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UEA Report on the 2017 Utah Legislature General Session

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WEEK SEVEN: 

2017 LEGISLATURE WEEK SEVEN SUMMARY: March 6-9

By the end of the 2017 Utah General Legislative Session, the UEA was tracking 118 bills that impact education and educators. Of those bills, the legislature formally considered 45 during the final week and passed 32 on to the Governor for signature. Measures passed during the final days include a 4% increase to the Weighted Pupil Unit, improvements to Utah’s school accountability system and incentives for teachers in high poverty schools. (View the final 2017 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet)

Public Education Budget: The Legislature approved HB2: Public Education Budget Amendments, the primary public education funding bill for the 2017-18 school year. It sets the value of the weighted pupil unit at $3,311 for fiscal year 2018, a 4% increase from FY2017. It also provides full funding of student growth ($64 million), ongoing funding for teacher supply money reimbursement ($5 million), payment for educator licensing fees ($2.6 million ongoing) and funding for a USDB building in Utah County ($10.5 million). See more about the budget.

Statement of Appreciation: Members of the House and Senate read the following joint statement of appreciation:

"The members of the education community collectively wish to thank the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, the Executive Appropriations Committee, and members of the House and Senate for their investment in public education this year. We have enjoyed the open dialogue and collaborative atmosphere and look forward to continued cooperation.

"We are appreciative of the Legislature for fully funding student enrollment growth, the 4 percent increase of the WPU value, ongoing funding for teacher supplies, regional service centers, and the new appropriation for educator licensing fee costs. Of note, we are especially grateful for the additional 1 percent WPU allocated on top of the original 3 percent proposal. Your commitment to student achievement and positive outcomes in schools is commendable. Thank you for a positive session!"

The statement was submitted by the Utah Education Association, the Utah State Board of Education, State Superintendent Syd Dickson and staff, the Utah School Boards Association, the Utah School Superintendents Association, the Utah Parent Teacher Association, the Utah School Employees Association, the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals and the Utah Association of School Business Officials.


Bills on the move this week
(For the final status on all bills of interest see the final 2017 UEA Legislative Tracking Sheet)

HB2: Public Education Budget Amendments is the primary public education funding bill for the 2017-18 school year. It sets the value of the weighted pupil unit at $3,311 for fiscal year 2018, a 4% increase from FY2017. It also provides full funding of student growth ($64 million), ongoing funding for teacher supply money reimbursement ($5 million), payment for educator licensing fees ($2.6 million ongoing) and funding for a USDB building in Utah County ($10.5 million). The bill passed the House on a vote of 69-5 and the Senate unanimously. It now goes to the Governor.

HB43: American Indian and Alaskan Native Education Amendments would provide $500,000 a year to fund recruitment and retention efforts of teachers teaching in schools serving primarily American Indian and Alaskan Native students. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB92: Physical Restraint in Schools would amend provisions related to the use of physical restraint in schools. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB136: Board of Education Revisions would allow the Utah State Board of Education to review any future federal program to determine if it meets states goals. If it does not meet state goals but denial of the program would cost federal dollars, USBE could make an appropriations request from the legislature. The UEA opposes this bill. It passed the Senate on a vote of 20-8 and now goes to the Governor.

HB168 (2nd sub.): Kindergarten Supplemental Enrichment Program would provide more extended-day kindergarten programs for high poverty schools. Money for the program would primarily come from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 27-2 and now goes to the Governor.

HB212 (3rd sub.): Incentive for Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools provides bonuses for teachers who have a 70% median growth percentile or higher in high poverty schools. The district must provide half the bonus funds. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor. The UEA has concerns about defining a teacher’s effectiveness based solely on a standardized test score and the fact only a small percentage of teachers, those teaching grades 4-6 in elementary school or those teaching a tested subject in secondary schools, would even qualify.

