The week started off with somewhat good news: on its third reading, the bill that would limit access to the state’s award winning pre-K programs for at-risk students passed with slightly better terms than expected.
Lawmakers modified HB 935 at the last minute to fund pre-K classes for children whose families make 130 percent of the federal poverty level — roughly $31,000 a year for a family of four. A previous version of the bill set the threshold at 100 percent of the federal poverty level. The amended version also delays the date the bill would become law by one year, because the operation of roughly half of all pre-K programs that are currently located in local public school districts must be turned over to private pre-K providers, a significant logistical hurdle.
The pre-K bill now heads to the Senate.
After winding its way through several committee hearings, the full Senate finally got to debate Sen. Jerry Tillman’s SB 337, a bill that would create a new independent charter school oversight board and set what has turned out to be contentious policies for public charter schools. Read More