What’s been done? What’s still to come?
Check out the Current Legislation page for the latest updates. The table has been modified to allow it to be sorted by where the bill is in the process of becoming a law:
1 – In committee in house of origin
2 – In full chamber in house of origin (means it received a favorable report from the committee)
3 – In committee in second house
4 – In full chamber in second house (means it received a favorable report from the committee in the second house)
5 – Enrolled, enacted (means it passed the second house)
What’s Been Done
A total of 71 bills have become laws through Friday, March 14. Of those, five have some direct impact on public education:
HB64 – Granted sovereign immunity to all public school employees.
SB66 – Redacted “personal information” from the published version of required Statements of Economic Interests
SB217 – Created the Alabama Workforce Council.
HB384 – Created the Career-Technical Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program
SB13 – Established the Behavior Analyst Licensing Board
These bills are very close to becoming law, having passed both houses of the legislature.
SB38 – Removes all licensing and regulation authority of State Department of Education over private, non-public, and parochial schools in Alabama. Establishes absolute autonomy in instructional practices. This bill is headed to a conference committee due to the House approving an amendment to the bill and the Senate’s refusal to concur.
SB213 – Raises the threshold for services that must be bid to $15,000 (from $7,500).
SB7 – Allows the public to vote on a state constitutional amendment that prohibits local boards of education from being required to implement unfunded mandates, except for those related to pay increases for public school employees, unless the legislature passes the mandate by a 2/3 vote.
To put it in simple terms, here are the topics the state legislature has addressed:
- Remove accountability for public school employees who may cause harm/be subject to civil action if the employee was within their scope of authority and used personal discretion even though harm resulted to the child.
- Removed personal information about public school employees, elected and appointed boards of education from the mandated economic interest disclosure.
- Removed licensing and regulation requirements for private, non-public and parochial schools.
- Removed requirements for local boards of education to expend local money on state-mandated actions…except where raises for public school employees are concerned.
- Raised the threshold for local boards of education to expend money on services that have to be bid to $15,000.
- Removed $5 million from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) by establishing the Career-Technical Dual Enrollment Scholarship program.
- Created the Behavior Analyst Licensing Board and the Alabama Workforce Council, both of which increase expenditures by an undetermined amount.
What’s Still to Come?
With six days left, 17 K-12 bills are on the final leg of their journey to become a law. Subject matter of those bills include:
- Allowing schools to educate students about traditional winter celebrations
- Placing the Ten Commandments on school property
- Allowing for warrantless arrests for trespassing on school property
- the Flexible School Calendar Act, allowing local boards to utilize a 1080-hour calendar rather than the 180-day calendar
There are another seven bills that have passed their house of origin and are sitting in committee in the second house.
36 bills are waiting for consideration in the full chamber of their house of origin.
57 bills await consideration in committee in their house of origin.
When you remove “companion bills”, where the subject matter is either identical or nearly-identical, the actual number of unique ideas plummets, as some bills with similar subject matter are making their way through their house of origin and will likely meet up somewhere along that path.
The ETF Budget
The ETF Budget is expected to be on the House floor on Tuesday. Here is the PDF of the House Ways and Means Education Committee’s version.