Legislative Updates

The budget will be released on Friday, 2/23. We will see what educational priorities are funded. Revenue projections from 2/16 were up, so it appears that the additional 1.2% increase in the WPU should hold. The base budget did include a 3.2% increase in the WPU, so if the remaining WPU increase proposed passes, it will be a 5% increase for next year.

Here are the priority bills:

  • HB 29, 1st Sub., Sensitive Materials. The Senate modified in committee, but the House did not agree with the changes.  A conference committee (both House and Senate members) decided that if a material is removed (3 school districts or 2 districts and 5 charters), the USBE can consider to override the removal within 60 days. If they override the removal, then LEAs don't have to remove the material. Most likely will pass with this change.
  • HB 84, 1st Sub., School Safety. The question is in the cost of implementing the armed guard for each school or finding a volunteer guardian. Bill may be amended to make lesser provisions such as bullet proof glass, cameras with law enforcement access, and panic buttons in each classroom. They are looking at one-time funding to help schools be able to afford these recommendations. Estimate for Canyons School District alone is $5M. Implementation could take 1-3 years. State may seek contracts LEAs can participate in for economies of scale on some items. Legislators are still working out baseline safety requirement details.
  • HB 182, 4th Sub., Student Survey. Looks like the requirement will be an annual opt in from parents. SHARP survey likely to continue to be administered. Effective date would be July 1, 2024 if passed. 
  • HB 192 & HB 431, Leave Bills. Both Rep. Pierucci and Rep. Ballard bills likely to pass. The biggest difference is the establishment of a leave “bank” (HB 192), which will be optional. The leave policy will have to be minimally what the State of Utah offers, three weeks paid maternity leave.
  • HB 301, 2nd Sub. Charter School accountability amendments. This should pass. The improvements in the bill don't require building contracts to be sent to the State Charter School Board. The changes are designed to have the USBE provide oversight and the SCSB to be in a more friendly, supportive role.
  • HB 303 School curriculum neutrality. This is unlikely to pass. There is an understanding that people don't want teachers to be preachers, but the classroom should not be sterilized to the point teachers feel afraid to speak up on anything. Also, the center line of neutrality is different in different areas of the state.
  • HB 413, Mental Health Requirements. A substitution is coming due to the resistance to have an automatic opt in. Instead the bill will likely have the schools who don’t report participation either way will be put on a list given to the education appropriations committee. There were 5 charter schools that did not respond last year and so we aim to make that zero schools in the future 
  • HB 415, School Fees Amendments. The House would like to have all curricular fees covered by 2029. The expense of doing this could wipe out all WPU value increases and change what schools offer. The Senate has never passed a version of this.
  • HB 419, Charter School Funding Amendments. The proposed funding of $54M will most likely be reduced to only $4M to bolster the moral obligation program and provide for more schools to qualify. This has passed out of committee and will likely pass. Most likely to be funded just for the $4M and not the entire $54M, but that doesn't change the bill.
  • SB 173, Market Informed Teacher Compensation. Fillmore’s bill would provide bonuses of $2-$20K for high-performing teachers as set by USU’s School of the Future rubric and LEA nominations. The bill would also use school administrator and parent input and cover a variety of grades. Depends on the $200M one-time funding it requires. 

Here are the non-priority bills:

  • HB 105, Teacher Tax Credit, Unlikely to be funded, so most likely won't pass.
  • HB 119, Firearm stipend, Stuck in rules and won’t pass.
  • HB 269, Ten Commandments Bill adjusted to include that students should be familiar with the Ten Commandments and the Magna Carta.
  • HB 208, Teacher Licensing Amendments, Will eliminate the PPAT. This bill should pass. If you have teachers in the UAPCS APPEL program, please wait for announcement from Joylin/April regarding this requirement for your teachers.
  • HB 112, Sex Ed Amendments, The term "human sexuality" is not defined in code, so it removes the term from code. Will not affect how sex ed is taught in schools.
  • HB 331, School and Classroom Amendments, Requires an incoming kindergartener to be toilet trained. Requires USBE to come up with a rule about this including a process where the LEA can get parent assurances that the parent's student is toilet trained.
  • HB 287, Advanced Degree Scholarship, This bill will not pass. 