HB231: Educator Evaluation Amendments makes substantial changes to educator evaluation, removing many state requirements and giving much more flexibility to local districts. The bill eliminates expectations like a minimum of two evaluations a year for provisional teachers, the requirement that employees receive an orientation on the evaluation system and specific remediation procedures for teachers who are not performing effectively. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB239 (3rd sub.): Juvenile Justice Amendments addresses contracts between LEAs and law enforcement for school resource officer services among other provisions related to juvenile justice. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB255: Tax Increase Initiative Amendments was drafted in response to the “Count My Vote” initiative. The bill requires that the nominal tax rate increase as well as the effective rate be included in the in the materials for any proposed ballot initiative. The UEA opposed this bill. It passed the Senate on a vote of 20-7 and now goes to the Governor.

HB291 (1st sub.): School Children’s Trust Section and Beneficiary Advocate Amendments creates the position of beneficiary advocate under the State Board of Education. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously but was not heard in the full Senate.

HB346 (1st sub.): Suicide Prevention Programs amends and enacts provisions relating to suicide prevention programs. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB361: Block Grant Funding and Statutory Exemption Program for Public Education was sent to Interim study by the House Education Committee.

HB368: Related to Basic School Programs Review requires the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee to review no later than November 30, 2017, each related to basic school program and establish a review schedule going forward. The bill passed the House on a vote of 73-1 but was not heard in the Senate.

HB401: Electronic High School Amendments enacts provisions placing the Electronic High School under the management and administration of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 64-10 but was not heard in the Senate.

HB402: School Trust Fund Amendments amends the contents of the Trust Distribution Account within the Uniform School Fund and amends provisions related to the funding of the School LAND Trust Program. It passed the House unanimously but was not heard in the Senate.

HB404 (1st sub.): Early Warning Pilot Program provides for a software program to identify students in need of early intervention. It directs the State Board of Education to contract with a provider for a one-year pilot software program and requires that the program be designed for use by teachers, school administrators and parents. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously and the full Senate 19-7. It now goes to the Governor.

HB408: State Property and School and Institutional Trust Land Amendments modifies provisions related to local government's authority related to state owned property and school and institutional trust land. It passed the House on a vote of 38-36 but was not heard in the Senate.

HB409: Charter School Funding Amendments amends provisions related to funding for charter students. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously but was not heard in the Senate.

HB413 (1st sub.): Public School Membership in Associations defines guidelines for public school associations and prohibits public schools from belonging or paying dues to an association that is not in compliance with those guidelines. While not mentioned by name, the bill specifically targets the Utah High School Activities Association. The bill passed the House on a vote of 62-13 and the Senate on a vote of 22-4. It now goes to the Governor.

HB414: Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Referral Amendments amends provisions related to educational services for an individual with a hearing loss. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB418: Assistive Teaching Technology Amendments directs the State Board of Education to enter into a contract with a technology provider for the sales and service maintenance of a humanoid robot program for a one-year pilot program. The bill failed on the House floor 24-50.

SB34: Competency-based Education Funding authorizes the State Board of Education to reimburse a local education agency that offers a competency-based education for a student who graduates early from the local education agency. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor

SB61 (3rd sub.): Students with Disabilities Accommodations Funding requires the State Board of Education to make rules regarding the disposition of any money appropriated to the board to reimburse local education agencies for certain services rendered to a student with a Section 504 accommodation plan. The bill passed the House on a vote of 61-9 and now goes to the Governor.

SB114 (6th sub.): Election Law Amendments shortens the period for filing a notice of intent to gather signatures to qualify for placement on the regular primary election ballot. The bill passed the House on a vote of 47-26, but the Senate failed to concur with House changes to the bill.

SB115 (1st sub.): Compulsory Education Revisions reduces penalties for a parent of a truant school-age child and amends requirements related to excusing a home-schooled student. The bill failed in the Senate on a vote of 13-16.

SB117 (4th sub.): Higher Education Performance Funding enacts provisions related to performance funding for higher education institutions and applied technology colleges. The UEA opposed this bill because it represents an earmark on the Education Fund. It passed the House on a vote of 61-6 and now goes to the Governor.

