Whew! This week has flown by. It’s late now, so I’ll just write a few quick updates about issues we’re tracking before turning in. I know I’ve promised a post about Race to the Top, so I’ll say a few words about that, too.
The Clarion-Ledger had this interesting article today about HB837, the sex education bill that we’ve been tracking. Among the highlights of the article, Governor Barbour is quoted as saying that he “generally supports ‘anything that will reduce illegitimacy.'” This is the first public indication of whether Governor Barbour would veto a bill on this topic if one reaches his desk. The Governor’s opinion is usually an important factor in whether Republicans in the Senate will vote for a controversial bill. However, because the Governor did not respond to the contents of the bill specifically, whether the legislation will make it through the Senate is still in doubt.
On Thursday, Sanford and I were at the Capitol for a legislative hearing on charter schools called by House Education Chairman Cecil Brown. The hearing was canceled after an hour-long wait because the House was still busy with Appropriations bills. We hope that when the hearing is re-scheduled we receive enough notice to let everyone know about it. We hope to have a new white paper, an op-ed, and some other charter school documents ready by the hearing, which will probably be scheduled for next week.
RACE TO THE TOP
As some of you may recall, Dr. Burnham hired a new Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Lynn House, who started work at the beginning of February. She has been tasked with taking over the Race to the Top application process. Dr. House is a dynamic, well-respected person who will breathe new life into this process. We have been in conversations with her about being more involved with the application and hope to report on these conversations in the near future.
INTERESTING SIDE NOTE:
There was big news at the State Board of Education meeting today. We have confirmed that the word is that Dr. Burnham asked the Board to approve a huge restructuring of the department. We expect MDE to announce any changes shortly.
Thanks for reading. Let me hear from you!