The k-12 sub-committee held the first hearing of the new session today to consider the following three bills:
H3420 – A bill to allow high school diplomas to be granted to Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans who were enrolled in high school and enlisted for duty during wartime. This law already exists for World War II veterans. It passed out of sub-committee.
H3657 – A bill to clarify when school board members statewide can be sworn in after the November election. It passed our of sub-committee.
H4330 – A bill that would allow parents to opt out their children from state mandated standardized tests. This is a common complaint that I hear from parents – too much testing. From testimony, we discovered that the federal education department will withhold Title 1 funds if we do not require students to take the standardized tests. We receive over $200 million annually in Title 1 funds. We also discovered that each school district requires assessment testing in addition to the state tests. A few districts require as many as 16 additional assessment tests per year. We adjourned debate on the bill due to the potential monetary loss. To help reduce the number of tests, I am looking at requiring each district to report back to us what tests that require and then determine what can be eliminated.