SB125: Authorization to Modify Charter School Charter Agreements allows charter schools to go over their cap if the neighborhood school is closed to open enrollment. It also allows students to bypass the lottery at these charters. The bill passed the House on a vote of 65-7 and now goes to the Governor.

SB127: State Board of Education Amendments modifies a provision relating to the supervision of the director of the Division of Facilities Construction and Management over projects of the State Board of Education and includes the State Board of Education as an educational procurement unit that is a procurement unit with independent procurement authority. The bill passed the House on a vote of 60-13 and now goes to the Governor.

SB161 (1st sub.): Bullying and Hazing Amendments requires a school board to update its policy regarding bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and retaliation; requires employees, students and parents to sign a statement annually acknowledging understanding of the school board's policy; and requires training for school employees related to bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and retaliation. It passed the House on a vote of 55-16 and now goes to the Governor.

SB163 (2nd sub.): Student Information Amendments makes changes to the student privacy bill passed last year. It passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB163 (2nd sub.): Student Information Amendments makes changes to the student privacy bill passed last year. It passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB168 (2nd sub.): Career and College Readiness Mathematics Competency Revisions eliminates naming a specific test, Accuplacer, and lets the Board of Regents select at least two appropriate tests to determine math competency. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB173 (1st sub.): English Language Arts Amendments requires the Utah State Board of Education to select one or more providers that meet certain criteria for English Language Arts. The bill passed the House Education Committee on a vote of 4-3 but failed in the full House on a vote of 28-42.

SB180: Charter School Start-up Grants extends charter school start-up grants by removing the repeal date. The bill passed the House on a vote of 55-14 and now goes to the Governor.

SB186: Education Reporting Amendments eliminates five statutorily required reports. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB190 (1st sub.): Education Computing Partnerships creates the Computing Partnerships Grants program, administered by the STEM Action Center. The bill passed the House by a vote of 72-1 and now goes to the Governor.

SB196: Health Education Amendments removes the prohibition of advocacy of homosexuality in health education and was amended to add a prohibition of premarital or extramarital sexual activity. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 68-1 and now goes to the Governor.

SB216: Reading Intervention Software License Program Accountability Amendments provides that a school district, the State Board of Education and a technology provider work with a public school if the usage rate of reading intervention software falls below a recommended rate. It failed in the House on a vote of 28-44.

SB220 (1st sub.): Student Assessment and School Accountability Amendments would modify the current school grading accountability system, incorporating several new criteria and changing calculation and reporting of school performance. It would also eliminate the use of SAGE tests in high school and instead require ACT and ACT Aspire assessments for high school students. An amendment on the House floor eliminated the requirement to assign a school grade for the 2017-18 school year only. School grades would be assigned after 2017-18 under the bill. It passed the House on a vote of 56-18 and now goes to the Governor. The UEA supports SB220’s modifications to the accountability system, but remains opposed to assigning schools a single letter grade.

SB234 (1st sub.): School Turnaround Amendments makes changes to the School Turnaround program. It allows for a three-year program with up to a two-year extension. The bill continues the current public-private partnership but also allows for contracted ‘specialists’ to help in specific areas. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 70-3 and now goes to the Governor.

SB255 (3rd sub.): Funding for Education System Amendments increases property tax funds collected each year for five years by not allowing the basic tax rate to float down as property values increase. The substitute bill also now includes components of SB80: School Funding Amendments, providing a new source of funding for SB80’s equalization efforts. It passed the Senate on a vote of 25-2 but was not heard in the House.

SB262: Upstart Amendments removes the “pilot” status of the UPSTART technology program and also allows for additional competition from other vendors to run two-year pilot programs to demonstrate effectiveness. The bill passed the House on a vote of 59-14 and now goes to the Governor.

SB269 (1st sub.): Elections Modifications makes changes to the Elections Code regarding the master ballot position list. It changes the date for publication of the master ballot position list to after the candidate filing deadline. The bill passed the House on a vote of 68-3 and now goes to the Governor.

SJR15: Joint Rules Resolution - Federal Revenue Consideration requires the Executive Appropriations Committee to consider treating above-trend federal revenue in the same way as one-time revenue. It passed the House on a vote of 57-12 and now goes to the Governor.