Click HERE for Downloadable PDF

 

The legislature is not adding too many new bills this late in the session.

Here are the bills we covered in the discussion today:

  • HB 29, 1st Sub., Sensitive Materials. The Senate modified in committee, but there are not a lot of changes possible. The Senate added the ability of an LEA to override the state-wide ban with a vote in their local board within 60 days of ban notification from the USBE. Discussion in our group offered a 90 day override because some local school boards meet quarterly, or if notification comes in the summer.
  • HB 84, 1st Sub., School Safety. This bill is moving to the Senate. The challenge is that nearly every elementary or junior high will have to hire someone as the guard. Most high schools already have a resource officer in place. This potentially would cost $100M state-wide to implement, $150K/school. The Senate recognizes that they can’t use ½ or all the increase in WPU to pay for this. If anyone is interested in meeting with senators and/or Rep. Wilcox about the bill, please contact Royce.
  • HB 182, 4th Sub., Student Survey. Looks like the requirement will be an opt in from parents. SHARP survey likely to continue to be administered.
  • HB 192 & HB 431, Maternity Leave. Both Rep. Pierucci and Rep. Ballard have maternity leave bills. The biggest difference is the establishment of a leave “bank” (HB 192).
  • HB 301, 2nd Sub. Charter School accountability amendments. This just cleans up code.
  • HB 303 School curriculum neutrality. This barely made it out of House committee. Please reach out to House members and tell them to vote no on this. The House will most likely be voting on this on Friday or Monday. UAPCS will prepare an email for you to be able to send to your representative.
  • HB 413, Mental Health Requirements. A substitution is coming due to the resistance to have an automatic opt in. Instead the bill will likely have the schools who don’t report participation either way will be put on a list given to the education appropriations committee. There were 5 charter schools that did not respond last year and so we aim to make that zero schools in the future 
  • HB 415, School Fees Amendments. The House would like to have all curricular fees covered by 2029. The expense of doing this could wipe out all WPU value increases and change what schools offer. The Senate has never passed a version of this.
  • HB 419, Charter School Funding Amendments. The proposed funding of $54M will most likely be reduced to only $4M to bolster the moral obligation program and provide for more schools to qualify.
  • SB 173, Market Informed Teacher Compensation. Fillmore’s bill would provide bonuses of $2-$20K for high-performing teachers as set by USU’s School of the Future rubric and LEA nominations. The bill would also use school administrator and parent input and cover a variety of grades. This is out of committee and coming out of the same funding that has a lot of competition.
  • HB 221, Compensation for Student Teachers. They are making the case for funding. Likely to be funded.
  • HB 119, Firearm stipend, Stuck in rules and won’t pass.
  • HB 269, Ten Commandments Bill most likely won’t pass.
  • SB 105, Student Privacy in Bathrooms, don’t believe will pass.

Teacher pay increase of $6K from last year has been put into on-going money but there will not be another bonus/pay increase beyond that.

Thank you for joining us! The legislative session is half over! There are 731 bills drafted and 59 passed both bodies with the governor signing 11 of them (Utah Policy email 2/6/2024). The Legislature passed 565 bills at its highest point, but we don't anticipate that many passing this year.
Budget highlights:

  • WPU increase of 5% (3.8% allocated in approved base budget + 1.2% recommended by ed appropriations)
  • LRF adopted in base budget, $170/student

Education Appropriations Priorities:

Note: Highlighted items of particular application for charter schools

RankOn-going Fund ItemCost
1WPU Value Increase -Discretionary Adjustment (1.2% for total of 5%)$50,500,000
2Equity Pupil Funding$21,080,000
3Rural Student WPU Add-on$25,900,000
4BTS Arts Learning Program$3,000,000
5PRIME Expansions$3,500,000
6Statewide Online Education Program$3,165,200
7Utah Fits All Scholarship$50,500,000
8Student Credential Account Statewide Usage$3,500,000


