The Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee passed SB 210 out of committee on a 17-0 vote yesterday after a 2 hour-long public hearing which included 900 written witness statements by those who supported the bill and testimony by the Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro who I was told didn’t really address the content of the bill.
SB 210 requires the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to hold public hearings on the Common Core State Standards in every congressional district. Prior to the first public hearings the department will be required to conduct and post a fiscal analysis of the Common Core State Standards cost on the state and local school districts. They are also required to compile a report of what data will be collected and what entities will receive that information.
The bill also requires public notifications of the meetings, fiscal study and report on data collect by DESE and local school districts so parents can attend and have access to that information. All hearings are to be conducted by December 31, 2013. DESE is then to compile a report to be issued to the President Pro Tempore of the Missouri Senate, Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and the joint committee on education that summarizes public testimony on the Common Core State Standards. This is due by January 31, 2014.
This bill is informational only so a repeal bill will still be needed. Talking to Gretchen Logue of Missouri Education Watchdog I was informed that the bill is expected to pass out of the House Rules Committee (all bills go through this committee prior to a floor vote). She said it may go to the floor for a vote as early as today. If it passes, and she thinks that it will… it needs to sit for 24 hours before it can go back to the Senate. The Senate needs to revote on it since accreditation language unrelated to the Common Core was taken out of the bill. Logue expects that it will pass out of the Senate once again. It is likely that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will not sign the bill, but after a period of time due to a veto-proof majority the bill will become law.
Anyway, it’s looking very, very good.
Photo Credit: Donald Hilt, Jefferson City