March 6, 2017

House Education Committee (reported by Jay Blain): HB361: Block Grant Funding and Statutory Exemption Program for Public Education was presented by Rep. Norm Thurston. It was sent to Interim study.

SB220 (1st sub.): Student Assessment and School Accountability Amendments was presented by Sen. Ann Millner. The bill improves the current public school accountability system by reporting a “dashboard” of school indicators. It also removes the requirement that only a specified number of schools be allowed to achieve a grade of A or B and replaces it with a criteria setting process to set “performance thresholds” for each school grade. However, the bill continues to mandate the use of a single letter grade to report school performance.

Sen. Millner said that even though letter grades remain in place a large number of stakeholder groups will be involved in standard setting. “We want to help parents, teachers, and students to have a dashboard of indicators,” she said. Several on the Education Committee expressed concern about the letter grades remaining in this bill and using SAGE tests as a basis for the grades.

During public comment period, many expressed appreciation for changes to the accountability system, but concern that the school grading component remains. Brittany Cummins, Vice-Chair of the Utah State Board of Education said the Board supports a system that abandons the letter grades. LeAnn Wood, representing the Utah PTA, asked that the legislature “be brave enough to remove letter grades from the bill if it (passes the committee).” Terry Shoemaker, representing the Utah School Boards Association and the Utah School Superintendents Association, said he has watched multiple accountability systems come and go.

UEA President Heidi Matthews said teachers are in favor of many of the improvements in this bill, especially the dashboard of indicators. The accountability system really needs to look at the opportunities for all students and a letter grade gets in the way, she said. Sara Jones, also representing the UEA, said it makes sense to adopt a framework in code but not to be prescriptive. It makes better sense to do it in Board Rule because it is easier to change, she said. Jones also pointed out that the federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires public comment and by creating a law the legislature may circumvent this process. She added that a letter grade oversimplifies the complex work of a school and is confusing to the public.

“I have seen many parents use school choice programs over the years,” Jordan UniServ Director Jennifer Boehme told the committee. “(These parents) have made choices over the years not because of the grades but because of the programs and teachers at the schools.” She expressed hope that the dashboard would reflect access to programs as well. The bill passed the committee on a vote of 12-2.

SB117 (1st sub.): Higher Education Performance Funding was also presented by Sen. Ann Millner. This bill allows certain individual income tax revenue to be deposited into a restricted account for higher education performance funding. It could take up to $16.5 million from the Education Fund. The UEA opposes this bill because it creates a $16.5 million earmark on the Education Fund. It passed the committee unanimously.

SB173 (1st sub.): English Language Arts Amendments was presented by Sen. Howard Stephenson. This bill requires the Utah State Board of Education to select one or more providers that meet certain criteria for English Language Arts. It appropriates to $200,000. Tami Pyfer from the Governor’s Office expressed concerns about the legislature directing the USBE to buy licenses. The difficulty is selecting it at the state level at hoping that it works at the district level. The bill passed the committee on a vote of 4-3.

Senate Education Committee (reported by Sara Jones): HB404: Early Warning Pilot Programwas presented by Rep. Val Peterson. The bill provides $375,000 in one-time funding for USBE to enhance an online data reporting tool and contract with a provider for a two-year pilot program for districts to use a digital program to identify students in need of early intervention. The bill passed unanimously.

HB409: Charter School Funding Amendments was presented by Rep. Brad Last. The bill amends provisions related to funding for charter students. The bill passed unanimously.

HB291 (1st sub.): School Children’s Trust Section and Beneficiary Advocate Amendments was presented by Rep. Mike Noel. The bill creates the position of beneficiary advocate under the State Board of Education. The bill passed unanimously.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): SB168 (2nd sub.): Career and College Readiness Mathematics Competency Revisions eliminates naming a specific test, Accuplacer, and lets the Board of Regents select at least two appropriate tests to determine math competency. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB2: Public Education Budget Amendments is the primary public education funding bill for the 2017-18 school year. It sets the value of the weighted pupil unit at $3,311 for fiscal year 2018, a 4% increase from FY2017. It also provides full funding of student growth ($64 million), ongoing funding for teacher supply money reimbursement ($5 million), payment for educator licensing fees ($2.6 million ongoing) and funding for a USDB building in Utah County ($10.5 million). The bill passed the House on a vote of 69-5.

