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Sun, Aug. 18

Water bills alive, but not education<BR>Rep. Mason pulls reform legislation for more work

Rep. Lucy Mason

Rep. Lucy Mason, R-Prescott, pulled several education reform bills so she could work on them over the summer with the help of people in the field, she said.

Mason pulled four House bills:

• HB2178: schools; teachers; principals – Would have required school principals to eliminate unnecessary paperwork, meetings and duties unrelated to classrooms.

The bill would have required principals to execute agreements between themselves, teachers and parents that describe the duties of each, and that clearly state the parent or guardian is ultimately responsible for the child.

Also, it would have removed teachers' rights to tenure or job security because of years on the job. It required school district governing boards to create policies that provide significantly greater salaries to certified teachers versus non-certified teachers. And it would have taken away some rights of part-time teachers.

• HB2179: schools; pupil achievement tests – Would have allowed the Arizona Board of Education to adopt rules to combine tests and testing dates.

• HB2226: model charter schools – Would have required the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to annually select at least three model charter schools, and send a report about them to every school district and charter school in Arizona.

• HB2227: schools; parental participation – Would have created a statewide Parental Involvement in Schools Fund that the State Board of Education can use to reward districts that demonstrate increasing levels of parental involve-ment.

All Mason's other six bills are still alive in some form except for House Concurrent Resolution 2002, which Senate Education Chair Toni Hellon has held. It had asked the president and Congress to appropriate the federal government's full 40-percent share of special education costs.

O'Halleran said HB2089, dealing with special district revisions, came to an end because of fee issues, but about three-fourths of its language remains alive in two other bills: Senate Bill 1147 and House Bill 2370.

O'Halleran's HB2038 dealing with horse racing licenses is a strike-everything bill that now seeks to clarify who is eligible for settlement money involving a class-action tax suit.

O'Halleran said he held HB2354 so the Yavapai County Assessor's Office and Yavapai County Fair Association can work out a property tax dispute between themselves.

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