Lawmakers pass omnibus education bill

A bill that makes technical changes to existing education statutes was passed May 21.

Cedar Rapids Sen. Kate Sullivan introduced LB525, the Education Committee’s annual “clean-up” bill. The bill clarifies that any homeless student must be admitted without charge to the district in which the student currently is located or the school where the student was last enrolled.

It also allows an early childhood professional to report his or her educational degrees or professional credentials, relevant training and work experience to the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System.

The bill includes provisions of LB524, also introduced by Sullivan, regarding the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). CEP is a federal program that allows school districts in which at least 40 percent of students are defined as poverty students to offer free meals to all students without collecting applications from households.

To encourage participation in the program, the bill redefines low-income and poverty students under the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA) to include students who receive free meals under CEP.

Provisions of several additional bills were incorporated into LB525, including:
• LB526, introduced by Sullivan, which clarifies that an individual holding a permit issued by the Commission of Education is included under the definition of individuals certified to teach, administer or provide special services;
• LB239, introduced by Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar, which reallocates funds generated by solar and wind energy agreements on school lands to assist schools in implementing an effective educator evaluation model;
• LB509, introduced by Omaha Sen. Tanya Cook, which eliminates a TEEOSA poverty allowance disqualification and instead imposes a 5 percent reduction in the allowance upon failure to meet requirements;
• LB572, introduced by Hyannis Sen. Al Davis, which requires the state security director to recommend curricular and extracurricular material designed to prevent cyber-bullying; and
• LB410, introduced by Sullivan, which expands eligibility for the Access College Early Scholarship Program Act to include students participating in a career academy or career path of study.

The bill passed on a 46-0 vote.

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