Legislative Session

2019 Education Legislation

The 2019 session of the 57th legislature started with 2,815 bills filed, about 400 of which addressed education. Not everything was heard, and many bills did not pass through the process to become law. Below you will find a quick synopsis of the education bills that did pass, including the House and Senate authors. You can visit the state legislature’s website to search for each bill by number to read the final version.

Career Readiness

HB 1364 (Hasenbeck/Smalley) Requires Board of Career and Technical Education to develop a career-readiness assessment administered to all seniors at public schools, subject to available funds.


HB 1781 (McCall/Montgomery) Eliminates the requirement in teacher accreditation programs that teachers serve an unsalaried internship.

HB 1905 (Conley/David) Adds training regarding ‘trauma-informed responsive instruction’ to the list of pre-service requirements for all teacher education programs.

SB 194 (Bice/Miller) Removes the requirement that aspiring educators enrolled in elementary and early childhood higher education programs pass a comprehensive exam measuring their teaching skills in reading instruction.

SB 217 (Thompson/Nollan) Directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to establish a pilot program to identify providers to implement new and innovative pathways toward teacher certification. Providers seeking to participate must meet the requirements outlined in the law and apply to the SBE.

Charter Schools

HB 1395 (Dills/Pemberton) Subjects virtual charter schools to same reporting and audit requirements as school districts and requires them to disclose information regarding education management organizations. Subjects virtual charter school board members to the same conflict of interest policy and instructional and continuing education requirements as local school board.

SB 268 (Dahm/Osburn) Allows virtual charter school boards to meet digitally via video conference if a quorum is maintained whether the board members are present in person or digitally.


HB 2520 (T. West/Pemberton) Revises various details relating to the annual needs assessment reports that schools must produce for alternative education services, wherein students are identified at most risk for not completing high school. Requires a statewide alternative education program to be implemented by school year 20-21.

SB 593 (Stanislawski/Boatman) Directs the State Department of Education (SDE) to develop a rubric for computer science programs in K-12 schools to serve as a guide for schools to implement quality computer science programs. Establishes a $1M annual competitive grant for schools to develop such programs.

SB 601 (Stanislawski/Nollan) Removes the requirement that K-3rd grade classes spend most of their instructional time on reading and math, replacing it with a vaguer rule that instruction is “focused” on these subjects. Requires kindergartners to be screened at the beginning, middle and end of each school year. Requires a specialized program for kindergartners who are below level by mid-year. Adds mid-year screening to 1st-3rd grade. The standard for 1st-3rd grade would no longer be reading at their grade level but meeting “grade-level targets.” In determining retention in 3rd grade, only the scores for the “standards for reading foundations/processes and vocabulary” portions shall be considered. Raises the bar for promotion based on screening to “end of the year” third-grade level proficiency.

SB 926 (Floyd/Bush) Requires that sex education curriculum include information about consent.


HB 2769 (Wallace/Thompson) Repeals language that requires the Legislature to fund common education by April 1 of each year.

SB 193 (Pemberton/McBride) Reinstates financial penalties for not meeting certain accreditation standards when classroom funding is increased in future legislative sessions to specified amounts. The penalty for failing to meet media materials and equipment standards is reinstated when classroom funding (not including mandated pay increases) is at least $50M greater than the amount appropriated in Fiscal Year 2019. The penalty for not complying with kindergarten and 1st-grade class size limits is reinstated when classroom funding (not including mandated pay increases) is $100M greater than the amount appropriated in Fiscal Year 2019.


HB 2339 (S. Roberts/Standridge) Prohibits students from receiving vaccinations at school or on school property without prior written authorization from a parent or guardian for each occurrence.

SB 48 (Standridge/Rosecrants) Allows students with cystic fibrosis to self-administer replacement pancreatic enzymes.

SB 70 (Pemberton/ C. Caldwell) The SDE shall have the authority to define requirements for the submission of data elements in compliance with the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) version 1.5 for the student information systems and instructional management systems used by school districts statewide in compliance with state and federal statutes.

SB 85 (McCortney/McEntire) Allows school staff that are certified alcohol and drug counselors to administer opiate antagonist to someone suffering from an opiate overdose.

SB 381 (Floyd/Dollens) Allows schools to stock rescue inhalers that could be administered by trained staff or faculty to any student believed to be suffering from a respiratory attack. Sets guidelines if they choose to do so.

SB 575 (Allen/Randleman) Consent by parents for schools to provide health care and mental health services to minors would last for the entire school year and would have to be renewed each year. No treatment shall be given without consent. Removes the restriction for telemedicine that required providers to verify that the parent is at the school site where services are given.

