The 2015 session of the Utah Legislature is underway, and there are many proposals on the table that would impact public education.
Here’s a list of some of the education-related bills that are currently being discussed on the hill:
Expands the grant program for teacher training in math by allowing a grant to be used to provide a stipend, professional development, and leadership opportunities to an experience mathematics teacher to assist the teacher in becoming a teacher leader.
Provides grants for LEAs for the purchase of digital content and hardware, professional development for educators, and peripherals and networking equipment.
Requires State Board, through an RFP, to select one or more technology providers (that collectively meet all the established criteria) of an English language arts instructional tool (for reading and writing) to be used as a supplement to English language arts instruction.
The Utah Retirement Office may not cancel the retirement allowance of a retiree who is reemployed with a participating employer after 60 days od the retiree’s retirement date if the retiree does not receive any of the following employer provided benefits for the reemployment: retirement benefits including any retirement contributions from a participating employer, or paid time off, including sick, annual, or other types of leave; and the employee is reemployed by a different agency. The reemployed employee may receive medical and dental and other insurance benefits, including workers’ compensation and there is no cap on reemployment wages.
Requires the State Board, through an RFP process, to provide an online program to prepare students to take AP exams and the college placement test most commonly used in higher education institutions.
Requires a school district to allocate 25% of district per pupil revenues for each student of the school district who is enrolled in a charter school regardless of the charter school students’ average local revenues.
Allows a teacher with a bachelor’s degree minor in secondary math, integrated science, chemistry, physics, physical science, or general science to qualify for the Teacher Salary Supplement Program.
The State Board shall make rules for an administrative/supervisory license that allows the board to license applicants from a variety of professional backgrounds. The Board may not require that an applicant have a particular graduate degree, hold a teaching license, complete and education leadership graduate program, obtain in a professional recommendation solely from a school with an approved preparation program, or have experience in an education field.
Creates the Strengthening College and Career Readiness Program, a competitive grant program for LEAs to enhance the skill level of school counselors to provide college and career counseling.
Includes computer science or special education teachers as “eligible teachers” for the Teacher Salary Supplement Program. Increases payment to eligible teachers by $1,000 each year through 2021 at which time it tops out at $10,000.
An eligible educator (teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, aide) employed in a qualified school may claim a nonrefundable tax credit against a tax for a qualified expense (materials or equipment used in a classroom).
Prohibits a school district or charter school from offering postemployment health benefits to new employees who begin employment on or after July 1, 2015.
Requires a public school to prepare a sample early graduation schedule and a sample college-ready schedule to provide to an eighth grade student and the student’s parent or guardian.
Effective January 1, 2016, a high school student or an adult education program student must pass a basic civics test as a condition for receiving a high school diploma or adult education secondary diploma.
The State Board shall consult with endowed chairs from higher education and with integrated arts advocates to administer the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Elementary Arts program.
Creates a pilot program to provide professional development for educators and evidenced-based, tiered literacy interventions to students in grades K-5 who are at risk, or experiencing reading difficulties, including dyslexia.
Proposes to amend the Utah Constitution by repealing language that provides for the election of members of the State Board of Education and provides for members of the State Board of Education to be appointed by the Governor, with consent of the Senate.