Click here to download the full audio file (90-plus minutes) of today’s meeting. The only item discussed was the Education Options Act of 2012. Representative Phil Williams, sponsor of the bill, began the discussion by introducing a substitute bill. Haven’t found a posted copy of the substitute bill.
Committee meets at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday morning. Chairman Jay Love stated he plans to take a vote on the bill at that time.
Man, y’all really need to be there to understand the excitement and hope that fills the room when State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice is speaking. Granted, I never attended work sessions under Dr. Morton (except the one before his official retirement last August), but Bice just puts one good idea on the table after the other in the work sessions I’ve made the time to attend. I have chosen to attend the work sessions rather than the meetings, because the work sessions are where the candid discussion takes place. Bice has taken the additional transparent step of streaming work sessions and meetings live on the internet, and anyone who wishes to hear the full conversation really should take the time to view the meetings for themselves. Otherwise, you are welcome to read my notes. I do not purport that I have reported every sentence, as this is not a transcript. Rather the idea of sharing notes here is so you can know what our education officials (particularly those you have elected) consider priorities and how they view specific educational issues. I urge you to contact your state board of education member if you would like to know more.
The meetings are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. However, because the Post-Secondary meeting is held prior to this work session, sometimes the meeting gets started a little late. The meeting started at 11:09 a.m. Continue reading
This post is broken into two parts: the Committee Meeting and the Public Hearing. The House Ways and Means education Committee was given an opportunity to ask questions of the bill’s sponsor, Representative Phil Williams. Chairman Jay Love reminded committee members that they were on a “tight time schedule” throughout the question and answer session. A joint meeting of both bodies of the legislature (House and Senate) had been called for 11:00 a.m.
During the public hearing, ten persons spoke in favor of the bill, while eight spoke against the bill. The eight that spoke against the bill had specific reasons for speaking against the bill which will be shared in my notes below.
So I got to the meeting right at 9:00 a.m. and ended up in the overflow room, where you can hear, but not see, participants. No problem (until the band waiting to greet Octavia Spencer started warming up outside…). Any clarifications that I add will be contained in brackets [ ]. Continue reading