RankOne-time Fund ItemCost
1K-12 Property Insurance Pool$96,360,600
2Paid Professional Hours for Educators$64,000,000
3Long-term Educational Achievement Program$30,000,000
4Stipends for Future Educators$8,400,000
5Excellence in Education and Leadership$200,000,000
6Hope for Utah$240,000
7Prior Year Plus Growth Contingency$23,707,300
8Charter School Funding Amendments$4,000,000
9Small/Rural District Critical Capital Loans$50,000,000
10Teacher Development, Recruitment, and Retention Through Leadership$3,800,000
11Teacher Supplies and Materials Increase$1,000,000


Other priorities of particular interest include the following:

Reallocations: SEE FULL REALLOCATION LIST HERE

62Charter School Funding Base Program$3,600,000


Here are the highlights of education bills:

  • HB 419 (Walter) Charter School Funding
    This bill adds $50M to the revolving loan and $4M to the moral obligation fund. Looks as if only $4M will go through to help about 25 more LEAs to qualify for the savings on interest rates for buildings. This would save about $5M/year in interest payments.
  • HB 29 (Ivory) Sensitive Materials
    The threshold to remove materials statewide of 3 districts or 2 districts and 5 charters is problematic to many. Senate most likely amend threshold.
  • HB 84, 1st Sub. (Wilcox) School Safety Amendments
    This bill is still under consideration. Please look at lines 1306-1351 School Safety and Security Specialist, and provide feedback on what share of an FTE would be required to fulfill all the stated responsibilities. Please respond to this email or email royce@utahcharters.org.
  • HB 182, 3rd Sub. (Lisonbee) Student Survey
    This bill most likely to move forward (another bill proposed by Sen. Fillmore). This requires a parent opt-in for non-academic surveys.
  • HB 257 & HB 261 Passed bills
    Summaries sent out and available at https://www.utahcharters.org/legislative-updates
  • HB 182, 3rd Sub. (Lisonbee) Student Survey
    This bill most likely to move forward (another bill proposed by Sen. Fillmore). This requires a parent opt-in for non-academic surveys.
  • HB 301, 2nd Sub. (Lisonbee), Charter School Accountability Amendments
    Moving forward, not worried about content.
  • HB 303 (Stenquist) School Curriculum Requirements
    This bill may struggle to get through the House Education Committee. May be hard to pass without being open to changes. We appreciate all the feedback you have given regarding this.
  • HB 413 (Elison) Mental Health Screener
    If an LEA fails to notify the state on using or not using the mental health screener, the LEA will be opted into using the screener and given financial support to do so.
  • HB 221, 1st Sub. (Peterson) Student Teacher Stipends
    On list of Education Appropriations priorities. Will pay student teachers a stipend for their time teaching. $8.4M cost.
  • SB 173 (Fillmore) Market Compensation for Teachers
    Designed to identify the top 25% of educators statewide by a rubric determined by USU Center for Schools of the Future. The top 5% would get a $10K bonus, and more bonuses trickle down to cover top 25% of educators. LEAs would identify top performers and submit to state for bonus money. LEAs would also be able to identify 2-5 categories of high needs teachers and use the money to supplement filling those positions. Allocations would be about $200M over 3 years. Bill would not go into effect until 2027.
  • SB 137 (Fillmore) Teacher Empowerment
    Would give teachers the same authority to remove a student from the classroom as an administrator.
    Our discussion included the pros and cons of teachers exercising this authority. Thank you for your comments-Royce will share them with legislators. If you have additional thoughts to share, please do so!

DOWNLOAD WATCHLIST AS PDF WITH ACTIVE LINKS



If you have any questions, please contact royce@utahcharters.org or call (801) 836-7028.

