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School finance reform bill gets preliminary approval in House

HBs 21 and 23 were given preliminary approval by the full House today. HB 22 failed to pass with a narrow vote.

HB 21 (Huberty) is the school finance reform bill that the House passed during the regular session. It died after returning from the Senate with a voucher program attached and a delay in appointees to a conference committee. Huberty indicated his desire to work with the Senate to get this bill passed during the special session and take a step toward true school finance reform. “I hope that they’ll take our olive branch seriously so we can sit down and have meaningful discussions about this,” he said. The bill passed with a vote of 130-12 to third reading.

HB 23 (Huberty) would require the commissioner of education to establish a program to award grants to public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that provide innovative services to students with autism. It was passed with a voice vote to third reading.

Failing to pass with a narrow vote of 61 to 67, was HB 22 (Ken King), which would reinstate and continue ASATR through fiscal year 2019 except for those districts receiving less than 4 percent of M&O from ASATR. King said he prefers that HB 21 be made law, but he filed this bill as a means to try to prevent 10 school districts from closing should HB 21 not pass the Senate and receive the governor’s signature.

House Public Education Committee to Meet Tuesday, August 8 The House Public Education Committee posted a hearing for 8 a.m. Tuesday, August 8. The committee will hear public testimony on a variety of bills. See the list.

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