Louisiana Legislative Session 2018: Education Bills to Watch

The newest policy and legislative developments in Louisiana education, summarized and annotated by Orleans Public Education Network. This is a still-developing list and will be continually updated throughout the session. This is not a full list of all movements up before the legislature; to access that list, please click here.

Highlighted in red are bills we feel may contain harmful, ineffective or inequitable policy outcomes; in yellow are bills that are still developing and/or should be closely watched; and in green are bills OPEN supports in line with its values of equity, transparency, and justice.

The Education Committee and other legislators are meeting now in Baton Rouge — time to make your voice heard. Got an opinion about these bills? Use our Find My Education Policymaker page to easily get their contact information!

MAY 24 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

We’ve been tracking the progress of bills as they make their way through the legislative process! Click the titles to jump to their summary and full text.

HB199: Sent to Governor
HB387: Sent to Governor
SB89: Sent to Governor
HB498: Signed by the Governor, Act 168
HB509: Sent to Governor
HB650: Signed by the President
SB224: Sent to Governor
SB303: Involuntarily deferred in House Education
HB294: Sent to Governor
HB616: Sent to Governor
HB95: Substitute adopted on Senate floor. Became SB562
SB107: Sent to Governor
SB152: Sent to Governor
SB452: Sent to Governor

MAY 15 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

SB89: Considered 5/15
HB199: Adopted in House concurrence
HB387: Pending in house concurrence, Scheduled for 5/16
HB498: Sent to Governor
HB499: Involuntarily deferred in House Education
HB509: Pending in house concurrence, Scheduled for 5/16
HB513: Considered 5/10
HB650: Pending State Finance, Scheduled 5/16
SB224: Sent to Governor
HB144: Considered 5/15
HB294: Sent to Governor
HB399: Failed House final passage
HB413: Failed House final passage
HB418: Failed House final passage
HB616: Sent to Governor
SB107: Considered 5/15
SB152: Considered 5/15
SB452: Pending House final passage, Scheduled for 5/16

MAY 8 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB387: Considered 5/8
HB161: Considered 5/7
SB224: Scheduled 5/9
SB253: Considered 5/8
HB294: Scheduled for 5/9
HB343: Considered 5/3
HB616: Considered 5/8
SB452: Considered 5/8

MAY 1 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

SB381: Considered 4/19
HB294: Considered 4/30
HB399: Scheduled 3/1
HB413: Failed House final passage
HB418: Failed House final passage
HB575: Substitute adopted on the House floor. Became HB895
SB452: Considered 4/30
SB244: Passed final House passage
HB487: House final passage, Considered 4/30

APRIL 24 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB344: Notice given subject to call – House final passage. Scheduled for 4/24.
HB513: Considered 4/23
HB650: Considered 4/20
HB144: Considered 4/23
HB284: Considered 4/19
HB294: Considered 4/19
HB399: Considered 4/17
HB418: Failed house final passage
HB587: Considered 4/11
SB380: Considered 4/17
HB284: Considered 4/19
HB294: Considered 4/19
SB95: Substitute adopted on the Senate floor. Became SB562
SB380: Considered 4/17
SB452: Considered 4/17

APRIL 17 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

SB89: Senate final passage, Scheduled 4/16/18
SB381: Considered 4/12/18
SB55: Considered 4/5/18
SB298: Considered 4/12/18
SB301: Considered 3/22/18
SB95: Considered 4/12/18
SB107: Considered 4/12/18
SB345: Considered 4/12/18
HB344: Scheduled 4/17/2018
HB499: Considered 4/4/2018
HB105: Pending House final passage, Scheduled 4/18/2018
HB413: Scheduled for 4/17/2018
HB414: Scheduled for 4/17/2018
HB587: Considered 4/11/2018
HB618: Considered 4/7/18

APRIL 10 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB199: Considered April 2
HB344: Considered April 10
HB387: Considered April 10
SB89: Considered March 22
SB228: Considered March 22
HB498: Hearing scheduled April 12
HB499: Considered April 4
HB509: Considered April 9
HB284: Considered April 9
HB343: Considered April 10
HB413: Hearing scheduled April 12
HB414: Hearing scheduled April 12
HB418: Considered April 5
HB575: Considered April 5
SB292: Considered March 22
SB380: Considered April 2
SB394: Considered April 2
SB224: Passed Senate April 5, on the way to House floor
SB253: Passed
SB301: Considered March 22, signed by Governor
SB450: Considered March 27

HB199
Sponsor: P.SMITH

Purpose: EXCEPTIONAL PERSONS: Creates Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) Task Force to develop framework for assessing children who are deaf or hard of hearing to determine language skills and ensure kindergarten readiness

Link to full text

HB344
Sponsor: S.CARTER

Purpose: TEACHERS: Provides relative to the statutory rights of teachers

Link to full text

HB387
Sponsor: EDMONDS

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Revises the Parents’ Bill of Rights for Public Schools