Summary of Passed legislation:


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TABLE PDF

Bill #TitleSponsorSummaryFiscal NotePositionCommentsLocationPriority
HB 29Sensitive material review amendmentsIvoryRemoves an instructional material statewide if 3 school districts or 2 school districts and 5 charter schools find an instructional material constitutes "objective sensitive material"($2.2M from the USF*)MonitorHoping the Senate will insist on some measure of local control on this issueHouse 3rdx
HB 182, 2SStudent survey amendmentsLisonbeeRequires LEAs to obtain annual parental consent to administer each non-academic survey administered to students; prohibits an LEA from offering a reward or consequence re: student participation in a survey
Support
House 3rdx
HB 221Stipends for future educatorsK. PetersonSubject to legislative appropriations, creates a grant for educators in a preparation program who are working at an LEA, but may only be paid for their substitute work($8.8M from the USF)Monitor
House Edx
HB 257, S2Sex-based designations for privacy, anti-bullying and women's opportunitiesBirkeland
No impactMonitorThis will passSenate 3rdx
HB 261, S4Equal opportunity initiativesHallProhibits an LEA from requiring an applicant to submit a statement regarding racism writ large in order to obtain a position or gain a promotion, and prohibits an LEA from providing a training that ascribes moral judgments to individuals based on personal identity characteristics($452K ongoing from  GF*/ITF*)Monitor
Senate 3rdx
HB 413Student mental health requirementsEliasonIf an LEA fails to notify the State Board whether they will be a participating LEA in the student mental health screening program, then the LEA will be presumed to be a participating LEA
Monitor
House Rulesx
HB 419Charter school funding amendmentsWalterExpands the credit enhancement program and the charter school revolving loan account
Support
House Rulesx
SB 98 S2Online data security and privacy amendmentsHarperNominally requires all public and private schools use a .edu domain name, 18 months after K-12 can use that domain name.
MonitorDefinition of governmental entity doesn't include charter schools, though definition of school probably doesSenate 2ndx
HB 14School threat penalty amendmentsWilcoxMandates expulsion if a student makes a false threat to a school($45,000 from GF)SupportDon't know that we could change this, but ALL cases seems  a touch strongSenate 2nd
HB 22Concurrent enrollment provisionsV. PetersonExpands eligibility for the PRIME scholarship to include students in a youth apprenticeship
MonitorUnanimously approved by the Education Interim CommitteeSenate 2nd
HB 82Public education program modificationsPierucciClean up bill for a variety of education reports; removes fundraising from the definition of a fee($93,700 from GF)Support
House Ed
HB 84School safety amendmentsWilcoxRequires safety procedures, including armed guards, in all Utah public schools when school is in session (among other things)($6M from GF/ITF)Monitor
House Law Enforcement
HB 103Salary supplement for school speech-language pathlogoists and audiologistsD. JohnsonAdds to the list of eligible recipients of the TSSP speech-language pathologists of audiologists with a master's or doctoral degree($4,739,900) from the USF)MonitorFillmore/Peterson bill is a better way to address thisHouse Rules
HB 119School employee firearm possession amendmentsJimenezProvides a $500 stipend to LEAs participating in the program to buy a biometric gun safe for teachers participating in the school safety program
Monitor
House Rules
HB 121Educator background check amendmentsT. LeeProhibits an LEA from charging the fee to conduct a background check
Monitor
House Ed
HB 105Tax credit for educator expensesBirkelandProvides for up to a $500 non refundable tax credit for eligible out of pocket expenses from counselors and teachers in schools($25.9M from the ITF)Support
House Rules
HB 112Sex education instruction amendmentsJimenezRemoves the term "human sexuality" from the definition of sex education instructionNo impactMonitorNeed to talk to Jimenez about why?House Rules
HB 167, 1SEducation innovation program amendmentsWeltonMakes it easier for teachers to take advantage of the education innovation programNo impactSupport
Senate Rules
HB 192LEA employee paid leaveBallardCreates a grant program for LEAs who create a qualifying leave program($9.2M from ITF)MonitorFunding would be a problem; don't like restricted fundsHouse Rules
HB 208Teacher licensure amendmentsJ. MossEmphasizes the importance of competency as a mechanism for obtaining a teaching licenseNo impactSupport
House Rules
HB 247Statewide online education program amendmentsJohnson



