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UEA Report on the 2016 Utah Legislature General Session

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WEEK SEVEN: 

2016 LEGISLATURE WEEK SEVEN SUMMARY: March 7-10

Dozens of bills moved the final week, including one to increase the WPU by 3%, one to eliminate the use of SAGE test scores in a teacher’s evaluation, one to spend $15 million on technology grants and one to create future partisan state school board races. (View the final 2016 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet.)

Public Education Budget: The Legislature approved SB2: Public Education Budget Amendments, the primary funding bill for public education. It includes $93 million in funding for new student growth and sets the value of the Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU) at $3,184, a 3% increase. It also included items that were part of consolidated motions approved by the Executive Appropriations Committee and funding for additional bills such as hazardous bus route grants (HB301), statewide technology grants (HB277), computer science initiative (SB93), National Board Teacher certification (HB331), a State Board employee to monitor teacher preparation programs (SB139), training for school resource officers (HB460), and competency-based learning (SB143). (See more about the budget.)

Bills on the move this week
(For the final status on all bills of interest see the final 2016 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet)

HB10 (4th sub.): Initiative and Referendum Amendments passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB175 (4th sub.): Public Education Employment Amendments is to clean up some elements concerning background checks on potential educational employees. The bill passed the full Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

HB181 (1st sub.): Physical Control in Schools Amendment prohibits the use of physical restraint or force to protect property from being damaged. The bill passed the House Education Committee unanimously but was not heard in the House before the session ended.

HB193 (1st sub.): Charter School Funding Amendments passed the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee and the full Senate, but the House did not hear Senate amendments. (Note: See SB38 (4th sub.): School Funding Amendments below, an identical bill that passed both the House and the Senate and was sent to the Governor.)

HB200: Student Assessment Modifications would allow a school district or charter school to offer the ACT in place of the 11th grade SAGE test, if they choose to do so. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB201 (2nd sub.): Student Testing Amendments eliminates the use of SAGE testing scores for teacher evaluations. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB217: Small School Funding appropriates $2 million in ongoing money for the necessarily existent small schools program. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB221 (10th sub.): Immunization of Students Amendments sets requirements to obtain immunization exemptions for school-age children and requires an individual who intends to receive an immunization exemption form online to complete an education module. It passed the Senate 22-1 but the House did not concur with Senate amendments before the session ended.

HB272: Voted and Board Leeway Amendments increases the amount of state guarantee money that a school district may receive from the voted local levy guarantee program by increasing the maximum rate the state will guarantee over a certain number of years. The bill failed in the House on a vote of 30-44.

HB277 (2nd sub.): Digital Teaching and Learning creates a Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Program with an appropriation from the Education Fund of $10 million in ongoing and $15 million in one-time funding. The bill passed the Senate 19-4. The House concurred with Senate changes on a vote of 44-21. It now goes to the Governor.

HB289 (1st sub.): Charter School Closure Amendments develops procedures for closing a charter school. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

HB290 (1st sub.): Campaign Finance Reform Amendments passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB301 (1st sub.): School Bus Route Grant Program provides transportation funding for routes that are unsafe for a student to walk. The appropriation is $500,000 in ongoing money. The bill passed the Senate 66-3 and now goes to the Governor.

HB318 (2nd sub.): Point of the Mountain Development Commission Act passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB331 (1st sub.): Education Provisions would provide partial reimbursement for the cost of certification for those teachers who achieve National Board certification. It would also provide an ongoing $750 stipend to NBC teachers and an additional $1,500 stipend for NBC teachers teaching in a Title I school. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 26-1. The House concurred with Senate changes on a vote of 44-19. It now goes to the Governor.

HB343: School Administration Amendments amends provisions for school community councils and safe technology use in schools. The bill passed Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB358 (1st sub): Student Privacy Amendments addresses the records kept at the state and district levels. The bill passed the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on a vote of 2-1 and the Senate unanimously. It now moves to the Governor.

HB419 (2nd sub.): Educator Licensing Amendments outlines situations in which the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Committee (UPPAC) must recommend revocation or suspension of an educator’s license. It also clarifies that the State Board of Education is under no obligation to follow UPPAC recommendations. The UEA opposed this bill. It failed in the House on a vote of 30-44.

