The voice of private schools was a buzz around the Capitol campus on Tuesday as WFIS leaders met with more than a dozen legislators to discuss clock hour expansion, free dual credits for college in the classroom programs, preK programs being held in regular Kindergarten classrooms, and the need for private schools to be paid the EANS I funding that is owed. The day opened with a roundtable conversation with the Professional Educators Standards Board Executive Director, Erica Hernandez-Scott, Ph.D., Director of Government Relations, Zachary Turner, and Legislative & Policy Liaison, Anna Corrinne Huffman.
CCDEI Clock Hours
The bill that allows private schools to offer clock hours for cultural competency has been amended and is still on the House Floor. We are trying to move it to a vote so the Senate can work on perfecting it.
WFIS advocates for private school students’ inclusion in all dual credit opportunities to receive free college credits.
Two bills add graduation requirements: SB 5849 would require computer competency, and HB 1915 would require financial literacy. WFIS would like to be involved in a conversation about graduation requirements before more are added. The change may need to coincide with removing other mandated credits. We want our educators to be included in these conversations.
Legislators are excited to change the public school curriculum this year. They have many ideas, including adding Holocaust and genocide education, computer science skills, and mandating agricultural literacy.
Early Education Advocacy
DCYF’s background check system has been a source of stress and aggregation for three years, and a solution has yet to be found. We finally have a bill, SB 5774, that mandates DCYF expand the number of fingerprinting locations available, which is a start.
Additional frustration for early learning professionals comes from DCYF’s education requirements without the infrastructure to support the mandated classes. HB 2300 aims to adjust the educational requirements and timelines for early learning staff to create a more flexible and supportive environment for professional development.