HB402: School Trust Fund Amendments passed the House unanimously. The bill amends the contents of the Trust Distribution Account within the Uniform School Fund and amends provisions related to the funding of the School LAND Trust Program.

HB413 (1st sub.): Public School Membership in Associations defines guidelines for public school associations and prohibits public schools from belonging or paying dues to an association that is not in compliance with those guidelines. While not mentioned by name, the bill specifically targets the Utah High School Activities Association. The bill passed the House on a vote of 62-13.

HB408: State Property and School and Institutional Trust Land Amendments modifies provisions related to local government's authority related to state owned property and school and institutional trust land. It passed the House on a vote of 38-36.

HB418: Assistive Teaching Technology Amendments directs the State Board of Education to enter into a contract with a technology provider for the sales and service maintenance of a humanoid robot program for a one-year pilot program. The bill failed on the House floor 24-50.

HB401: Electronic High School Amendments enacts provisions placing the Electronic High School under the management and administration of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 64-10.

HB368: Related to Basic School Programs Review passed the House on a vote of 73-1. The bill requires the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee to review no later than November 30, 2017, each related to basic school program and establish a review schedule going forward.

Senate Floor (reported by Jay Blain): SB269 (1st sub.): Elections Modifications makes changes to the Elections Code regarding the master ballot position list. It changes the date for publication of the master ballot position list to after the candidate filing deadline. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

SB115 (1st sub.): Compulsory Education Revisions reduces penalties for a parent of a truant school-age child and amends requirements related to excusing a home-schooled student. Sen. Jim Dabakis asked what would be the motivation for parents to send students to school if the penalties are taken away. Sen. Anderegg replied that there are still neglect laws that can be used. The bill failed on a vote of 13-16.

SB255 (3rd sub.): Funding for Education System Amendments increases property tax funds collected each year for five years by not allowing the basic tax rate to float down as property values increase. The substitute bill also now includes components of SB80: School Funding Amendments, providing a new source of funding for SB80’s equalization efforts. It passed the Senate on a vote of 25-2.


March 7, 2017

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): SB127: State Board of Education Amendmentsmodifies a provision relating to the supervision of the director of the Division of Facilities Construction and Management over projects of the State Board of Education and includes the State Board of Education as an educational procurement unit that is a procurement unit with independent procurement authority. The bill passed the House on a vote of 60-13 and now goes to the Governor.

SB186: Education Reporting Amendments eliminates five statutorily required reports. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB190 (1st sub.): Education Computing Partnerships creates the Computing Partnerships Grants program, administered by the STEM Action Center. The bill passed the House by a vote of 72-1 and now goes to the Governor.

SB220 (1st sub.): Student Assessment and School Accountability Amendments would modify the current school grading accountability system, incorporating several new criteria and changing calculation and reporting of school performance. It would also eliminate the use of SAGE tests in high school and instead require ACT and ACT Aspire assessments for high school students. An amendment on the House floor eliminated the requirement to assign a school grade for the 2017-18 school year only. School grades would be assigned after 2017-18 under the bill. It passed the House on a vote of 56-18. The UEA supports SB220’s modifications to the accountability system, but remains opposed to assigning schools a single letter grade. (See more about Grading Schools)

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB136: Board of Education Revisions would allow the Utah State Board of Education to review any future federal program to determine if it meets states goals. If it does not meet state goals but denial of the program would cost federal dollars, USBE could make an appropriations request from the legislature. The UEA opposes this bill. It passed the Senate on a vote of 20-8 and now returns to the House for concurrence with an amendment.

