Alabama’s statehouse reporters are doing a remarkable job keeping up with what Alabama’s lawmakers are doing.
And there’s some other stuff going on, too.
The State Board of Education will name an interim superintendent…
…at Thursday’s board meeting. Here are the names of the six applicants.
The meeting starts at 10 a.m. (or whenever the work session ends…it starts at 9 a.m.). Here are the agendas for both.
Both will be streamed online (as always) at this link.
An update on the A-F Grading System is expected…
…at Thursday’s work session. The bill authorizing the A-F grading system was passed in 2012 with an original deadline of December 2013. Deputy State Superintendent Dr. Melinda Maddox will give an update. Full disclosure: I served on the task force charged with creating the grading system. Our work ended in October 2015. Former State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice said at the March work session that the board would receive a final version at the April board work session.
I’ll be tweeting live. Follow me at @alschoolconnect. If you’re not on Twitter, check out the right side of this page for the feed.
The PREP Act has been shelved…
…according to Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston), the bill’s sponsor. He told the press on Tuesday evening, April 12, that he was pulling the PREP Act from consideration.
— Tim Lockette (@TLockette_Star) April 13, 2016
The Senate passed their version of the Education Trust Fund budget…
…and because it is different from the House version, the House must either agree (officially called “concur”) or a conference committee will be called. Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said today he expects the budget to end up in a conference committee.
The $6.3 billion budget is the largest ETF budget since FY08.
The $12 million that was in the budget for the PREP Act was re-allocated, with an additional $3.75 million for each transportation and OCE (other current expense), while the $3 million allocated for the Teacher Mentoring Program (which would have been created in the PREP Act, but now has money but no regulations) remains.
Sen. Marsh added an amendment to the pay raise bill…
…to allow additional compensation for teachers holding advanced degrees only under certain conditions. It applies beginning January 1, 2017. It passed Here’s what the amendment says:
“additional compensation for an advanced degree shall only be provided if the advanced degree is earned in the same field of study as the subject matter the person is teaching, unless:
(i) the advanced degree is in education administration or counseling; or (ii) the person teaches a subject that is in critical shortage, as defined by the local school system and approved by the State Department of Education; or (iii) the teacher is required to transfer to another area or subject.”
Along with teachers making $75,000 or less, the Senate added Principals and Assistant Principals to the 4% pay raise. Teachers making more than $75,000 will receive a 2% raise.
That bill passed unanimously.
The legislature will convene again next Tuesday.
The Education Savings Account, Senate version, was pulled from the committee’s agenda…
…no word on why or whether or when it will be back.
The Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved a contract for a start-up charter school…
…and it can be found here.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) adopted rules to allow homeschoolers to play sports at the school the child would be zoned to attend…
…but there are a lot of hoops for homeschoolers to jump through and rules to follow, including taking AHSAA-criteria tests in all four core subjects at the end of each semester for academic eligibility beginning with seventh grade through the end of the first semester in 12th grade at the public school where they participate in sports.
The new rules also make provisions for virtual and public charter school students. Here are the new AHSAA bylaws.
State Board of Education Republican primary runoffs will bring someone new to the board….
District 1 incumbent Matthew Brown (R) was defeated by challenger Jackie Zeigler. Zeigler faces Democratic challenger Ron Davis, the former Prichard mayor, in November’s general election.
District 7 incumbent Jeff Newman defeated challenger Jim Bonner. No Democrat qualified to run, so Newman officially retains his seat for another four years.
Annual Standardized Testing is underway…
…and that includes the ACT Aspire for grades three through eight and also 10th grade. All 11th graders will take the ACT college entrance exam next Tuesday. State Board of Education Mary Scott Hunter (R-District 8) tweeted this for inspiration.
Next Tuesday all Alabama juniors will take the ACT. Encourage students to be rested & take the test seriously. pic.twitter.com/aMIzK56n0F
— Mary Scott Hunter (@MaryScottHunter) April 14, 2016
Teacher Survey (7,500 responses!) results released…
…that highlight teachers views on their working environment. Haven’t had a chance to read through the details. Read the ALSDE’s news release here.