Link to full text

HB513
Sponsor: S.CARTER

Purpose: FUNDS/FUNDING: Requires a portion of the monies in the Unclaimed Property Leverage Fund to be dedicated to the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Fund

Link to full text

HB638
Sponsor: HUNTER

Purpose: SCHOOLS/EMPLOYEES: Provides relative to disclosure and reporting requirements for certain arrests and incidents with respect to employment in public schools

Link to full text

SB89
Sponsor: W.BISHOP

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Requires parent representation on each charter school governing or management board. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB228
Sponsor: MORRELL

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Prohibits elementary and secondary schools that receive state funds from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB381
Sponsor: T.CARTER

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to unified student enrollment systems in certain school systems. (8/1/18)

Link to full text

HB498
Sponsor: JORDAN

Purpose: SCHOOLS/PARENTS: Requires school crisis management and response plans to provide for parental notification in the event of a shooting or other violent incident or emergency situation

Link to full text

HB499
Sponsor: P.SMITH

Purpose: CURRICULA: Provides relative to sex education instruction in public schools

Link to full text

HB509
Sponsor: G.CARTER

Purpose: EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Requires school boards to make presentations at public meetings relative to plans for schools in need of academic improvement

Link to full text

HB161
Sponsor: GAROFALO

Purpose: TOPS: Provides, under specified circumstances, for repayment of a Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award

Why is this bill harmful?: Would require TOPS scholars to pay back the amount of their scholarship if they fail to graduate, with interest on any unpaid debt. This is a clear equity issue: no matter their cause, students who drop out of college are clearly in no position to become suddenly saddled with student debt and no accompanying degree — particularly when it is Black and low-income college students who will be most disproportionately affected.

Link to full text

HB487
Sponsor: ZERINGUE

Purpose: STUDENT/TUITION: Creates a program for education savings accounts for tuition expenses for elementary and secondary schools

Why is this bill harmful?: This is just vouchers under a different name: ineffective and inequitable. Private school families accept the burden when they enroll their children there. They do not need a tax shelter using public dollars to pay for private school.

Link to full text

HB511
Sponsor: BACALA

Purpose: MENTAL HEALTH: Requires a mental health evaluation of persons who threaten public safety or physical harm to other persons

Why is this bill harmful?: While we applaud any increased awareness around youth mental health, the language of this bill raises concerns about potential abuse and student pushout.

Link to full text

HB569
Sponsor: N.LANDRY

Purpose: STUDENT/ASSESSMENT: Provides relative to education standards and related assessments

Why is this bill harmful?: Repeals a portion of the existing law that creates modified assessments for students with special needs.

Link to full text

HB650
Sponsor: FOIL

Purpose: STUDENT/TUITION: Creates a program for education savings accounts for tuition expenses for elementary and secondary schools

Why is this bill harmful?: See HB487.

Link to full text

SB55
Sponsor: MILKOVICH

Purpose: EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Allows each public school governing authority to determine the education content standards and assessments to be used in the schools under its jurisdiction.

Why is this bill harmful?: What are the implications for New Orleans? How will this help drive critically conscious, historic and relevant content delivered in all schools?

Link to full text

SB224
Sponsor: BARROW

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Require instruction and display of the national motto “In God We Trust” in public schools. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: Includes patriotic customs rather than “exercises” and requires the instruction to include information on the national motto, “In God We Trust”. Additionally requires each public school governing authority to display the national motto in each building it uses and in each school under its jurisdiction.

Link to full text

SB253
Sponsor: MILKOVICH

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to school employee participation in student-initiated prayer. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: This bill creates a slippery slope of personal beliefs impacting how children are treated in public spaces. It’s already legal for students and teachers to practice their religion on personal time; allowing those practices in the classroom, during a school day paid for by ALL taxpayers, has the potential to create a group of “insiders” and “outsiders” in the school setting

Link to full text

SB298
Sponsor: MILKOVICH

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provide relative to school safety. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: Essentially gives teachers the right to unilaterally arrest students — excuse us, “place them in the custody of appropriate law enforcement” — and effectively suspend them for three days based on one individual’s say-so. Will unquestionably be abused to incarcerate Black students at even disproportionately higher rates than already exist.

Link to full text

SB301
Sponsor: MILKOVICH

Purpose: TEACHERS: Provides relative to Teacher Bill of Rights. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: Actively prohibits schools from disciplining a teacher who gets into any physical altercation with a student. Promotes a divisive “us vs. them” mentality in an already racially and socioeconomically fraught setting.

Link to full text

SB303
Sponsor: MILKOVICH

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to bullying. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: Gives way too much latitude to teachers using physical violence against students. Poses a potential issue with implicit bias and discriminating against students of color: “A school employee who witnesses an incident of bullying may take all steps deemed necessary to stop the behavior, including reasonable force, physical restraint, or removal of the offending student from the school grounds. A school official may contact law enforcement and have the student exhibiting bullying behavior immediately removed from the school grounds.”

Link to full text

SB379
Sponsor: APPEL

Purpose: STUDENTS: Allows START distributions for K-12 expenses. (8/1/18)

Why is this bill harmful?: See HB487.