HB2: Public Education Budget Amendments is the primary public education funding bill for the 2017-18 school year. It sets the value of the weighted pupil unit at $3,311 for fiscal year 2018, a 4% increase from FY2017. It also provides full funding of student growth ($64 million), ongoing funding for teacher supply money reimbursement ($5 million), payment for educator licensing fees ($2.6 million ongoing) and funding for a USDB building in Utah County ($10.5 million). The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB212 (2nd sub.): Incentive for Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools provides bonuses for teachers who have a 70% median growth percentile or higher in selected high poverty schools. The district must provide half of the bonus funds. Only a very limited number of teachers would qualify, depending on how much is funded. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. The UEA remains concerned about defining a teacher’s effectiveness based solely on a standardized test score and the fact only a small percentage of teachers, those teaching grades 4-6 in elementary school or those teaching a tested subject in secondary schools, would even qualify.

SB196: Health Education Amendments removes the prohibition of advocacy of homosexuality in health education and was amended to add a prohibition of premarital or extramarital sexual activity. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 68-1 and now goes to the Governor.

HB92: Physical Restraint in Schools would amend provisions related to the use of physical restraint in schools. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.


March 8, 2017

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): SB216: Reading Intervention Software License Program Accountability Amendments provides that a school district, the State Board of Education and a technology provider work with a public school if the usage rate of reading intervention software falls below a recommended rate. It failed in the House on a vote of 28-44.

SB117 (4th sub.): Higher Education Performance Funding enacts provisions related to performance funding for higher education institutions and applied technology colleges. The UEA opposes this bill because it represents an earmark on the Education Fund. It passed the House on a vote of 61-6.

SB34: Competency-based Education Funding authorizes the State Board of Education to reimburse a local education agency that offers a competency-based education for a student who graduates early from the local education agency. The bill passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB212 (3rd sub.): Incentive for Effective Teachers in High Poverty Schools provides bonuses for teachers who have a 70% median growth percentile or higher in high poverty schools. The district must provide half of the bonus funds. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor. The UEA has concerns about defining a teacher’s effectiveness based solely on a standardized test score and the fact only a small percentage of teachers, those teaching grades 4-6 in elementary school or those teaching a tested subject in secondary schools, would even qualify.

HB413 (1st sub.): Public School Membership in Associations defines guidelines for public school associations and prohibits public schools from belonging or paying dues to an association that is not in compliance with those guidelines. While not mentioned by name, the bill specifically targets the Utah High School Activities Association. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 22-4.

HB168 (2nd sub.): Kindergarten Supplemental Enrichment Program would provide more extended-day kindergarten programs for high poverty schools. Money for the program would primarily come from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 27-2.

HB43: American Indian and Alaskan Native Education Amendments would provide $500,000 a year to fund recruitment and retention efforts of teachers teaching in schools serving primarily American Indian and Alaskan Native students. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB404 (1st sub.): Early Warning Pilot Program provides for a software program to identify students in need of early intervention. It directs the State Board of Education to contract with a provider for a one-year pilot software program and requires that the program be designed for use by teachers, school administrators and parents. The bill passed the Senate 19-7 and now goes to the Governor.

HB346 (1st sub.): Suicide Prevention Programs amends and enacts provisions relating to suicide prevention programs. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

HB239 (3rd sub.): Juvenile Justice Amendments addresses contracts between LEAs and law enforcement for school resource officer services among other provisions related to juvenile justice. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.


March 9, 2017

Statement of Appreciation: Members of the House and Senate read the following joint statement of appreciation from the Utah Education Association, the Utah State Board of Education, the Utah PTA, the Utah School Boards Association and many other public education groups:

"The members of the education community collectively wish to thank the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, the Executive Appropriations Committee, and members of the House and Senate for their investment in public education this year. We have enjoyed the open dialogue and collaborative atmosphere and look forward to continued cooperation.

"We are appreciative of the Legislature for fully funding student enrollment growth, the 4 percent increase of the WPU value, ongoing funding for teacher supplies, regional service centers, and the new appropriation for educator licensing fee costs. Of note, we are especially grateful for the additional 1 percent WPU allocated on top of the original 3 percent proposal. Your commitment to student achievement and positive outcomes in schools is commendable. Thank you for a positive session!"

