Stakes are High – from Lobbyist Jim Kainber

March 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment

6696 – Race to the top and QEC Education Reforms

SB 6696 with the striking amendment that overlaid the HB 2776 Sullivan QEC bill (ESSHB 6696) passed out of the House Friday with a very minor technical amendment by Representative Priest that shifts the maintenance and operating costs (MSOC) full funding deadline from 3 to 4 years, and ups the class size in K-4 from 15 to 17.  These amendments addressed some of the current economic realities, while compromising with some members who were seeking even higher class sizes and even longer phase in of MSOC.

The showdown has shifted the entire burden of passing reforms and RTTT to the Senate where early indications are that Majority Leader Lisa Brown and K-12 Chair Rosemary McAuliffe will try to stall and/or kill the QEC portion of the bill with a technicality calling into question the “scope” of the bill – which in essence means that the bill does too many things to be allowed by state legislative rules.

Of course, we believe that the reforms that are now all in one bill are integrally linked, and that disaggregating would be a travesty, but that is part of the strategy to dismantle our efforts by Brown and McAuliffe.

Stand for Children is vigorously engaging in efforts to prevent the Senate from killing QEC reforms, and pass the less robust version of RTTT legislation that was passed by the Senate.

HB 2731 – Early Learning

HB 2731 passed the House Friday, and there is a tenuous agreement with the Senate over the content of their bill vs. the House version.  In the House they focused the state’s attention on educationally at-risk kids.  The House is currently holding on SB 6759, which, in its current form, makes the program of early learning mandatory (the Senate version was originally voluntary) and would be a program that operated outside the state’s basic education framework, while the House version would keep this early learning piece within basic ed.  Negotiations continue, but the ramifications are clear: if it is included in basic ed, the state will be forced to fully fund it by law, making it discretionary and leaving it out puts the program at risk for budget cuts such as the ones we are seeing now.

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Entry filed under: News Updates.

A small victory, but victory none the less – from Jim Kainber Thank you legislative leaders – from lobbyist, Jim Kainber

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