Senate Education Committee Recommends SB166 and SB167

Two new Senate bills were presented in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 8.

First, SB 166 was presented by Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R-South Jordan). He stated the focus of the bill is to create agreed-upon language with cities and towns regarding land use and zoning of micro-schools.

UEA Government Director Dr. Sara Jones testified against the bill citing that with the passage of HB 215, micro-schools could become providers for students receiving the $8,000 voucher. Thus, a micro-school enrolling up to 150 students, as allowed in the code, would receive $1.2 million.

However, SB 166:

  • Prohibits the state from verifying a student actually attends the school
  • Prohibits the state from verifying students actually learn anything
  • Prohibits the state from overseeing instructional materials and textbooks used by the school
  • Prohibits the state from setting any minimum qualifications for educators employed by the school

Sen. Fillmore stated that there would be further changes to the bill and this version would not be the version presented on the Senate floor. The bill passed 5-1 with only Senator Riebe voting no.

Sen. Kirk Cullimore (R-Sandy )presented SB 167 Sub 1. The bill was substituted with a significant change in language, directing the State Board to create a new educator license specific to teaching in the Statewide Online Education Program through an authorized online provider. The bill passed out of the committee unanimously.