Legislative Update – February 27, 2015

On Tuesday, February 23rd the Education Policy Review Taskforce established by Speaker Jay Lucas had its first meeting.  Sitting on the taskforce are SCASA members John Tindal, Wanda Andrews, Rainey Knight, David Longshore, and Rick Reames as well as Superintendent Spearman.  The committee is chaired by Rita Allison, Chairwoman of the House Education and Public Works Committee.  Speakers included Former Secretary of the US Department of Education, and former South Carolina Governor Richard Riley as well as former Superintendents Inez Tenenbaum and Barbara Nielsen.  Secretary Riley urged the taskforce to think both strategically and expansively about public education reform in South Carolina and then provided a number of policy recommendations which were echoed by both Former Superintendent Tenenbaum and Former Superintendent Nielsen.

Inclement weather made for a shortened statehouse calendar this week resulting in limited activity in both the House and Senate.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Neither the Education & Public Works Committee nor in the K-12 Subcommittee met this week.

House actions on the floor this week are as follows:

H.3041 (Appointment of Superintendent) removes the Superintendent of Education from the list of elected state offices and places the position within the Governor’s cabinet.  This bill was scheduled to receive second reading on February 25th however the house again adjourned debate until March 3, 2015.

SENATE

On Wednesday, February 25th, both the Senate K-12 Education Subcommittee addressed the following bill:

S.437 (Civics Bill) requires all students of public or charter schools to take the United States Citizenship Civics Test as part of their ½ credit Government course.  This bill was debated in the K12 subcommitetee and was amended to state that students who receive a passing grade on the test may be recognized by their respective school districts.  The bill was reported favorably out of the subcommittee.

On Wednesday, February 25th, the Senate Education Committee was scheduled to take up three (3) bills and six (6) regulations related to K-12 education.  However, time expired prior to the Committee being able to address them.

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