Citizens for Educational Choice Makes Progress in 2023 Legislative Session!
Below is a summary of bills going to the Governor and other notes. The goals coming into the session were to (1) increase Required Services, (2) increase Scholarships and to (3) monitor publics for impact on non-publics.
Increase Required Services
- We were able to increase Required Services by $1,000,000 from the State General Fund. Once the budget limit was lifted, CEC worked to include it.
- The Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence Fund remained at 46.3 million. We made efforts to pass HB 98 which would have allowed $5400 to follow the child. It did not pass but the legislation now is in place with a religious freedom clause. The thought is to continue to work for the next session.
Other Funding Notes
- Those eligible for the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program increased by $860,000. This bill by Rep. Green took some collaborative work to pass.
- Also, the Education Excellence Fund increased about $1,270,129 as well.
Some Public Schools Legislation with potential impacts
We were successful, by working collaboratively, in removing a last-minute amendment that would have required more reporting by private schools on funds received. It was a late-night amendment that we worked with Senator Talbot the next morning to remove.
- HB 12 will require testing and remediation and holding back students from moving to the fourth grade if not reading at level by the time school starts in the Fall. There will be a year of planning before it comes into effect.
- HB 474 will allow for a limited raffle license with limited reporting if an event is under $10,000.
- HB 69 will require a brief dyslexia test before leaving kindergarten to screen.
- HB 68 will protect teachers involved in aggressive behavior by students and protect them from civil liability.
- HB 242 prohibits corporeal punishment unless allowed by parents.
- HB 348 improves notification procedures of threats to schools or students.
- SB 207 Establishes the School Safety Act; allocates funding for staff and 5 million seed money for grants to schools for improved safety measures.
- SB 12 will require automatic defibrillators at school athletic events.
- HB 191 allows or relaxes some rules for teacher certification to address the teacher shortage.
During the session weekly updates were sent to 11,800 CEC Advocates with over 50% opening the updates! We have a strong base. We also responded to the Call to Acton in support of Parental Choice.