Keep an eye on education bills and keep in contact with legislators

The Legislature has only nine work days left in 2011 after it returns from break Nov. 29 to get key issues to the Governor for signature.

When it comes to education, the list of issues left to tackle include the collection of school employee union dues, so-called "education reform," and bullying.

While denying it is payback for the recall of Paul Scott, the Republican-led Legislature has SB 636 and HB 4588 on their agenda. Both bills prohibit public employers from collecting union dues via payroll deduction. MEA opposes the legislation. Contact your legislators and let them know that there must be an end to such partisan politics--especially when it doesn’t help kids or education and doesn’t create any new jobs.

The Senate's so-called "education reform" package--SB 618-623--is up for consideration in the House. The bills dismantle neighborhood schools by lifting the caps on charter and cyber schools and giving private and home-schooled students more access to public school funding. MEA opposes the legislation.

The House passed its version of anti-bullying legislation—HB 4163—last week  and will probably have no problem getting it through the Senate to avoid any more discussion of SB 137, which exempted bullying on moral and religious grounds. It’s expected it will clear the Legislature on its first day back.