On Tuesday, Representative Elder introduced his bill, H.179, that re-organizes the State Board of Education (SBE). He believes it is important to recognize that the SBE is staffed by the Agency of Education (AOE). The bill largely re-introduces language from a 2020 Senate bill – S.166. He thinks it’s confusing to the public, saying that he thinks “it’s good to say the Secretary is in charge.” He believes it is not too late to make this structural change. The SBE has only acted independently for a dozen years or so. He also asserted that the Agency would support this bill.
Representative Austin asked if he had run this by the SBE. He had not, but noted that the SBE and AOE work closely together now. Chairman Conlon noted that the SBE is all volunteers and “essentially functions like a school board,” which makes it difficult for them to “make progress.”
Elder also introduced another bill he sponsored that would create a single statewide supervisory union (SU). Many of the services provided by SUs require an economy of scale in order to make this worthwhile.
- Small schools trying to innovative things may need help with SU services and this would allow them to do this.
- We are running out of Superintendents and searches are expensive and time consuming.
- This would help with the implementation of e-finance.
This particular bill only proposes a study committee at this time. The Committee wondered how this would be implemented in practice, but noted that it is an interesting concept.
Representative Brownell wondered if we should just consolidate our supervisory unions like we did with school districts under Act 46.