Members of the House Education Committee spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday making final decisions on the more than one hundred pages of education rules from the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education.
In the end, all of the rules were approved with two exceptions. Committee members rejected portions of rules addressing English teaching endorsements and requirements for elementary and middle school physical education.
English Endorsement: Committee members rejected the portion of a rule that would have required all individuals interested in earning an English endorsement to amass 45 credits in a variety of subjects. Currently, to earn an English endorsement one must earn 20 credits. Committee members’ concerns fell into two areas. First, they had apprehensions about the increased requirement of 25 credits to earn the endorsement. Second, committee members heard and heeded the concerns of school district administrators who told them they try to hire teachers with multiple endorsements. The sheer number of credits required to earn an English endorsement make it highly improbable that English teachers will be able to earn a second endorsement.
Physical Education: The rule would have required all elementary students to spend at least 60 minutes each week in physical education activities and for middle school students, the time would have increased to 200 minutes. A number of school districts complained this rule would result in an additional funding burden for already cash-strapped districts.
In order for these rules to be rejected, the Senate Education must also reject them. Then, a piece of legislation will need to be drafted and brought before the full House and Senate for their concurrence. The Senate committee has already rejected the English endorsement rule. They are expected to finish their review of the P.E. rules later this week.