All of the education committees have met for the first time and they scratched the surface of the committee jurisdictions as the second week of the 2013 session ended. The Senate E-12 Budget Division heard from Dr. Tom Melcher from the MDE about the Education Finance Reform recommendations. The House Education Finance committee set the table for their upcoming hearings by outlining five major goals for their work this session. Those goals include: 1) supporting student performance and closing achievement gaps, 2) funding adequacy, 3) funding equity, 4) special education adequacy, and 5) paying back the shift.
The House Education Policy committee discussed the transition from high school to post-secondary education and featured the Irondale High School and its program that gets students AA degrees by the time they graduate. The Senate Education Policy committee met and heard from Commissioner Cassellius about the task forces covering assessments and accountability, teacher and principal evaluations, bullying and more. The committees have ambitious agendas and about two months to get their work done before their likely committee deadlines arrive.