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Legislative Update

Amended legislation to delay reading screener/allow CESAs to provide literacy training appears stalled in Assembly

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The Senate will be holding a full chamber session today (February 20th) to vote on numerous bills, including several that directly affect K-12 education. The chamber will be mirroring much of the Assembly’s action that is planned for later in the day. While the Senate is expected to meet a few more times into mid-March, the Assembly will be meeting for the final time on Thursday (February 22nd). This means that any action taken today by the Senate, that has not previously been approved by the Assembly, will face tough odds of making it to the governor’s desk.

One of the bills that is up on the Senate floor calendar (Senate Bill 990) would allow CESAs to provide early literacy training required as part of 2023 Act 20. This bill had an amendment added that makes the first administration of the new statewide reading screener in the 2024-25 school year optional so schools have enough time to train staff, set up IT and other prep work. It had come to our attention from multiple school administrators that there is strong concern and uncertainty in the timeline for acquisition of the statewide screener and whether there will be sufficient time for schools to implement it in time for the 2024-25 school year. This amendment is needed to make the timeline more manageable and increase the likelihood for successful implementation of the new statewide reading screener. 

Since the Assembly will be wrapping up their work for the 2023-24 legislative session, it is very important that the Assembly Bill 1069 (Assembly companion to SB 990 with identical language/amendment) make it to the Assembly floor this week. It is currently not noticed for Tuesday or Thursday. It is our understanding that vendors are objecting to CESAs being allowed to compete with them to provide training to schools on early literacy. If you share these concerns and support this amended bill, it is vitally important to contact your state Assembly Rep. ASAP.

Other education bills being voted on in the Senate today are below. Read the WASB’s previous blog post for more information on the Assembly session.

Senate Session: February 20th

SB 335: School District Administrator Licensing

SB 447: Glucagon Therapies in Schools

SB 608: Teaching License-Paraprofessionals

SB 653: Increasing the Open Enrollment Transfer Payment

  • This bill is not currently on the Assembly calendar for the week. If it is to make it to the governors desk, the Assembly must take up the action from the Senate.

SB 688: Bidding Thresholds

SB 916: Refugee Resettlement

SB 989: Combining School Choice Programs/Reducing Inefficiencies

SB 900: Literacy Training Appropriation to DPI

AB 223: Opioid Antagonists in Schools

AB 914: Bronchodilators in Schools

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