Monday, April 24, 2017

It was another busy week at the Capitol, as members shifted from committee meetings back to floor work. Next Thursday is the deadline for bills to pass off the floor in the opposite chamber. This week also marked the first round of JCAB meetings (Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget) and first revenue-raising measures passed this session. Below is a brief summary of a few of the bills with potential to impact our association. If you have questions about any of the information provided below, please contact our office, or you may contact Skye McNiel, 918-645-1289 or by email at or Hayley Jones at (405) 524-1191. 

I. 4-day School Week:  HB 1684 by Rep. Harold Wright (R-Weatherford)

HB 1684 requires school districts who choose to implement 4-day school weeks submit a detailed plan to the SBE outlining goals of the 4-day week.
  • HB 1684 was amended in the Senate Education Committee this week to provide that school districts tracking instructional time by hours rather than days will now be required to provide a minimum of 170 instructional days. The measure passed committee and is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.
  • UPDATE: Sen. Fields has filed a Senate floor substitute which REMOVES the 170 instructional days that was added in committee. The bill now goes back to requiring reporting for school districts that choose to adopt a 4-day school week. The new amendments and bill passed the Senate floor this week and will now be sent back to the House for approval.

II. Curriculum and Instruction: HB 2155 by Rep. Jadine Nollan (R-Sand Springs)

HB 2155 requires the State Board of Education to adopt a new system of college and career planning tools known as the Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP). Beginning with students entering the ninth grade in 2019-2020, each student shall be required to complete the process of an ICAP in order to graduate from a public high school with a standard diploma. The ICAP shall include but not be limited to components such as: career and college interest surveys, written postsecondary and workforce goals and progress towards those goals, intentional sequence of courses that reflect progress toward a student’s postsecondary goals, the student’s academic progress, and a service learning component. 

  • HB 2155 is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor – it must be heard  by Thursday in order to remain active for this session.

III. Teachers Retirement: 

  • HB 1162 by Rep. McDaniel (R-Edmond)
    HB 1162 creates the Pension Protection Act, which increases the vesting schedule from five years to seven years for TRS members who enter the system on or after November 1, 2017.
    • HB 1162 passed the Senate floor this week and has been sent to the Governor for her approval.
  • SB 428 by Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud)
    SB 428 allows TRS members who retired as active classroom teachers to be eligible to be reemployed as an active classroom teacher with no limitations on earnings for a period of three years beginning July 1, 2017. 
    • SB 428 is now eligible to be heard on the House floor – it must be heard by Thursday in order to remain active for this session.

IV. State Board of Career and Technology Education: HB 2316 by Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka)

HB 2316 amends current law to provide that members of the State Board of Career and Technology Education serve at the pleasure of the Governor and may be removed or replaced without cause.
  • HB 2316 is now eligible to be heard on the Senate floor – it must be heard by Thursday in order to remain active for this session.

V. OHLAP: SB 529 by Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud)

SB 529 modifies the qualifications and criteria required for students to participate in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. It requires an award for eligible Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program students enrolled in a postsecondary vocational-technical program offered by a technology center school that meets the requirements to be eligible for federal student financial aid be satisfied for both vocational-technical and college work in which enrolled. It expands to the scope of student ineligible for the program with parents that meet updated income requirements. 
  • SB 529 passed the House Appropriations and Budget Committee on today and is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.

Oklahoma Legislature: