Lawmakers advance bill on community council membership

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A bill to allow parents who work at their children's school districts to again serve on their kids' school community councils moved a step closer to becoming law Thursday.

HB213 would undo a change lawmakers made last year that prohibits parents from serving on their children's school community councils if they also work in their children's school districts. A recent legislative audit recommended lawmakers re-examine that change, noting that at least 130 parent members lost the ability to serve on the councils because of the new law, according to the State Office of Education.

School community councils are groups of parents and school employees who decide how to spend a school's share of money from the School LAND Trust Program.

The House Education Committee unanimously passed the bill Thursday, after amending it to change the numbers of parents and school employees that may serve on a council in hopes of ensuring that non-employee parents still outnumber employee members. If the bill passes, the councils will always have to have at least two more parent members than employee ones.

Employee parents still would not be able to fill parent spots on councils at specific schools where they work.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, now moves to the House floor.