Wyoming Education Association

Spring 2019

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1095286

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HB0308: Modernizing and balancing Wyoming's school funding streams – This bill almost failed; by passing, it allows $41 million a year to fl ow from the Permanent Lands Trust Fund to a set aside account to be used for funding schools. This was a huge win for WEA and our schools. WEA worked closely with Speaker of the House Steve Harshman in the fi nal moments to be sure the bill passed. SF0080: Passing stopped school bus – recorded images – It is now a civil penalty for vehicle owners, much like a parking ticket, if a vehicle passes a school bus with the stop-arm down. This bill was truly a joint eff ort by legislators, law enforcement, Laramie County School District #1 (where over 900 cars a school year pass busses with the stop-arm down), WEA members, and parents. Love that Wyoming Constitution Two bills aimed at changing the constitution that would have aff ected school funding died. The fi rst, SJ0005 – Homeowner's Bill of Rights, would prevent any increase in mill levies for school funding. The second, SJ0007 would have put the cost of building new schools back where it was in 1995 – on the backs of districts through local bonds. We know this is inequitable and changing the constitution to allow this would mean changing the fundamental right to an LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY By Tammy Johnson It was a good legislative session for education this year. We did not experience the signifi cant funding cuts expected after last year's session, thanks in part to the external cost adjustment being kept in the budget bill (HB0001/SF0001). Although no new revenue bills were passed, the legislature realized that the constitutional fl oor for funding must be maintained. Key Bills WEA Worked in the 2019 Session HB0022: Teacher Accountability – this essentially does two things: keeps the control over teacher evaluations in the hands of local school districts and eliminates legislation that was slated to start next year which required that student performance data be used as part of the evaluation process. HB0024: National Board Teacher Certifi cation – a clean-up bill which makes fi rm in legislation the process already in place: teachers receive $4000 stipend per year while certifi ed as NBCTs. A 15-year maximum cap was put in place. HB183/SF0075: Repeal gun free zones – this bill ran twice and was defeated twice. It would have allowed concealed carry of fi rearms "in elementary and secondary schools" "on college and university campuses" and "at sporting events." HB0129/SF0143: Civics Profi ciency exam – defeated. Would have required passing the US Citizenship and Immigration test to graduate from Wyoming high schools. A very low bar, but invalid and inappropriate mechanism for our schools. HB0297: K-3 Reading Assessment and Intervention Program – Allows school districts to choose and use appropriate universal screeners in K-3 reading assessment. The bill eliminates the required use of the WY-TOPP for gathering longitudinal data on grades K-2. Legislative Action 3 President Vetter shares a moment with the Speaker of the House and WEA member, Steve Harshman during the session. The WEA Government Relations team welcomes new Governor Mark Gordon to the WEA Legislative Reception. A typical day at the legislature with President Vetter and Government Relations Director, Tammy Johnson.

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