HB423: Implementing Federal Education Program Amendments requires the State Board of Education to request that the legislature mitigate any financial loss if it is determined that failure to implement a federal goal, objective, program need or accountability system may result in a financial loss. The bill passed House on a vote of 63-13 but was not heard in the Senate.

HB433: Minimum School Program Amendments amends provisions related to a local school board paying for a student to attend a school district outside of the state; amends funding requirements for comprehensive guidance programs; and repeals the Teacher Salary Supplement Restricted Account. The bill failed in the House on a vote of 23-52.

HB438: Amendments to Election Law passed the House unanimously but was not heard in the Senate before the session ended.

HB443 (1st sub.): School Dropout Recovery Program Amendments amends and enacts provisions regarding a school's responsibility to provide dropout prevention and recovery services. The bill passed both Senate Education Committee and the full Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

HB445: State School Board Amendments provides that compensation of members of the State Board of Education shall be the same as, and set through the same process as, compensation of members of the Legislature with certain exceptions. The bill passed the House unanimously and now moves to the Senate.

HB460: School Resource Officers and School Administrators Training and Agreement passed both the House and the Senate unanimously. It now moves to the Governor.

HJR14 (1st sub.): Joint Resolution Supporting the Retention of Public Educators supports the retention of public educators by directing revenue generated from public lands towards a fund to increase educator salaries. The resolution passed the House 64-10 but was not heard in the Senate.

SB14 (1st sub.): American Indian and Alaskan Native Amendments allows schools with a certain percentage of Native American populations to write grants that the State Board of Education administers. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB36: Postretirement Employment Exemptions would roll back the window from one year to 60 days for licensed educators, firefighters and public safety employees to return to full-time employment after retirement. The bill failed in the Senate on a vote of 10-17.

SB38 (4th sub.): School Funding Amendments puts the board and voted levy guarantees into the Local Replacement Fund calculations but separates them from district funds. It also puts in place a state charter levy that replaces the 25% district contribution for the local replacement, providing an additional $20 million in funding for charter schools. This would now appear on county tax notices. The bill passed the House 71-1 and now goes to the Governor.

SB43 (1st sub.): Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools creates an opt-in pilot program to provide instruction to public school students on firearm safety and violence prevention. The bill passed the House Education Committee and the full House 55-16 and now moves to the Governor.

SB45 (2nd sub.): Compulsory Education Revisions would reduce criminal penalties for the parent of a truant school-age child. The bill passed the House Education Committee but was defeated in the House on a vote of 32-39.

SB67: Partnerships for Student Success requests $2 million from the Education Fund for a Student Success Grant Program. The bill passed the House on a vote of 55-20.

SB78 (3rd sub.): State Board of Education Candidate Selection originally attempted to strike out educational viewpoints from criteria used by the nominating committee in selecting candidates for State Board of Education. It was substituted on the House floor to allow for non-partisan primary elections in 2016, then change to partisan elections beginning in 2018. It passed the House 50-23 and the Senate concurred with the substitution 24-4.

SB87: Administrative Rulemaking Act Modifications provides that under certain circumstances, the State Board of Education is exempt from the public hearing requirements described in the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act. It passed the House Education Committee with three nay votes and the full House 42-26. It now goes to the Governor.

SB91 (2nd sub.): Board of Education Amendments gives authority to the State Board of Education to audit money distributed to local agencies, even if that funding is distributed through a third-party provider. The bill passed the House 64-4 and now goes to the Governor.

SB101 (2nd sub.): High Quality School Readiness Program Expansion provides public, private or home-based technology school readiness programs for eligible students, as long as the program meets high quality standards. A small amount, $120,000, will come from the education fund, the remainder from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. The bill passed the House Education Committee the full House on a vote of 63-10 and now goes to the Governor.

SB103 (1st sub.): Strategic Workforce Investments establishes a process for investing strategically in workforce development. It appropriates $1.5 million from the Education Fund. The bill passed the House 65-2.

SB109 (1st sub.): State Institutional Trust Land Amendments and SJR12: Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - Changes to School Funds are companion bills to allow a change in the formula for distribution of State Institutional Trust Lands funds. The change would have the Trust operate more like an endowment and would require a public vote to change the Utah Constitution. The UEA supports these bills. Both passed the House unanimously and now go the Governor.

