Who Is In Charge

Legislative calendar Feb. 20-24

Here’s the calendar of education-related meetings in the legislature for Feb. 20-24. Floor and committee agendas are subject to change during the week, and measures scheduled for the floor are frequently subject to delay.

Colorado CapitolMONDAY

10 a.m. – House final consideration

  • House Bill 12-1092 – Changes in concealed carry laws, including on college campuses
  • House Bill 12-1124 – Digital learning study

House preliminary consideration

  • House Bill 12-1043 – Establishment of new concurrent enrollment program

10 a.m. – Senate final consideration

  • Senate Bill-12-015 – Tuition rate for undocumented students
  • Senate Bill 12-051 – Advisory measure on school district contracting procedures

Senate preliminary consideration

  • Senate Bill 12-057 – Qualifications for teachers of Native American languages

1:30 p.m. – House Education Committee, room 0112

  • House Bill 12-1225 – Creation of model charter authorizer program
  • House Bill 12-1218 – Continuation of Early Childhood and School Readiness Commission


9 a.m. – House preliminary consideration

  • House Bill 12-1144 – University employment of non-tenure track instructors


8 a.m. – Joint education committees, room 0112

  • Presentation by Parent-Child Home program

Upon floor adjournment – House Education Committee, room 0112

  • Senate Bill 12-043 – Technical measure regarding summer camps
  • House Bill 12-1155 – Funding changes to incentivize college completion

Upon floor adjournment – Senate Education Committee, room 354

  • House Bill 12-1212 – Reimbursement for BOCES multi-district online programs
  • Senate Bill 12-121 – Charter school access to BEST matching funds

1:30 p.m. – House State Affairs Committee, room 0112

  • House Bill 12-1227 – Creation of new CTE certificate program at community colleges (third item)


Upon floor adjournment – House Finance Committee, room LSB-A

  • House Bill 12-1179 – Composition of PERA board
  • House Bill 12-1150 – Calculation of PERA retirement benefits
  • House Bill 12-1250 – Contributions for PERA health insurance
  • House Bill 12-1142 – Expansion of PERA defined contribution plan

Upon floor adjournment – House State Affairs Committee, room 0112

  • House Bill 12-1091 – Reduction of state testing (second item)
  • House Bill 12-1118 – Transparency of school district collective bargaining (fourth item)

1:30 p.m. – Senate Education Committee, room 354

  • Senate Bill 12-148 – Metro State name change
  • House Joint Resolution 12-1004 – Teen suicide prevention

1:30 p.m. – Senate Health and Human Services, room 354

  • Senate Bill 12-130 – Consolidation of early childhood programs (third item)


7:30 a.m. – House Appropriations Committee, room LSB-A

  • House Bill 12-1146 – Funding for dropout recovery programs (third item)
  • House Bill 12-1149 – Parent trigger bill (eighth item)

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information.

Who Is In Charge

Indianapolis Public Schools board gives superintendent Ferebee raise, bonus

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy
Lewis Ferebee

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee is getting a $4,701 raise and a bonus of $28,000.

The board voted unanimously to approve both. The raise is a 2.24 percent salary increase. It is retroactive to July 1, 2017. Ferebee’s total pay this year, including the bonus, retirement contributions and a stipend for a car, will be $286,769. Even though the bonus was paid this year, it is based on his performance last school year.

The board approved a new contract Tuesday that includes a raise for teachers.

The bonus is 80 percent of the total — $35,000 — he could have received under his contract. It is based on goals agreed to by the superintendent and the board.

These are performance criteria used to determine the superintendent’s bonus are below:

Student recruitment

How common is it for districts to share student contact info with charter schools? Here’s what we know.

PHOTO: Laura Faith Kebede
Staff members of Green Dot Public Schools canvass a neighborhood near Kirby Middle School in the summer of 2016 before reopening the Memphis school as a charter.

As charter schools emerge alongside local school districts across the nation, student addresses have become a key turf war.

Charter schools have succeeded in filling their classes with and without access to student contact information. But their operators frequently argue that they have a right to such information, which they say is vital to their recruitment efforts and gives families equal access to different schools in their area.

Disputes are underway right now in at least two places: In Tennessee, school boards in Nashville and Memphis are defying a new state law that requires districts to hand over such information to charters that request it. A New York City parent recently filed a formal complaint accusing the city of sharing her information improperly with local charter schools.

How do other cities handle the issue? According to officials from a range of school districts, some share student information freely with charters while others guard it fiercely.

Some districts explicitly do not share student information with charter schools. This includes Detroit, where the schools chief is waging an open war with the charter sector for students; Washington, D.C., where the two school sectors coexist more peacefully; and Los Angeles.

Others have clear rules for student information sharing. Denver, for example, set parameters for what information the district will hand over to charter schools in a formal collaboration agreement — one that Memphis officials frequently cite as a model for one they are creating. Baltimore and Boston also share information, although Boston gives out only some of the personal details that district schools can access.

At least one city has carved out a compromise. In New York City, a third-party company provides mass mailings for charter schools, using contact information provided by the school district. Charter schools do not actually see that information and cannot use it for other purposes — although the provision hasn’t eliminated parent concerns about student privacy and fair recruitment practices there.

In Tennessee, the fight by the state’s two largest districts over the issue is nearing a boiling point. The state education department has already asked a judge to intervene in Nashville and is mulling whether to add the Memphis district to the court filing after the school board there voted to defy the state’s order to share information last month. Nashville’s court hearing is Nov. 28.

The conflict feels high-stakes to some. In Memphis, both local and state districts struggle with enrolling enough students. Most schools in the state-run Achievement School District have lost enrollment this year, and the local district, Shelby County Schools, saw a slight increase in enrollment this year after years of freefall.

Still, some charter leaders wonder why schools can’t get along without the information. One Memphis charter operator said his school fills its classes through word of mouth, Facebook ads, and signs in surrounding neighborhoods.

“We’re fully enrolled just through that,” said the leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his relationship with the state and local districts. “It’s a non-argument for me.”

A spokeswoman for Green Dot Public Schools, the state-managed charter school whose request for student information started the legal fight in Memphis, said schools in the Achievement School District should receive student contact information because they are supposed to serve students within specific neighborhood boundaries.

“At the end of the day, parents should have the information they need to go to their neighborhood school,” said the spokeswoman, Cynara Lilly. “They deserve to know it’s open.”