create a state plan and allocate funding for K-12 computer science.
- This week, the Senate Education Committee unanimously passed SB 2447, which provides for career and technical education grants through the State Board of Education and the State Workforce Investment Board to schools for students who earn qualifying industry certifications. The bill, carried by Senator Brice Wiggins, has one more stop in the Senate Appropriations Committee before it heads to the Senate chamber.
- In his first budget proposal, Governor Steve Sisolak removed $20 million in tax-credits for the Nevada Opportunity Scholarship Program. Without these funds, nearly 1,000 Nevada students will lose their scholarship, forcing them back into schools that did not fit their unique learning needs. This past week, more than 60 parents with students benefiting from the Opportunity Scholarships showed up to testify to the Legislative Commission’s Budget Subcommittee Meeting, asking the legislature to fully fund the program.
- Last week, the South Carolina brought H 3759 up for consideration in House Education Committee. Sponsored by House Speaker Jay Lucas, H 3759 looks to improve implementation of Read to Succeed, expand student access to computer science classes, and provide greater accountability for school boards and districts. The bill will now be up for consideration by the full House of Representatives.
- Last week, a comprehensive education reform bill – Senate Bill 451 – passed out of the Senate Education Committee. The bill, championed by Senate Education Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, includes teacher pay raises, an education scholarship account (ESA) program and provides for the creation of public charter schools. The bill was approved by a Committee of the Whole in the Senate and now faces full vote in the Senate
- The House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 2009, which includes mastery-based education as a new category in the existing Innovation in Education grant program. As a result, schools would be able to use grants to undertake activities to shift to a mastery-based learning model to better meet the needs of their students. The bill has been reported to the Senate for its consideration.