The House on Thursday is scheduled to debate Senate Bills 1 and 2, which are “must pass” fiscal bills necessary to balance the new state budget. SB1 also includes provisions for distributing $4 billion in formula cuts among school districts, which means there will be controversy. Rural school districts, in particular, are unhappy over formulas they believe treat them unfairly. This dispute could put SB1 in jeopardy.
TSTA is demanding that the Legislature add $6 billion to the bill from the Rainy Day Fund to help soften cuts to the schools, but so far the majority has ignored our call.
Also on the calendar are House Bills 18 – which would all but repeal the 22-1 class size limit for K-4 – and House Bills 19, 20 and 21, attacking teacher employment rights.
House Bill 19 would repeal a teacher’s right to a hearing before an independent hearing officer in cases of mid-year terminations; HB20 would change the deadline for non-renewal notification from the 45th day to the 15th day before the end of instruction; and HB21 would remove seniority as a factor in determining school layoffs during reductions in force.
Please keep calling your state representatives to demand votes AGAINST HBs 18, 19, 20 and 21. And tell your representatives to spend the rest of the Rainy Day Fund. Our school kids need the money! Call the toll-free number, 800-260-5444, to be connected with your legislators.