SB125 (1st sub.): After-school Programs Amendments requires the State Board of Education to make rules that describe high quality standards for programs for elementary and secondary students that operate outside of the regular school day provides grant funding for certain programs. The bill passed the House Education Committee on a vote of 8-1 and the full House 66-3. It was sent to the Governor.

SB139 (1st sub.): Board of Education Approval Amendments directs the State Board of Education to designate an employee to monitor teacher preparation programs and to consider recommendations and make rules. The bill passed the House Education Committee and the House 62-9 and now goes to the Governor.

SB143 (1st sub.): Competency-based Learning Amendments creates a grant program for up to three districts or charter schools to participate in the development of competency-based learning. The bill passed the House Education Committee the full House 59-12.

SB149 (2nd sub.): School Grading Amendments increases the range for grade distributions under the School Grading and requires that the range will increase annually until the lower point of the A range reaches 90%. The bill originally failed in the House on a vote of 32-41, but on reconsideration, passed 68-6. It now goes to the Governor.

SB152: Accelerated Foreign Language Course Amendments will authorize college-level foreign language courses in high school for dual immersion students who are now reaching high school. These are now being developed by the University of Utah. The bill passed the House 67-2 and now goes to the Governor.

SB163: Kindergarten Age Exceptions Amendments allows a child who turns five by December 31 to enter kindergarten under certain circumstances. It failed to pass the House Education Committee on a vote of 3-6.

SB165: Public Education Appointment and Hiring gives the principal final authority on who will be hired in his or her building. A motion to hold the item in the House Education Committee passed 8-1.

SB191: School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act Amendments extends deadlines required in the school turnaround program and clarifies that turnaround consultants will only receive a final payment if a school improves at the end of three years rather than just showing improvement for a single year. The bill passed the House Education Committee and the full House 65-6. It was sent to the Governor.

SB232 (1st sub.): Rescue Medication in Schools provides for a trained public school employee volunteer to administer a seizure rescue medication under certain conditions. It passed the Senate with only one nay vote and the House 58-10. It now goes to the Governor.

SB239: School Governance Amendments amends provisions related to the governance of school districts and charter schools. It passed both the Senate and the House unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

SB242: Special Education Intensive Needs Fund Amendments enacts intensive special education cost reimbursement provisions. It also tasks the Utah State Board of Education to write rules on how to distribute the money from the fund it creates. The bill passed the full Senate, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee and the full House unanimously. It now goes to the Governor.

SB244 (1st sub.): School Funding Provisions attempts, over time, to greatly equalize the property tax funding statewide by earmarking a portion of any new education funding. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 18-10, but was not heard in the House.

SCR19: Concurrent Resolution on Education would recognize the limits of federal power related to education as set forth in the 10th Amendment. It passed the Senate 17-4, passed the House 59-13 and was sent to the Governor.

SJR14: Teacher Standards for the 21st Century is a joint resolution of the Legislature urging the State Board of Education to reevaluate teacher licensure standards to better prepare new teachers for classroom teaching in the twenty-first century. The bill passed the House Education Committee unanimously, but was not heard in the full House.


March 7, 2016

House Education Committee (reported by Jay Blain): SB101 (2nd sub.): High Quality School Readiness Program Expansion expands access to a home-based technology school readiness program for eligible students. The majority of funding ($9 million) would come through Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) money. United Way, Voices for Utah Children and a representative from Granite School District testified in favor of the bill. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

SB191: School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act Amendments makes some timeline changes to the school turnaround process and clarifies language around when a consultant would receive payment. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

HB443 (1st sub.): School Dropout Recovery Program Amendments amends and enacts provisions regarding a school's responsibility to provide dropout prevention and recovery services. Rep. Francis Gibson portrayed it as a cleanup bill from Sen. Osmond’s bill from last year that became kind of a mess on the last night of the session. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

SB143 (1st sub.): Competency Based Learning Amendments creates a grant program for up to three districts or charter schools to participate in the development of competency-based learning. The bill appropriates ongoing money to support the development, implementation and expansion of competency-based learning programs. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Howard Stephenson, said the bill would give a small amount of funding for planning grants and implementation grants for the most promising plans to implement competency based learning. His claim is the current high school diploma is a certificate of attendance and none of the current high achieving nations have end-of-level tests.