SB 576 (Kidd/Conley) Requires every school employee having reason to believe that a minor is a victim of abuse or neglect to report the matter immediately to the DHS hotline. It requires any allegation of abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a county office to immediately be referred to the hotline by the Department. The bill requires every school employee having reason to believe that a student age 18 years or older is a victim of abuse or neglect to report the matter immediately to local law enforcement.

Higher Education

SB 361 (Daniels/Lepak) Prohibits public universities from exercising strict control over expression and speech on their campuses except under clear, published, content and viewpoint neutral criteria with related training, posting, and reporting.

Pay Raise

SB 1048 (Thompson/Wallace) The education budget bill. Contains the language that mandates a certified teacher pay raise.
Professional Development

HB 1228 (Sanders/Smalley) Requires a dyslexia professional development program be given once a year to educators.

SB 382 (Floyd/Dollens) Directs Safe School Committees to make recommendations to principals for creating professional development standards that would allow faculty and staff to recognize and report suspected human trafficking.

SB 446 (Haste/Dills) Directs SBE and Department of Mental Health to develop information, training, and resources to help school employees recognize and address the mental health needs of students.


HB 1246 (McBride/Smalley) Allows a retired classified or unclassified member of the state retirement system who is employed by the SDE to perform duties ordinarily performed by classified or unclassified personnel and receive annualized earnings with no reduction in retirement benefits regardless of the amount of annualized earnings.

HB 2304 (Frix/Pemberton) Requires the state actuary to evaluate the impact of a two percent cost of living adjustment on each public pension system.

HB 2485 (McCall) Requires the state actuary to evaluate the impact of a four percent cost of living adjustment on each public pension system.

SB 772 (Pugh/Baker) Changes dates and removes obsolete language. Allows TRS to hire an actuarial firm rather than a single actuary. Allows TRS to elect a vice-chair and secretary in addition to the chair.

Safe Schools

HB 1044 (Martinez/Pugh) Permits a public school bus driver to use a hand-held mobile telephone to communicate with a school transportation department central dispatch or its equivalent.

HB 1926 (Kerbs/Sharp) Allows the registered owner of a vehicle that is found to have passed a school bus illegally to be punished by a fine of not less than $100. Allows a school district or a vendor with which a district contracts to install and operate a video monitoring system on school buses for the purpose of recording vehicle violations.

SB 33 (Dossett/Vancuren) Adds vapor products to the list of products prohibited under the 24/7 Tobacco-free Schools Act.


HB 1050 (Sterling/Smalley) Increases the maximum number of days a non-degreed substitute teacher can be employed during the school year to 135. Increases to 145 days if they hold a lapsed or expired certificate or have a bachelor’s degree.

HB 1988 (Nollan/Haste) Eliminates the requirement that the SBE promulgate rules granting a medical exemption from the 18-day chronic absenteeism provision of the school site report card.

SB 36 (Dossett/Vancuren) Removes the requirement that school districts provide parents of students an annual physical activity report.

SB 92 (Pugh/Osburn) Replaces the requirement that K-12 schools be evaluated annually to ensure they are meeting accreditation standards with the requirement that they are evaluated every 4 years, provided no complaints are made and deficiencies have not been found in recent evaluations.

SB 198 (Standridge/McDugle) Directs all state agencies and school districts to adopt a social media policy that discourages abusive or offensive online behavior by employees.

SB 430 (Pugh/Osburn) Permits the SBE to provide, upon request from a local board, the results of national and state criminal history records checks for an employee or prospective employee who has received an initial educator certification within the previous 12 months.

SB 441 (Quinn/Baker) Allows schools to calculate their calendar by hours if they meet a minimum of 1080 hours and 165 days. SBE may approve a district a waiver to operate fewer days or hours if the district demonstrates significant cost savings and testing performance at or above the state average. Calendar requirements will take effect in the School Year 21-22, after the SBE promulgates rules outlining the waiver process. SBE rules must be approved by the legislature before taking effect.

SB 742 (Smalley/Munson) Requires the Department of Health’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention to add student and school chronic absenteeism statistics to its annual report. Requires district attorneys to submit a FERPA-compliant report to this office detailing instances of students convicted of truancy. Requires the SDE to submit to this office student and school data on chronic absenteeism.


HB 2641 (Baker/David) Adjusts statewide assessment reporting dates in order to move back the annual testing window to provide additional instructional time before assessments. SBE must report preliminary results to districts by June 20 of each year (previously June 1) and final results must be reported to districts by August 20 (previously August 1).

Compiled by the OEA Legislative and Political Organizing Center – Amanda Ewing, Associate Executive Director; Rene Montgomery, Ivy Riggs, & Jacob Tharp, Legislative and Political Organizing Specialists; and Scout Anvar, Center Assistant