Federal Updates

South Carolina Education Policy Update

Education reform was the focus of the legislative session, as Gov. Henry McMaster promised. With the support of the governor, the House quickly passed its education reform proposals, titled the “SC Career Opportunity and Access for All Act.” The House version of the bill includes salary increases for new teachers, the creation of a committee to monitor the state education and workforce pipeline to continually determine the education and training levels required by state employers, and will require a career pathways system to align K-12 and college education with state and local workforce needs. Class size, teacher retention, and funding models remain topics of discussion among legislators.

In May, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office (RFA) also released an economic analysis and report on the state education funding model as part of the governor’s efforts to tackle education reform. The report makes no recommendation regarding staff to student ratios; instead, RFA seeks input from the state’s teachers before making a recommendation. Comments on the RFA report may be sent to EdFund@rfa.sc.gov. Legislators hope the report can foster discussion over the off-season, and prepare the legislature for action in January.

Read more on education policy in South Carolina.

State Updates

  • New York is considering legislation to expand privacy protection for students. S 6690 would establish the Student Privacy Protection Act which prescribes when student information may be disclosed and what student information may be disclosed. This measure is designed to enhance safeguards for students by defining student information that may be disclosed, limiting the purpose for disclosure, and providing parents and eligible students the opportunity to further protect themselves.
  • In Illinois, the legislature passed HB 3606 creating the Student Online Personal Protection Act of 2019. The legislation bans schools from commercially selling the meta-data of K-12 students who use school computers, and provides parents with some control over how the data may be used. The bill also establishes a Student Data Protection Oversight Committee. The committee is required to submit an annual report to the General Assembly and State Board of Education with recommendations for policy revisions or legislative amendments if needed to carry out the intent of the Act.
  • California introduced legislation that would revise the calculation for college admissions-related standardized test sponsors to disclose certain test materials. AB 1234 would change the required calculation for the number of test administrations from which a test sponsor must provide certain test materials to 50% of regular test administrations. The legislation would also streamline state reporting requirements for entities who conduct standardized college admission tests in California and provides students with an additional opportunity to take college-admissions tests in July.