Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Day at the Legislature

Nothing about education came up on the floor today.  HB 199 - Advertisements on School Buses sponsored by Representative Jim Bird of West Jordan was in committee today.  This would bring about $3 million in revenue to the state.  UEA is supporting this bill.

Some resolutions to watch are SJR 1 and SJR 9.  Both address the "general control and supervision of the public education system".  SJR 1 leaves the control with the State Board of Education, "as provided by statute", which statue could be changed.  SJR 9 puts this control in the hands of the Governor.  Both are, in effect, limiting or diminishing the responsibility of the State Board of Education.  Either one would be a constitutional amendment requiring a vote of the people.

Another bill UEA is watching is HB183 - School District Leave Policies sponsored by Representative Grover.  This bill is targeting association leave paid by the school district specifically where the district pays for part of the local association president's full-time salary.  You dues dollars fund my part-time JEA salary.  JEA requests very little association leave time from Jordan District. 

An interesting event going on today was Utah State University's Research on Capitol Hill day.  Undergraduate student researchers had displays about their research and answered questions.  I spoke with Morgan Summers about her research "Critical Issues in Middle and Secondary Mathematics Placement:  A Case Study".  She told me that the implementation of the Common Core State Standards will impact which math classes are available to students in high school, making the initial middle school math placement important. 

I also spoke with Matthew Richardson and Lauren Harper about their work on "The Self-Perceptions of Non-Profit Organizations".  They found that non-profits need to be business-like in dealing with personnel and finances, but that when working with clients, they must work to their non-profit mission.  The conclusion was that non-profits see themselves as stewards of funds and using those funds wisely to move their mission forward.

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