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The Thrasher Group

AgendaLite: Agenda Management Solution

April 7, 2017 - Volume 37 Issue 10

The St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press (4/3, Magan) reports that the Minnesota Legislature is pushing forward a change in how the state licenses educators, a change many agree is long overdue. The bill will move licensing power aware from the state’s Department of Education and Board of Teaching and consolidate it under a new Professional Educator Licensing Board. Some lawmakers hope the changes will address the state’s shortage of educators by streamlining the process, while other lawmakers worry that the new system could lead to some districts hiring less qualified teachers to save money.

“The school-room sends men to the Legislature, to the bench, and the executive office. The bar-room sends them to the scaffold and hell.” - Thomas Jordan Jarvis (1836 –1915), 44th governor of North Carolina (1879-1885). He later served as a U.S. Senator from 1894-1895 and helped establish East Carolina Teachers Training School, now known as East Carolina University, in 1907. 

“Common Core was adopted with very little public input, very little oversight by anybody. It was adopted essentially by a memorandum almost entirely, and we can see what a disaster Common Core has been for our state, and so I think it’s appropriate that the legislature sound off on any adoption, particularly when it’s tied to federal funding, as Common Core was.” – Sen. Robert Karnes on his proposal to require the legislature to approve changes in academic standards or assessments

“The issue of approving standards is an issue the Constitution of West Virginia has reserved to the West Virginia Board of Education and that the legislature having to approve those standards by act of the legislature squarely conflicts with the constitutional provisions that have been in effect for a number of years.” – Heather Hutchins, general counsel for the Department of Education

“People have an unhealthy obsession with Common Core in this legislature.” – Sen. Mike Romano

“All their parents are paying taxes, so they should have the access to public education, and we should be able to move with the times to be able to adapt and move forward like other states are doing.” – Kanawha County Supt. Ron Duerring on Senate Bill 630 to allow public schools to create virtual schools, which could attract homeschooled students

“I can save money. I get expert education for my kids. The school system gets more money through the School Aid Formula, and you don’t have to bus my kids to school.” – Delegate Marshall Wilson on how the virtual schools bill would help him with his nine homeschooled children

“This may be a solution in search of a problem.” – Delegate Roy Cooper on Senate Bill 621, which would affect whether the state school board could reverse a county school board’s decision on consolidation or closure of schools. He changed his position on the bill by the time it reached the House floor.

“This bill that’s been introduced is changing the course in the middle of the stream.” – Delegate Dana Lynch, who proposed an approved amendment to Senate Bill 621 that reversed its effects

“You mentioned the 11,000 homeschooled students. I would take them all if I had the chance.” – Grant County Supt. Doug Lambert on how public schools would react if all homeschooled students wanted to enroll in public schools

Editor’s Note: The “Wisdom” quote in the March 31, 2017, issue of The Legislature should have been attributed to Harold Hal Glen Borland, author, journalist and naturalist. In addition to writing many non-fiction and fiction books about the outdoors, the also was a writer for The New York Times. The Borland quote used was ““No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”