A day before HB 21, the school finance bill, was scheduled to hit the House floor, the Senate Education Committee took up several finance-related bills. Committee Chair Larry Taylor presented a reform bill that streamlines the current, complex system, and was supported by groups advocating for greater equity in the system. But since it is not yet known whether the Senate will agree to the House's influx of an additional $1.6 billion for public schools (though it seems increasingly unlikely), the effect of any school finance bill is hard to predict.
House Public Education heard a cyberbullying bill, listening to emotional testimony from family members of children moved to commit suicide after becoming the victims of cyberbullying. HB 306 by Rep. Ina Minjarez would strengthen bullying laws to specifically define and include cyberbullying, and ensure school districts develop policies that address bullying that takes place off campus.
Other bills on the committee's agenda included:
- HB 3706, which expands dropout recovery programs to specifically allow online programs
- HB 3887, which revises existing teacher training to include identification of students dealing with childhood trauma
- HB 2767, which imposes a waiting period of at least a full school year between the adoption of rules relating to the accountability system and the implementation of those rules
- HB 1451, which supports dual language immersion by allowing students to earn a high school credit for having completed a dual language program in elementary school