NSEA Keeps Close Tabs on Legislature’s Work

From reviewing mental health education provided students to examining the use of substitute teachers, state lawmakers are spending this fall studying issues and conducting public hearings on items deemed important by policymakers.

Reports on each study will be complete by the time the 2018 Legislative session opens for business on Jan. 3, and could lead to the introduction of legislation good, bad or otherwise.

Many of the 2017 studies focus on education issues and policy. Of the 125 interim studies scheduled by the 2017 Legislature, more than two dozen relate to education. NSEA will watch each study closely, will submit written testimony for some and will appear and testify at others.

Here is a list of some of the most important of education-related interim study hearings, including topic, study sponsor and, if available, the time/date/location of the hearing:

  • LR60 (Urban Affairs Committee): To examine issues related to the use of tax-increment financing. Friday, Sept. 29, Hall County Extension Office, Grand Island, 1:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 6, Room 1510, State Capitol.
  • LR91 (Sen. Mark Kolterman, Seward): To examine the public employees’ retirement systems administered by the Public Employees Retirement Board.
  • LR92 (Sen. Mark Kolterman, Seward): To examine the requirement that the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee of the Legislature monitor underfunded defined benefit plans administered by political subdivisions.
  • LR130 (Sen. Mike Groene, North Platte): To examine issues related to the use of substitute teachers.  Thursday, Sept. 14, 1:30 p.m., State Capitol, Room 1525.
  • LR141 (Sen. Kate Bolz, Lincoln): To examine best practices for promoting career education and training that can lead to job readiness for middle-skill positions.
  • LR148 (Sen. Lynne Walz, Fremont): To examine school meal programs in Nebraska.
  • LR149 (Sen. LouAnn Linehan, Elkhorn): To examine the administrative structure and organization of school districts across the state.
  • LR150 (Sen. Dan Hughes, Venango): Interim study to examine the ratio of administration, faculty, and support staff to student enrollment within secondary education in Nebraska.
  • LR166 (Sen. Adam Morfeld, Lincoln): To examine mental health education provided in Nebraska schools.
  • LR200 (Sen. LouAnn Linehan, Elkhorn): To examine issues related to dual enrollment and other courses that allow a student to obtain both high school and postsecondary education credit for such course.
  • LR202 (Sen. Mark Kolterman, Seward): To examine bona fide severance of employment compliance requirements under the Internal Revenue Code as related to maintaining section 401 (a) qualified defined benefit retirement plans.
  • LR212 (Sen. Adam Morfeld, Lincoln): To identify K-12 and postsecondary education resources to meet industry needs in preparing students for employment in careers requiring knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math with an emphasis on jobs in the biosciences sector.
  • LR217 (Sen. Merv Riepe, Ralston): To examine the programs and majors offered by the University of Nebraska at the Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney campuses.
  • LR218 (Sen. Merv Riepe, Ralston): To examine the feasibility of consolidating the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha to create a single University of Nebraska institution in Omaha.
  • LR222 (Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, Lincoln): Interim study to examine dyslexia and reading literacy in Nebraska.