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Legislative Report

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2013

After a week of furlough, the South Carolina House of Representatives has been busy with subcommittee and committee work. More bills came out of committee and were debated on the House floor.
I attended the K-12 Subcommittee where several regulations and a charter school bill were discussed. The Regulations that were approved dealt with grounds maintenance, fire extinguishers, and approval of building plans and State building codes, which supersede current regulations. Gifted and Talented regulations were changed to require six graduate hours to be a certified teacher in the Gifted and Talented program. 
Also, it was discussed a possibility of increasing it to 12 graduate hours for an intermediate level certification.
Changes were made to the adult education GED program. 
The Spanish test was eliminated since no one had requested it in years. In addition, if an adult program student transfers back to a traditional high school, he/she would be required to document seat time equivalent to the requirement of the traditional high school. There were also virtual high school attendance changes for adults, which allows them to take a certain amount of on-line classes. 
A discussion was also held explaining the Federal change that requires a change from a general science class to a biology course with end of course assessment.
A Charter School Bill (H-3472) was also discussed.  It provides for the conversion of a private school to a charter school. 
Under current law, the private school must close for one year and then apply for conversion to a Charter school, which in some cases could be impractical. When the current law was debated there was a concern that private schools could convert and that those schools might not have the ethnic make up of the districts where they are located.  
H-3472 would allow private schools to convert to a charter school if it reflects the population of the district where it is located.  The bill passed unanimously out of sub-committee.
On the House floor, H 3298  The Election Reform Bill was debated for over an hour and half. The bill makes it easier for all potential candidates to file for election and adds more transparency.
 
As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia.  If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don't hesitate to contact me at (843) 553-9288 or at the State House at (803) 734-2951, or email me at joedaning@schouse.gov.
 

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