NSEA Legislative Update: August 7, 2014
In This Update:
- Interim Studies Introduced to Support Teacher Issues
- 2014 Legislative Interim Studies Related to Education
Interim Studies Introduced to Support Teacher Issues
Interim study resolutions set the agenda for the Legislature’s work until the start of the next legislative session in January 2015. In particular, we are pleased to see two interim studies introduced at the request of NSEA, LR526 and LR568.
LR526, introduced by Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar will examine options to provide incentives for professional growth and development of teachers as the means to increased student achievement and success.
Research indicates that well-trained, mentored, supported, and motivated teachers do improve the likelihood of student success. Currently the state recognizes teachers who take the initiative to improve their teaching skills and knowledge through programs for mentoring, by achieving master teacher status through National Board Certification, and through acquisition of a master's degree in a shortage area through the tuition loan forgiveness program. Lottery funds, but no state General Funds, are expended for these programs.
The study committee will explore strategies to encourage growth in classroom teaching skills and knowledge, as research indicates such improvements correlate positively to student growth for different populations of students, including students at risk because of poverty, language deficiency, or behavioral issues. The study committee will also assess state aid incentives or accreditation requirements that will encourage teachers to invest the time and money to acquire such teaching skills and knowledge.
LR568, introduced by Omaha Sen. Rick Kolowski, will examine options for the creation of a Nebraska educational trust fund for the purpose of stabilizing the availability of state aid to education when there is a significant decline in state tax revenues.
The study shall examine the following: (1) strategies the State of Nebraska could use to ensure there is an adequate and continual level of funding for state aid to public schools under the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act and for other education-related funding priorities; (2) various mechanisms utilized in providing a stable funding source for state aid to education in other states; and (3) additional dedicated sources of revenue which could be considered in funding an educational trust fund.
For a full list of all interim studies introduced, see the follow weblink:
2014 Legislative Interim Studies Related to Education
LR 508 Mello – Study the Nebraska P-16 Project
LR 519 Scheer – Study availability of course offerings for high school students
LR 521 Nordquist – Study retirement systems under the NE PERB
LR 525 Bolz – Study workforce skills gap and education programs to address the gap
LR 526 Haar – Study methods to provide incentives for teacher professional development*
LR 532 Davis – Study school breakfast programs
LR 546 Kolowski – Study methods to expand learning opportunities for students
LR 547 Smith – Study labor shortage areas and educational programs to address shortages
LR 566 Hadley – Study valuation of agricultural land
LR 568 Kolowski – Study Education Trust Funds for stabilization of state aid*
LR 588 Howard – Study Early Childhood Education Data Coordination
LR 598 Davis – Study federal legislation related to internet sales tax collections