Sara Jones, representing the UEA, noted a concern about higher education institutions recognizing the credits earned by high school students. She also pointed out that it is unclear how this would impact yet-to-be-implemented rules for the federal ESSA law, suggesting it might be wise to slow down and see what happens first. A representative from the Sutherland Institute spoke in support of the bill, saying that learning should be student centered. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

HB181 (1st sub.): Physical Control in Schools Amendment amends provisions related to the use of physical restraint or force in schools. It prohibits the use of physical restraint or force to protect property from being damaged. The substitute bill added two pieces that included preventing damage of property and directing a student to another location. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

House Floor: HB272: Voted and Board Leeway Amendments increases the amount of state guarantee money that a school district may receive from the voted local levy guarantee program by increasing the maximum rate the state will guarantee over a certain number of years. It also increases the combined maximum rate the state will guarantee for the voted local levy guarantee program and the board local levy guarantee program over a certain number of years. The bill failed in the House on a vote of 30-44.

HB419 (2nd sub.): Educator Licensing Amendments outlines situations in which the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Committee (UPPAC) must recommend revocation or suspension of an educator’s license. It also clarifies that the State Board of Education is under no obligation to follow UPPAC recommendations. The UEA opposed this bill. It failed in the House on a vote of 30-44.

HB423: Implementing Federal Education Program Amendments requires the State Board of Education to request that the legislature mitigate any financial loss if it is determined that failure to implement a federal goal, objective, program need or accountability system may result in a financial loss. The bill passed House on a vote of 63-13 and now moves to the Senate.

HB433: Minimum School Program Amendments amends provisions related to a local school board paying for a student to attend a school district outside of the state; amends funding requirements for comprehensive guidance programs; and repeals the Teacher Salary Supplement Restricted Account. The bill failed in the House on a vote of 23-52.

HB445: State School Board Amendments provides that compensation of members of the State Board of Education shall be the same as, and set through the same process as, compensation of members of the Legislature with certain exceptions. The bill passed the House unanimously and now moves to the Senate.

HB460: School Resource Officers and School Administrators Training and Agreement passed the House unanimously and now moves to the Senate.

HJR14 (1st sub.): Joint Resolution Supporting the Retention of Public Educators supports the retention of public educators by directing revenue generated from public lands towards a fund to increase educator salaries. The resolution passed the House 64-10 and now moves to the Senate.

Senate Floor: SB232 (1 sub.): Rescue Medication in Schools provides for a trained public school employee volunteer to administer a seizure rescue medication under certain conditions. It passed the Senate with only one nay vote and now moves to the House for consideration.

SB239: School Governance Amendments amends provisions related to the governance of school districts and charter schools. It passed the Senate unanimously and now moves to the House. The UEA supports this bill.

SB242: Special Education Intensive Needs Fund Amendments enacts intensive special education cost reimbursement provisions. It passed the Senate unanimously and now moves to the House.

SCR19: Concurrent Resolution on Education would recognize the limits of federal power related to education as set forth in the 10th Amendment. It passed the Senate 17-4 and now moves to the House for consideration.

SB36: Postretirement Employment Exemptions would roll back the window from one year to 60 days for licensed educators, firefighters and public safety employees to return to full-time employment after retirement. The bill failed in the Senate on a vote of 10-17.

SB244 (1st sub.): School Funding Provisions attempts, over time, to greatly equalize the property tax funding statewide by earmarking a portion of any new education funding. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 18-10.


March 8, 2016

House Education Committee (reported by Jay Blain): SB125 (1st sub.): After-school Programs Amendments requires the State Board of Education to make rules that describe high quality standards for programs for elementary and secondary students that operate outside of the regular school day. The bill passed the committee on a vote of 8-1.

SB45 (1st sub.): Compulsory Education Revisions removes criminal penalties for truancy. The substitute bill, adopted by the committee, lowers the criminal penalty and proposes remedies other than locking up a juvenile for truancy. The bill passed the committee as substituted with two nay votes.

SB87: Administrative Rule Making Modifications exempts the State Board of Education from parts of the Administrative Rule Making process. Sen. Howard Stephenson claims that the current process has created a hardship on both the Board and the public. Amendments were proposed to allow somebody speaking for an organization at least 15 minutes to give public input and have the proposed rules available at least 21 days in advance.