The statement was submitted by the Utah State Board of Education, State Superintendent Syd Dickson and staff, the Utah School Boards Association, the Utah School Superintendents Association, the Utah Education Association, the Utah Parent Teacher Association, the Utah School Employees Association, the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals, the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals and the Utah Association of School Business Officials.

House Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): SB61 (3rd sub.): Students with Disabilities Accommodations Funding requires the State Board of Education to make rules regarding the disposition of any money appropriated to the board to reimburse local education agencies for certain services rendered to a student with an autism spectrum disorder. The bill passed the House on a vote of 61-9.

SB163 (2nd sub.): Student Information Amendments makes changes to the student privacy bill passed last year. It passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SJR15: Joint Rules Resolution - Federal Revenue Consideration requires the Executive Appropriations Committee to consider treating above-trend federal revenue in the same way as one-time revenue. It passed the House on a vote of 57-12 and now goes to the Governor.

SB180: Charter School Start-up Grants extends charter school start-up grants by removing the repeal date. The bill passed the House on a vote of 55-14 and now goes to the Governor.

SB125: Authorization to Modify Charter School Charter Agreements allows charter schools to go over their cap if the neighborhood school is closed to open enrollment. It also allows students to bypass the lottery at these charters. The bill passed the House on a vote of 65-7 and now goes to the Governor.

SB234 (1st sub.): School Turnaround Amendments makes changes to the School Turnaround program. It allows for a three-year program with up to a two-year extension. The bill continues the current public-private partnership but also allows for contracted ‘specialists’ to help in specific areas. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the House on a vote of 70-3 and now goes to the Governor.

SB269 (1st sub.): Elections Modifications makes changes to the Elections Code regarding the master ballot position list. It changes the date for publication of the master ballot position list to after the candidate filing deadline. The bill passed the House on a vote of 68-3 and now goes to the Governor.

SB161 (1st sub.): Bullying and Hazing Amendments requires a school board to update its policy regarding bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and retaliation; requires employees, students and parents to sign a statement annually acknowledging understanding of the school board's policy; and requires training for school employees related to bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and retaliation. It passed the House on a vote of 55-16 and now goes to the Governor.

SB61 (3rd sub.): Students with Disabilities Accommodations Funding requires the State Board of Education to make rules regarding the disposition of any money appropriated to the board to reimburse local education agencies for certain services rendered to a student with a Section 504 accommodation plan. The bill passed the House on a vote of 61-9 and now goes to the Governor.

SB163 (2nd sub.): Student Information Amendments makes changes to the student privacy bill passed last year. It passed the House unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB262: Upstart Amendments removes the “pilot” status of the UPSTART technology program and also allows for additional competition from other vendors to run two-year pilot programs to demonstrate effectiveness. The bill passed the House on a vote of 59-14 and now goes to the Governor.

Senate Floor (reported by Mike Kelley): HB414: Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Referral Amendments amends provisions related to educational services for an individual with a hearing loss. The UEA supports this bill. It passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.

SB114 (6th sub.): Election Law Amendments shortens the period for filing a notice of intent to gather signatures to qualify for placement on the regular primary election ballot. The bill passed the House on a vote of 47-26, but the Senate failed to concur with House changes to the bill.

HB255: Tax Increase Initiative Amendments was drafted in response to the “Count My Vote” initiative. The bill requires that the nominal tax rate increase as well as the effective rate be included in the in the materials for any proposed ballot initiative. The UEA opposed this bill. It passed the Senate on a vote of 20-7 and now goes to the Governor.

HB231: Educator Evaluation Amendments makes substantial changes to educator evaluation, removing many state requirements and giving much more flexibility to local districts. The bill eliminates expectations like a minimum of two evaluations a year for provisional teachers, the requirement that employees receive an orientation on the evaluation system and specific remediation procedures for teachers who are not performing effectively. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the Governor.