These four House bills were discussed on Wednesday, June 14th at 11 am during the meeting of the Senate Committee on Education/Higher Education.
HB 618: Charter School Review Board
This bill is an act to convert the current Charter School Advisory Board into Charter School review board. This would shift the authority to approve charters from the state board to the review board and to also create a right to appeal to the State Board of Education from review board decision. The board will include 11 appointed voting members appointed by the general assembly, State Board of Education and the Lieutenant Governor or a designee from the Lieutenant Governor. This bill passed favorably and will move to the Rules/Operations Committee of the Senate.
HB 574: Fairness in Women’s Sports Act
This bill is an act to protect opportunities for women and girls in athletics. It was created to remove biological males/transgender females from competing in women’s sports. It has been amended to remove restrictions for females playing on male sports teams and applications to intramural sports at the collegiate level. The bill will be applied to middle school, high school, and applies to higher education institutions both public and private, as well as community colleges. This bill passed favorably and will move to the Rules/Operations Committee of the Senate.
HB142: Protect our Students Act
This bill’s goal are to do the following things:
- Modify penalties and definitions for certain sex offenses against a student. This moves the felony from a Class G felony to a Class I felony.
- Increase penalties for failing to report misconduct toward children.
- Require the Center for Safer Schools to produce and distribute an informational video relates to child abuse and neglect and require public school units to shows students in grades six through 12 the informational video.
- Define conduct directly related to the office of employment as it pertains to the forfeiture of retirement benefits.
This bill passed favorably and will move to the Rules/Operations Committee of the Senate.
HB605: School Threat Awareness Teams
This bill’s goals are to do the following:
- Require threat assessment teams in public school units.
- Require all public school units to participate in school safety exercises and programs.
- Encourage private schools to participate in school safety exercises and programs.
- Require local boards of education to establish peer-to-peer support programs.
This bill will put everyone on the same page to make sure that every student is helped with their mental health struggles. This bill passed favorably and will move to the Rules/Operations Committee of the Senate.