Aiken School Board hears legislative update

Aiken School Board hears legislative update

- in Education

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The S.C. State Legislature took little action of a number of bills the Aiken County Board of Education followed through the session, including a bill that would have amended the State Constitution to allow the governor to appoint the state superintendent of education.

Member Keith Liner updated the board on the progress of the bills Tuesday at its regular meeting. The regular legislative session of the S.C. General Assembly ended Thursday.

Bills to appoint the state superintendent of education would have sought voter approval to amend the Constitution of South Carolina to delete the state superintendent of education from the list of elected state officers and allow the governor to appoint the superintendent.

Neither the House nor the Senate took action on the bills beyond committees. House Bill 3036 was referred back to the House Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 22. Senate Bill 0027 was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary on Feb. 7. Senate Bill 0137 reported out favorably by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on Jan. 24.

The Tax Credit for Workforce Scholarship, House bill 3311, would have developed and implemented a career pathways initiative to establish a first careers program, a pathways to new opportunities program and a tax credit for businesses that hire an apprentice.

The House passed the bill March 30 and sent it to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Committee on Education on April 4.

Liner reminded board members that this year was the first of a two-year legislative session.

“Even though it didn’t make it through this time, it’s still in the Senate Committee on Education and could be picked back up next year,” he said.

The Education Oversite Committee Bill, House bill 3969, would have developed and piloted district accountability models; amended the profile of the South Carolina graduate; and revised the Comprehensive Annual Report Card for Schools, deleting the current grading scale and replacing it with an A-F scale.

The House passed the bill on April 6 and sent it to the Senate. The bill was amended and recalled from the Senate Committee on Education on May 5.

The S.C. Education School Facilities Act, House Bill 3343, would have provided financial assistance to school districts to acquire school facilities by using general obligation bonds and other forms of assistance. The State Board of Education would have determined and selected projects on priority to receive financial assistance from the state.

The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate on March 29. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance on March 30. No further action was taken.

House Bill 3352 would have created the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within the Administrative Law Court. The act would have established provisions to collect reasonable fees and reduce the time requirement for fulfilling requests. The court would have had final jurisdiction.

The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate on March 22. It received a favorable report out of the Senate Committee on Judiciary on May 3. It was amended and reread on May 10.

“It was waiting to be debated on the Senate floor and, if it doesn’t make it through, probably will be carried over into the next session,” Liner said.

The House and Senate ratified the S.D. Department of Education Fiscal Management of Districts bill, House bill 3221, on May 4.

To find the status of any action taken Thursday or late for any of these bills, visit http://www.scstatehouse.gov/billsearch.php and type in the bill number.

[“Source-aikenstandard”]