UEA Executive Director Lisa Nentl-Bloom noted that rules have the force of law. She said the best policy is made with more voices in the room, including teachers, parents, administrators and others. There have been an historic number of rules drafted this year, she said, adding that on occasion the hearings seemed repetitive because some important concerns were not resolved. She also expressed concern that public comment time is often the only opportunity to present to the full board. The bill passed the committee with three nay votes.

SB165: Public Education Appointment and Hiring gives the principal final authority on who will be hired in his or her building. Carl Boynton, director of the Utah Secondary School Principals Association, spoke against the bill, saying the current process works. Sevier County School District Superintendent Cade Douglas, representing the Utah School Boards Association and the Utah School Superintendents Association, said these organizations oppose the bill as unnecessary.

Sara Jones, representing the UEA, expressed concern that the process outlined in this bill would slow down the hiring of employees, especially in large schools and school districts, hindering efforts to staff schools. Collaboration can occur without mandates from the legislature, she said. A motion to hold the item in committee passed 8-1.

SB139: Board of Education Approval Amendments directs the Utah State Board of Education to designate an employee to monitor teacher preparation programs. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

SB163: Kindergarten Age Exceptions Amendments allows a child who turns 5 by December 31 to enter kindergarten under certain circumstances. The bill was substituted to limit the number of students allowed to enter kindergarten to one-half of one percent of enrollment. After hearing testimony for and against the bill, it failed to pass on a vote of 3-6.

SB43: Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools provides for the creation of a firearm safety program for public schools. This is an opt-in program. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

SJR14: Teacher Standards for the 21st Century is a joint resolution of the Legislature urging the State Board of Education to reevaluate teacher licensure standards to better prepare new teachers for classroom teaching in the twenty-first century. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee (reported by Jay Blain): HB193 (1st sub): Charter School Funding Amendments puts the board and voted levy guarantees into the Local Replacement Fund calculations but separates them from district funds. It also puts in place a state charter levy that replaces the 25% district contribution for the local replacement, which would now appear on county tax notices. SB38 (4th sub.): School Funding Amendments is an identical bill that has already passed both the Senate and the House (see below). Rep. Kraig Powell said that if his bill makes it to the Senate calendar and SB 38 makes it to the Governor without any problems, he will not pursue this bill. It passed the committee unanimously.

HB358 (1st sub): Student Privacy Amendments has been amended to allow teachers to do the work they need to do in their classrooms. This mostly addresses the records kept at the state and district levels. The bill passed the committee on a vote of 2-1.

House Revenue and Taxation Committee (reported by Jay Blain): SB242: Special Education Intensive Needs Fund Amendments enacts intensive special education cost reimbursement provisions. It also tasks the Utah State Board of Education to write rules on how to distribute the money from the fund it creates. The Board must come back to the Legislature after the rules are written for approval. Bill passed the committee with a favorable recommendation.

Senate Floor: HB318 (2nd sub.): Point of the Mountain Development Commission Act passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB343: School Administration Amendments amends provisions for school community councils and safe technology use in schools. The bill passed Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

House Floor: SB38 (4th sub.): School Funding Amendments puts the board and voted levy guarantees into the Local Replacement Fund calculations but separates them from district funds. It also puts in place a state charter levy that replaces the 25% district contribution for the local replacement, which would now appear on county tax notices. The bill passed the House 71-1. (NOTE: HB193 (1st sub): Charter School Funding Amendments is an identical bill that has already passed both the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.)

SB101 (2nd sub.): High Quality School Readiness Program Expansion provides public, private or home-based technology school readiness programs for eligible students, as long as the program meets the high quality standards. A small amount, $120,000, will come from the education fund, the remainder from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. The bill passed the House 63-10 and now goes to the Governor.

SB143 (1st sub.): Competency-based Learning Amendments creates a grant program for up to three districts or charter schools to participate in the development of competency-based learning. The bill passed the House 59-12, but has not been prioritized for funding.

SB152: Accelerated Foreign Language Course Amendments will authorize college level foreign language courses in high school for dual immersion students who are now reaching high school. These are now being developed by the University of Utah. The bill passed the House 67-2 and now goes to the Governor.

