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Senate panel clings to school grading despite push to end practice

Utah education news -

A brewing showdown over school grading may have ended Friday, when the Senate Education Committee voted to stop a bill from reaching the Senate floor that would end the controversial practice of awarding letter grades to schools. Both the House and Senate have passed legislation aimed at reforming school grading — HB241 and SB220, respectively. But while both proposals would broaden the performance areas used to measure school quality, HB241 would end the practice of assigning a single letter ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Senate combines property tax freeze, school funding equalization proposals

Utah education news -

Senators played matchmaker on Friday, joining a bill to raise money for education with a dormant proposal to equalize school district funding. The Senate gave a preliminary vote of 26-0 to SB255, which would freeze the statewide property rate and capture roughly $21 million for schools — and potentially more each year — through inflation. But before that vote, the bill was substituted to include elements of SB80, which aims to supplement school districts with low property tax yields by creating... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

'I sure hope we weren't wrong': Utah school board questions decision to not immediately shut down Vineyard charter school

Utah education news -

The Utah Board of Education had its first opportunity on Thursday to weigh in on the allegations of misconduct at Franklin Discovery Academy. The Vineyard charter school was given probationary status over the weekend by the state charter school board in response to concerns over student safety, financial impropriety and teacher licensing. But at least one school board member questioned why Franklin Discovery was given until June to address those issues, rather than being immediately shut down. ... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

'Good teachers deserve to be rewarded': Bonus bill sails through Senate committee

Utah education news -

A proposal to pay high-performing teachers extra to work in high-poverty schools is headed to the Senate after a warm committee reception on Thursday. HB212 narrowly cleared the House Education Committee last month — ahead of a 51-23 vote in the House — but the Senate Education Committee gave the bill unanimous support, bolstering its odds of passage in the final days of the legislative session. “This may not be everything but it’s a little,” said Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper. “It has the ...

Senate approves lifting ban on 'advocacy of homosexuality' in Utah schools

Utah education news -

The Utah Senate gave near-unanimous approval on Wednesday to ending a state ban on the advocacy of homosexuality in public school sex education courses. Senators voted 24-1 in favor of SB196, which replaces the homosexuality language with a restriction against advocating “premarital or extramarital sexual activity.” Utah law already restricts sex education to a format focused on abstinence and marital fidelity. But Adams has described SB196 as adding “belts and suspenders” to the law, while al... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

High school sports association gets another outside mandate -- this time from Utah lawmakers

Utah education news -

A simmering debate over Utah prep sports reached the Legislature on Wednesday, with a House committee approving new requirements for the Utah High School Activities Association. Members of the House Education Committee voted 11-2 in favor of HB413, which places the association under Utah’s open meetings and records laws and cuts the group’s governing body in half, from 32 members to 15. During the fall and winter, the Utah Board of Education approved and later delayed implementation of a polic...

Senate panel OKs property tax freeze to fund schools

Utah education news -

Members of the Senate Education Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would boost school funding through a statewide property tax rate freeze. Current law requires tax rates to remain revenue-neutral by adjusting down as property values increase. But Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, an architect of and advocate for Utah’s “Truth in Taxation” laws, said taxing entities are expected to raise rates and capture inflation every five to eight years. Except for a $75 million increase in 2015, he sa...

Tweaks to school grading and turnaround programs get early OK of Utah Senate

Utah education news -

Senators gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a pair of bills that adjust Utah’s school grading and turnaround programs. The grading bill, SB220, would end the practice of grading schools on a curve, put more emphasis on student growth and expand performance metrics beyond standardized testing. Bill sponsor Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, said the bill allows for expectations to be set for each letter grade level, allowing any school to receive an A or B independent of the performance of their siste... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>

Utah lawmaker abandons pledge to run bill only with state school board's support

Utah education news -

A Utah lawmaker is taking heat online for breaking a promise to abandon legislation if it didn’t earn the support of the Utah Board of Education. In late January, Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, posted on Instagram and Facebook about pitching his bill, HB136, to the school board. The bill directs the school board to review federal education mandates and, if those mandates conflict with state goals, to request funding from lawmakers to allow Utah schools to ignore the federal Department of Education...

Robots to help teach children with autism? A House committee decides it is worth a shot

Utah education news -

Schools looking to purchase humanoid robots for work with autistic children would get extra help from taxpayers under a bill that gained committee approval Monday. Members of the House Education Committee signed off on HB418, which would set aside $200,000 to reimburse school districts and charter schools for half the cost of a robot designed for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. At a cost of $5,000 each, bill sponsor Rep. Brad Last, R-Hurricane, said: “The districts or the charters w...

The nose knows

News in Price, Utah -

Drug-sniffing dog shows talent at CHS demo Students at Carbon High School were in a brief lock-down exercise Thursday morning

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