Miscellaneous Education Changes (H.461) - April 5, 2023

The Senate Education Committee met on Wednesday to review H.461, which makes a number of changes to education laws.

Lindsey Hedges (Policy & Communications Specialist, Agency of Education) started the day off with testimony about the Shared School District Data Management System and the difficulties of implementation that were addressed in the bill. Essentially this repeals the requirement for all Supervisory Unions to use the state-developed system. They may still utilize the system, but they would no longer be required to under statute.

Senator Weeks asked about the accounting uniformity created by the system. Hedges clarified that supervisory unions will still have to adopt a uniform chart of accounts, they just won’t be required to use the state’s software to do it.

He also mentioned that the Committee will likely add a Driver Education provision and possibly bill language to assist with Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Emily Simmons (General Counsel, Agency of Education) took the Committee through a few minor edits in the home study provisions that had been suggested by Retta Dunlap.

Campion stated the Committee will be looking “a little more into with some of our colleagues, I would say probably the NEA, Superintendents, Principals and school board members.” The information they were looking for was whether the state is “overseeing the home school folks enough” and if there “outstanding items” that they were missing.

Simmons noted that “from the AOE point of view, we do not see these changes as providing less or lower quality oversight than exists today.”

Campion asked what percentage of home study students go into CTEs or college, but the Agency of Education doesn’t have that data on hand.


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