Friday, March 7, 2008

Here's where other education-related bills stand

• Compulsory attendance. SF 2144, a bill to increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17 by Sept. 15 of the school year, has been passed out of committee and is awaiting action by the full House.

• IPERS. A bill passed out of the Senate State Government Committee includes language allowing the actuary to set the IPERS contribution rate beginning in July of 2011 after the current statutory increase of 2 percent is fully implemented. In addition, the bill would limit the number of 403b vendors that a school district can use to eight. Of that total, local bargaining units would be able to choose up to three vendors and the employer could choose up to five. Under this plan, a school district would not be required to offer eight options, but the local employee group can decide whether it offers three or fewer.

• ESP salaries. ISEA lobbyists are working to address the Education Support Professional salary issue by including language in the education appropriations bill stating that the goal of the state is to provide a competitive living wage to all public employees. To learn more about living wage campaigns, listen to episode 21 of the ISEA In Focus podcast series.

• Core curriculum. A bill to require school districts to adopt the now-voluntary core curriculum has moved out of the Senate and is on its way to the House. Under this plan, the mandate would be fully implemented by the 2012-13 school year for grades 9 - 12 and during the 2014-15 school year for grades K - 8. The ISEA supports this bill because it focuses on classroom instruction rather than requiring additional tests and accountability measures. For more details, see the Feb. 29 issue of the ISEA Hotline.