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.
Still working on my notes. Lots was discussed, shared, debated. The player below will allow you to listen to the full meeting. The first 23 minutes is the discussion of HB603, which has to do with the PACT program. The discussion about HB541 starts at 23 minutes, 22 seconds.
Here’s the full audio file if you’d like to download it. I’m a novice at sharing mp3’s, so if anyone has a better suggestion on where to post this file, please let me know.
The plan is to vote on the bill in Wednesday morning’s 9:00 a.m. committee meeting. I’m headed back to Montgomery in the morning and will share details here tomorrow.
Suffice it to say that many questions were asked. The devil is always in the details. Some interesting suggestions for amendments were shared.
State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice said clearly that he would like for superintendents to have charter schools as part of their “toolbox” and is in favor of the bill. He shared state Board of Education members’ concerns about the bill, but remained in favor of the bill overall. He said that he and others at the state department worked with the authors of the bill, so this bill has been drafted in cooperation with the state department of education.
So many thoughts about this. Will share more tomorrow.
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