Legislature(2003 - 2004)
04/30/2003 01:47 PM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SCR 10-CHARTER SCHOOL TASK FORCE CHAIR FRED DYSON called the Senate Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:47 p.m. Present were Senators Guess, Green, Wilken and Dyson. The Chair announced SCR 10 to be up for consideration. He explained that he wasn't sure about how to proceed on the issue of charter schools and SCR 10 sets up a task force of people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about how to make charter schools work better. He noted there was a new committee substitute, version Q, which for one thing changes one member from being from the office of the governor to being an appointee of the governor on line 2. SENATOR GARY WILKEN moved version Q of SCR 10. SENATOR LYDA GREEN objected and asked to go off the record. 1:50 - 1:53 p.m. - at ease SENATOR GREEN moved on page 1, line 7, to delete references to specific work groups, networks and school districts. There were no objections and Amendment 1 was adopted. SENATOR WILKEN noted that the comma needed to be deleted at the end of line 6 and "and" needed to be inserted. There were no objections and Amendment 2 was adopted. CHAIR DYSON asked what the administration thought of this bill. MR. KEVIN SWEENEY, Legislative Liaison, DEED, said that this is the best way to look at possible legislative regulation changes that might be needed for charter schools. He wanted to know what the fiscal note would be because the department would not be able to foot the whole bill. CHAIR DYSON said he figured the task force might spend around $20,000. SENATOR GREEN asked who would pay that. CHAIR DYSON said his understanding that whatever money they need for the task force might be found through the federal grant startup money. SENATOR GREEN said if the legislature is creating the task force, they should also pay for some part of it. She did not think it was the department's responsibility to fund the Legislature's task force. She also wanted the task force report to go to the Board of Education concurrently with the Legislature. SENATOR GREEN moved to send the report to the State Board of Education concurrently with its submission to the legislature. There were no objections. SENATOR WILKEN moved to amend the fiscal note to say that the task force would be funded equally by the Legislature and the Department of Education and Early Development. MR. SWEENEY suggested making the funding subject to the grant approval from the U.S. DEED, because that's where the funds are coming from. There were no objections. SENATOR GRETCHEN GUESS said she thought that a member of the state board really should be the governor's appointee. There are a lot of issues with charter schools and they need to be at the table. It is her caucus' recommendation that Senator Davis, who has spent so much time on this issue, is on the task force. CHAIR DYSON said that would be his strong recommendation as well. Much of what they have now is a result of Senator Davis pushing this issue. SENATOR WILKEN suggested to add a parent to the makeup of the board on page 2, lines 23 - 28 and also, since they are talking about structuring schools, they would want a superintendent or a principal certificate for expertise on organization. CHAIR DYSON said he thought that the people from the charter schools are all enthusiastic and involved parents, but a number of advocacy groups want to be represented as well. His thought is that this task force be made up of the dreamers, the enthusiasts and visionaries who will get the information from the experts. SENATOR WILKEN said he would be fine with that. SENATOR GUESS moved to pass CSSCR 10(HES) from committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying amended fiscal note. There were no objections and it was so ordered.