This Week in Politics in 5 Sentences (or Fewer)

Bob Kefgen's picture

The House Workforce Committee took testimony but no votes this week on a pair of education bills: SB 344 would create an optional state-recognized STEM diploma endorsement that school districts could give students at their discretion and HB 5907 would require districts to inform students about college-credit-by-testing options like AP, IB, and CLEP, which is not a new requirement, but would add some additional specificity to an existing state law. The Senate Education Committee passed a pair of House bills (HB 4614 & 5379) that MASSP has previously reported on, then took their first testimony on a package of school safety legislation that is their answer to bills that already passed the House on this topic (see MASSP's earlier article on the various school safety legislation for details on the House package). In addition to what we covered in that earlier article, the new Senate bills would: eliminate the 2021 sunset on Michigan's OK2SAY law (SB 957), require districts to conduct school safety assessments and develop an emergency response plan (SB 983), require districts to consult with local law enforcement when building new school buildings or conducting major renovations (SB 990), and require schools to designate an emergency contact that local law enforcement can reach 24/7 (SB 991)…expect more Senate legislation in the coming weeks with a final compromise not likely until this coming September. Wednesday kicked off with the May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference where we learned that the School Aid Fund is doing better than expected (click here for more details) followed by a lengthy Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to discuss the Governor's proposed Marshall Plan for Talent…the latter featured a handful of concerns raised by school groups followed by a parade of business groups and other supporters touting the benefits of the plan. In other news this week, the preliminary settlement announced for the Nassar sexual abuse case is likely to result in changes to the bills that are still being debated in the House Law and Justice Committee…which could have an impact on K-12 education as reported in MASSP's previous article.