Link to full text

SB386
Sponsor: DONAHUE

Purpose: TUITION: Allows START distributions for K-12 expenses. (8/1/18)

Why is this bill harmful?: See HB487.

Link to full text

SB448
Sponsor: BARROW

Purpose: TUITION: Allows START distributions for K-12 expenses. (8/1/18)

Why is this bill harmful?: See HB487.

Link to full text

SB450
Sponsor: MORRISH

Purpose: TOPS: Changes award amounts and creates a new TOPS award. (gov sig)

Why is this bill harmful?: Potential equity issues. Creates an Honor Plus award. The proposal is that the state give larger grants to students who have the grades to apply for other merit based support. But income correlates strongly with GPA — the kids making the best grades will in likelihood receive support from their families.

Link to full text

HB105
Sponsor: STOKES

Purpose: SCHOOLS/CHARTER: Allows certain Type 1 charter schools to act as their own local education agencies

Link to full text

HB144
Sponsor: ABRAHAM

Purpose: FUNDS/FUNDING: Creates the Louisiana Jobs Now Fund for the purpose of funding postsecondary education degree and certificate production in high-demand fields (OR SEE FISC NOTE SD EX)

Link to full text

HB284
Sponsor: P.SMITH

Purpose: SCHOOLS/FOOD PROGRAMS: Revises procedures relative to a student’s inability to pay for school meals and a student’s meal debt

Link to full text

HB294
Sponsor: P.SMITH

Purpose: STUDENTS: Changes references to “at-risk” students to students who are “economically disadvantaged” throughout Title 17 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes

Link to full text

HB343
Sponsor: S.CARTER

Purpose: TEACHERS: Provides relative to the statutory rights of teachers

Link to full text

HB399
Sponsor: G.CARTER

Purpose: TOPS: In the event of insufficient funding, provides for reducing or eliminating Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) awards based on certain academic and financial criteria and eliminating payment of certain stipends to students (OR SEE FISC NOTE GF EX)

Link to full text

HB413
Sponsor: IVEY

Purpose: TOPS: Creates a new Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) award, the TOPS Transfer Award, and raises grade point average and ACT score required for initial eligibility for a TOPS Opportunity Award

Link to full text

HB414
Sponsor: IVEY

Purpose: TOPS: Raises grade point average required to maintain eligibility for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) Opportunity Award

Link to full text

HB418
Sponsor: IVEY

Purpose: STUDENT/TUITION: Authorizes public postsecondary education management boards to increase tuition and provides for limitations and exceptions

Link to full text

HB566
Sponsor: REYNOLDS

Purpose: TEXTBOOKS/MATERIALS: Provides relative to the review of textbooks and other instructional materials by the state Department of Education

Link to full text

HB570
Sponsor: N.LANDRY

Purpose: SCHOOLS/CHARTER: Provides relative to charter schools

Link to full text

HB575
Sponsor: NORTON

Purpose: CURRICULA: Relative to safety, provides for instruction in public schools and public postsecondary education institutions, provides for reporting online content to school and campus security officers and local law enforcement agencies

Link to full text

HB587
Sponsor: HOFFMANN

Purpose: TEACHERS: Provides relative to teacher tenure

Link to full text

HB616
Sponsor: HILFERTY

Purpose: SCHOOLS/FOOD PROGRAMS: Provides relative to foods and beverages, other than school breakfast or lunch, offered in public schools

Link to full text

SB47
Sponsor: APPEL

Purpose: EARLY CHILDHOOD ED: Provides relative to the Early Childhood Care and Education Network.

Link to full text

SB95
Sponsor: BOUDREAUX

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to virtual charter schools. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB107
Sponsor: MORRISH

Purpose: EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Requires the state Department of Education to provide student assessment results for certain assessments for dispersal to teachers. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB152
Sponsor: MORRISH

Purpose: EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Provides relative to information provided with the release of school performance scores and letter grades. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB205
Sponsor: BOUDREAUX

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to the operation of a Type 2 charter school. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB206
Sponsor: BOUDREAUX

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Provides relative to the operation of a Type 2 charter school. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB292
Sponsor: BARROW

Purpose: SCHOOLS: Prohibits a chartering authority from approving or renewing charters until the legislative auditor conducts certain performance audits. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB345
Sponsor: DONAHUE

Purpose: STUDENTS: Provides relative to school master plans for supporting student behavioral health. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB380
Sponsor: W.BISHOP

Purpose: TOPS: Creates the TOPS Second Chance Award. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB394
Sponsor: B.WHITE

Purpose: TOPS: Creates the TOPS-Tech 2Plus2 Award. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB452
Sponsor: MORRISH

Purpose: TOPS: Changes certain TOPS initial eligibility requirements and provides relative to the sharing of certain student data. (gov sig)

Link to full text

SB454
Sponsor: MORRISH

Purpose: TOPS: Provides additional TOPS awards for students who are successful in postsecondary education. (gov sig)

Link to full text

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