The majority of state legislative session are now adjourned or nearly adjourned and this week brings some victories and some surprises. In Nevada the full legislature sent AB 205 to Governor Sandoval, who is expected to sign the bill this week. Meanwhile SB 2 in Texas cleared the legislature, as detailed last week, and is still awaiting action by Governor Perry.
In Delaware an anticipated comprehensive charter bill was introduced on May 30th and quickly passed through the House Education Committee albeit by a narrow margin. The bill, HB 165, mandates a performance-based contract for all schools authorized by the Department of Education and sets strong application standards, renewal criteria and school reporting requirements—all NACSA best practices. NACSA will be watching this effort closely as the legislature tries to get the bill through in the three remaining weeks of session.
In South Carolina the ticking clock of session ultimately blocked the passage of H 3853 this year, as it was trapped behind other bills waiting for their second reading this week. The author and sponsors are already working on plans for the bill’s next opportunity for passage in January 2014.
The topic of cyber charter schools is sparking discussion and legislation in several statehouses—including Maine, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania to name a few—as states struggle to confront the policy complexities these school present. Many legislators are calling for cyber moratoriums or altered funding formulas to try and catch up research-based policy initiatives with this rapidly-growing sector.
As state sessions end and federal ESEA and budget proposals pick up steam stay tuned for “Action on the Hill.”