Comprehensive Education Reform
The Education Reform Bill is still set for special order in the Senate. Senators stalled on the "Teacher Bill of Rights" amendments over the last two weeks, but were able to make some progress and passed four amendments this week:
1. One amendment added education majors to the current majors that can receive the Palmetto Fellows and LIFE Scholarship STEM Enhancement.
2. The next amendment added the “Educator Fundamentals for Professional Excellence” – these are seven items from the former Teacher Bill of Rights, but according to the testimony, it no longer allows grounds for legal action. A separate amendment that would allow mediation and arbitration was not adopted.
3. Another amendment clarified that any information or data collected on students must be confidential and maintained in accordance with state and federal privacy laws.
4. The last amendment deleted a section requiring a seven-year cyclical approval evaluation process for alternative route providers and programs.
Debate is expected to continue through at least the end of the week.
Chamber Position: Support passage of a comprehensive bill that addresses Chamber priorities including:
- Supporting strong intervention in under-performing schools
- Strengthening Read to Succeed
- Support efforts to consolidate school districts
- Supporting Schools of Innovation