SB91 (2nd sub.): Board of Education Amendments gives authority to the State Board of Education to audit money distributed to local agencies, even if that funding is distributed through a third-party provider. The bill passed the House 64-4 and now goes to the Governor.

SB109 (1st sub.): State Institutional Trust Land Amendments and SJR12: Proposal to Amend Utah Constitution - Changes to School Funds are companion bills to allow a change in the formula for distribution of State Institutional Trust Lands funds. The change would have the Trust operate more like an endowment and would require a public vote to change the Utah Constitution. The UEA supports these bills. Both passed the House unanimously and now go the Governor.

House Committees: The following bills were returned to the House Rules Committee, meaning they will likely not be heard this session:
   - HB70: Voter Eligibility Amendments
   - HB71: Weighted Pupil Unit Calculation Equalization Amendments
   - HB73: Financial Disclosure Modifications
   - HB86 (3rd sub.): Postretirement Employment Restrictions
   - HB94 (1st sub.): Local Funding Options for Public Education
   - HB102 (1st sub.): Interpreter Services Amendments
   - HB117: Modifications to Postretirement Reemployment Restrictions
   - HB119: Straight Ticket Voting Amendments
   - HB153: Certified Tax Rate Amendments
   - HB164 (1st sub.): Educational Testing Amendments
   - HB309: Sales and Use Tax Earmark Amendments


March 9, 2016

Executive Appropriations Committee (reported by Jay Blain): The Executive Appropriations Committee approved consolidated motions to be part of the final budget bill, including adjustments to the Minimum School Program. It also passed a motion to fund additional bills such as hazardous bus route grants (HB301), statewide technology grants (HB277), computer science initiative (SB93), National Board Teacher certification (HB331), a State Board employee to monitor teacher preparation programs (SB139), training for school resource officers (HB460), and competency-based learning (SB143).

House Floor: SB14 (1st sub.): American Indian and Alaskan Native Amendments allows schools with a certain percentage of Native American populations to write grants that the State Board of Education administers. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB67: Partnerships for Student Success, request of $2 million from the Education Fund for a Student Success Grant Program. The bill passed the House on a vote of 55-20, but has not been prioritized for funding by the Executive Appropriations Committee.

SB103 (1st sub.): Strategic Workforce Investments establishes a process for investing strategically in workforce development. It appropriates $1.5 million from the Education Fund. The bill passed the House 65-2, but has not been prioritized for funding by the Executive Appropriations Committee.

SB139 (1st sub.): Board of Education Approval Amendments directs the State Board of Education to designate an employee to monitor teacher preparation programs and to consider recommendations and make rules. The bill passed the House 62-9 and now goes to the Governor.

Senate Floor: HB221 (10th sub.): Immunization of Students Amendments sets requirements to obtain immunization exemptions for school-age children and requires an individual who intends to receive an immunization exemption form online to complete an education module. It passed the Senate 22-1 and now goes to the Governor.

HB277 (2nd sub.): Digital Teaching and Learning creates a Digital Teaching and Learning Grant Program with an appropriation from the Education Fund of $10 million in ongoing and $15 million in one-time funding. The bill passed the Senate 19-4. The House concurred with Senate changes on a vote of 44-21. It now goes to the Governor.

HB301 (1st sub.): School Bus Route Grant Program creates a grant program to provide transportation funding for routes that are unsafe for a student to walk. The appropriation is $500,000 in ongoing money. The bill passed the Senate 66-3 and now goes to the Governor.

HB331 (1st sub.): Education Provisions would provide partial reimbursement for the cost of certification for those teachers who achieve National Board certification. It would also provide an ongoing $750 stipend to NBC teachers and an additional $1,500 stipend for NBC teachers teaching in a Title I school. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 26-1. The House concurred with Senate changes on a vote of 44-19. It now goes to the Governor. The Executive Appropriations Committee has recommended an ongoing allocation of $246,300 for this bill.