House Rules
HB 253Use of sex-designated facilities in public and higher educationLymanRequires public schools to have sex-designated or unisex restrooms and changing facilities, with sex defined as sex at birth
Monitor
House Rules
HB 264Health education amendmentsC. MossExpands the sex education curriculum to include strategies for preventing sexual assault and the legal implications of electronically sharing sexually explicit imagesNo impactMonitor
House Rules
HB 269Ten commandments in public schoolsM. PetersenRequires public schools to display the 10 Commandments prominently in the schoolNo impactMonitor
House Rules
HB 287Advanced degree scholarship programC. MossUses economic stabilization account money to pay for a scholarship for teachers seeking advanced degrees($200M from the Stabilization Account)Monitor
House Ed
HB296Reading disability amendmentsPulsipherAdds a definition of dyslexia to the codeNo impactMonitor
House Ed
HB 301Charter school accountability amendmentsLisonbeeClean up bill for charter school section of the codeNo impactSupport
House Ed
HB 303School curriculum requirementsStenquistProhibits schools from using their official position to endorse, promote or disparage political or social beliefs, viewpoints regarding sexual orientation or gender identity, or to encourage a student to consider changing any of the aboveNo impactOppose
House Rules
HB 391Home school student transfer to public school amendmentsCutlerRequires LEAs to write a policy for accepting transfers of credit for home school students based on portfolio
MonitorI don't know what the home school community will say about a portfolioHouse Rules
HB 418Student offender reintegration amendmentsMatthews





HB 420School code of conduct protectionsMacPhersonCodifies existing code of conduct requirements between students and staff members; requires staff membrers to be trained on this code of conduct within 10 days of being employed, and annually thereafter
Monitor
House Rules
HJR 18Joint resolution for education that encourages free enterprise and entrepreneurshipLundTitle says it all
Support
Introduced
SB 80Public education trust fund amendmentsRiebeCreates a trust fund to pay for local school district personnel
Oppose
Senate Ed
SB 93School climate data amendmentsFillmoreFocuses the school climate survey on student achievement, engagement and safety
Monitor
Senate Rules
SB 105Studenty privacy and modesty in public educationPlumbProhibits LEAs from requiring, encouraging or inviting students to undress or change clothing unless they can do so in a space where the facility is single-occupant, or has floor-to-ceiling walls and doors, curtains or similar privacy protections
MonitorNot clear what impact this would have on building modifications, since none of the options are mandatedSenate Ed
SB 137Teacher empowermentFillmoreIndemnifies LEAs against suits brought to enforce non-legally binding federal guidance; empowers teachers to exercise the same authority to remove a disruptive student from class as an administrator; expands the allowable uses for paid professional hours; 
Support
Waiting for fiscal note
SB 138High need school amendmentsRiebeGrant program to hire additional first year teachers in LEAs/schools that have traditional definitions of high needs
MonitorDifficult to believe it will be fundedWaiting for fiscal note
SB 158Youth service organizationsGroverWould require a charter school sports league (among others) to conduct sex offender registry checks on volunteers or individuals caring or supervising for a child, unless the organization has a different legal obligation to conduct a similar background check
Monitor
Senate Rules

*USF (Uniform School Fund)
*ITF (Income Tax Fund)
*GF (General Fund)


Summary of Zoom Legislative Updates

HB 29This is an attempt to identify how many LEAs have to have an "objective" sensitive materials issue to cause removal across all schools in the state. Currently, there is a requirement for 3 districts or 2 districts and 5 charter schools. House passed bill as is. Senate may have amendments regarding materials used in concurrent enrollment. There was a question about "age appropriate" materials. There is no statement in house-passed bill about "age appropriate" materials. The "bright line" of pornographic material requirement in law would be there be an "objective" rule about what is considered a sensitive material. 

HB 182: This bill requires and opt-in from parents, typically done as one of the many beginning of the year permissions. This is considered because many of the non-academic surverys (such as SHARP or school climate surveys) may introduce sensitive topics such as drug use, bullying, etc.

HB 221: This bill carries a $9M fiscal note and so may not likely pass. This would offer $6000 for student teachers.

