Earlier this week, we warned you about SB 322 authored by Sen. Scott Schneider that would have expanded the school voucher program by allowing voucher schools to bypass accountability and not use ISTEP. The bill also prohibited the DOE from requiring voucher schools report any information “that is not necessary” and to reduce “undue reporting burdens” on these schools.
The bill was heard in the Senate Education committee yesterday evening. After much discussion and pressure from several committee members, Sen. Schneider offered an amendment removing the language exempting voucher schools from using ISTEP.
The data portion of the bill was amended as well, only slightly. It has been changed to allow voucher schools not accredited by the state to limit the amount of data it supplies to the Department of Education.
ISTA is pleased that private vouchers schools will still be required to at least administer the same test as public schools for accountability purposes. We are still evaluating the effect of the language change to the data portion of the bill.
Thank you to all of our members and friends of public schools who shared our warning about this bill and especially those who contacted members of the Senate Education committee.
We will keep you updated as this bill progresses.