HB200: Student Assessment Modifications would allow a school district or charter school to offer the ACT in place of the 11th grade SAGE test, if they choose to do so. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB217: Small School Funding appropriates $2 million in ongoing money for the necessarily existent small schools program. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB290 (1st sub.): Campaign Finance Reform Amendments passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

House Committees: The following bill was returned to the Rules Committee, meaning it will likely not be heard this session:
  - HB131 (1st sub.): Election Modifications


March 10, 2016

Senate Floor (notes reported by Jay Blain): HB10 (4th sub.): Initiative and Referendum Amendments passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB358 (3rd sub.): Student Privacy Amendments passed the Senate unanimously and now moves to the Governor.

HB201 (2nd sub.): Student Testing Amendments eliminates the use of SAGE testing scores for teacher evaluations. Sen. Lincoln Fillmore presented by reading many quotes from the House sponsor, Rep. Marie Poulson. He added that giving parents the right to opt out is evaluating teachers on something over which they have no control and this is something that the legislature has done. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB175 (4th sub.): Public Education Employment Amendments is to clean up some elements concerning background checks on potential educational employees. The bill passed the full Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

HB193 (1st sub.): Charter School Funding Amendments passed the Senate, but the House did not hear Senate amendments. (Note: An identical bill, SB38 (4th sub.): School Funding Amendments, passed both the House and the Senate and was sent to the Governor.)

HB289 (1st sub.): Charter School Closure Amendments develops procedures for closing a charter school. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

HB443 (1st sub.): School Dropout Recovery Program Amendments amends and enacts provisions regarding a school's responsibility to provide dropout prevention and recovery services. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

House Floor (notes reported by Jay Blain): HB438: Amendments to Election Law passed the House unanimously but was not heard in the Senate before the session ended.

SB43 (1st sub.): Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention in Public Schools creates an opt-in pilot program to provide instruction to public school students on firearm safety and violence prevention. Rep. Dan McCay presented by saying that education is the key to helping prevention of tragedy. The Attorney General’s office will select the program, he said. Rep. Ken Ivory was concerned that the issue may be politicized once it goes out into classrooms. He cited the example of when he met with a group of teachers after the “compound constitutional republic” bill was passed. The teachers were hostile to them, he said, so he doesn’t trust that teachers won’t politicize the issue. The bill passed the House 55-16 and now moves to the Governor.

SB45 (2nd sub.): Compulsory Education Revisions would reduce criminal penalties for the parent of a truant school-age child. After much political compromise and discussion, the bill came back to the house for a concurrence vote and the bill was defeated in the House on a vote of 32-39.

SB87: Administrative Rulemaking Act Modifications provides that under certain circumstances, the State Board of Education is exempt from the public hearing requirements described in the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act. It passed the House 42-26 and now goes to the Governor.

SB149 (2nd sub.): School Grading Amendments increases the range for grade distributions under the School Grading and requires that the range will increase annually until the lower point of the A range reaches 90%. The bill failed in the House on a vote of 32-41.

SB232 (1st sub.): Rescue Medication in Schools provides for a trained public school employee volunteer to administer a seizure rescue medication under certain conditions. It passed the House 58-10 and now goes to the Governor.

SB242: Special Education Intensive Needs Fund Amendments enacts intensive special education cost reimbursement provisions. It also tasks the Utah State Board of Education to write rules on how to distribute the money from the fund it creates. The Board must come back to the Legislature after the rules are written for approval. Bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB78 (3rd sub.): State Board of Education Candidate Selection originally attempted to strike out educational viewpoints from criteria used by the nominating committee in selecting candidates for State Board of Education. It was substituted on the House floor to allow for non-partisan primary elections in 2016, then change to partisan elections beginning in 2018. It passed the House 50-23 and the Senate concurred with the substitution 24-4.

SB125 (1st sub.): After-school Programs Amendments requires the State Board of Education to make rules that describe high quality standards for programs for elementary and secondary students that operate outside of the regular school day provides grant funding for certain programs. The bill passed the House 66-3 and was sent to the Governor.

SB191: School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act Amendments extends deadlines required in the school turnaround program and clarifies that turnaround consultants will only receive a final payment if a school improves at the end of three years rather than just showing improvement for a single year. The bill passed the House 65-6 and was sent to the Governor.

SB239: School Governance Amendments amends provisions related to the governance of school districts and charter schools. It passed the House unanimously and was sent to the Governor.

SCR19: Concurrent Resolution on Education would recognize the limits of federal power related to education as set forth in the 10th Amendment. The resolution passed the House 59-13 and was sent to the Governor.