At the halfway point in the legislative session, the bills passed in the first half, by House or Senate, move on to the other chamber. So this week, a few education bills that made that cut got their first hearing in the House or Senate education committees.
Seven major House education bills got their first hearing Wednesday in the Senate’s Education and Career Development committee. These include teacher background checks, prayer in school and suicide prevention training. These bills could start moving forward in the process, with amendments or votes, as early as next week.
Part of the pre-K expansion bill is facing opposition because of a provision that says acceptance into the On My Way Pre-K program also means acceptance into the state’s private school voucher system. More than a dozen people, including a House lawmaker, testified against that portion of HB1004 Wednesday.
Child advocacy groups are still asking lawmakers to increase funding for pre-K to $50 million. The House bill currently proposes a $10 million funding increase.
Senate lawmakers approved their own version of preschool expansion with a smaller $3 million bump.