HB 257, SB 2: Often called the "Bathroom Bill," this states that bathrooms are for boys or girls, and that those identifying as a gender not the same as their birth certificate would use a single-occupancy bathroom, or a staff bathroom in the K-12 space. The 5th substitution passed the House and Senate. This bill has other stipulations, but we discussed the K-12 applications.

HB 261, SB 4: There are 3 parts to this bill: 1)Do not discriminate. 2)An entity cannot require employees to engage in training that asserts a group of people are significantly more important or less important than a legally protected group. A training can take place, but cannot be required. 3)An entity cannot require an employee to share what they think about a DEI requirement. This bill may have roots in a USBE training that was deemed offensive by delivery of DEI topics while also being seen as a valuable training in many aspects. 

HB 413: If an LEA doesn't notify the state of their status to use or not use the mental health screener, then it will be assumed that they will use the screener. The governing board of an LEA needs to vote to use or not use and then report that decision to the state. Several charter schools were non-responsive to the state either way and so not all allocated program money was used. This default will hopefully prompt responses either way.

HB 419: There is currently a charter school revolving fund of $3M, typically given in allocations of $300K loans. This bill takes some one-time money to increase the fund to $50M and allows a school to take 25% of a project to lower the debt interest rate. Also, $4M of one-time money will be placed in the charter school reserve fund-the moral obligation program. The costs of the interest rates shouldn't prevent a charter school from growing, either from adding on to the school, building a satellite, or for new schools.

SB 98: This bill requires that schools use, and pay for, the .edu domain. Cost is estimated at about $450/year and may be required, if passed, within 1-4 years.

Discussion about other bills:

HB 303: Stenquist's controversial topics bill may not cross the finish line. Our frank discussions with him-thank you educators!-have helped him to question the requirements of the bill.

HB 84: School safety bill/armed guard in schools bill hasn't moved in the legislature partly because of the cost to implement. As drafted, this law would cost more than anyone can afford. Something may move forward about school safety but it is hard to say what it will look like.

HB 287: Spackman Moss bill about paying for educator's advanced degrees would need to come from the Economic Stabilization Account of ongoing money that is treated as one-time money. There is $481M in this account, which lawmakers have spent 7 ways over, so there may not be room for this bill to be funded-this would be the same pot of money that HB 419 would need to come from. There will be many bills with fiscal notes, possibly including this one, that may not pass.

HB 331: Welton's bill requiring incoming kindergarteners to be toilet-trained will most likely move forward. IEPs usually exempt students from some requirements.

If you have further questions, please contact royce@utahcharters.org or gina@utahcharters.org.

This powerpoint was shared in the April 24th Administrator's Retreat by Royce Van Tassell. This is a summary of the legislation passed and how it affects you at school and what, if any, policies you will need to create/implement.

Download the POWERPOINT

The required policy samples from the USBE will be updated as they are prepared.


The USBE has approved 4 vendors that are deemed compatible. Schools are not required to use these systems, but these systems have been vetted for compatibility and may have opportunity for cost savings. Please see the following Award Justification Statements for comparisons:


2022 Legislative Session Summary

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Our Representatives:
Senator Mitt Romney(385) 264-7885 Ogden Office
(801) 524-4380 Salt Lake City Office
(801) 515-7230 Spanish Fork Office
(435) 522-7100 St. George Office
(202) 224-5251 Washington DC Office
https://www.romney.senate.gov/contact
Senator Mike Lee(435) 628-5514 St. George Office
(801) 392-9633 Ogden Office
(801) 524-5933 Salt Lake City Office
(202) 224-5444 Washington DC Office
https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
Representative Burgess Owens(801) 999-9801 West Jordan Office
(202) 225-3011 Washington DC Office
https://owens.house.gov/contact
Representative John Curtis(801) 922-5400 Provo Office
(202) 225-7751 Washington DC Office
https://curtis.house.gov/email/
Representative Blake Moore(801) 625-0107 Ogden Office
(202) 225-0453 Washington DC Office
https://blakemoore.house.gov/contact/
Representative Celest Maloy(801) 364-5550 Bountiful Office
(202) 225-9730 Washington DC Office

https://maloy.house.gov/contact/