Senate approves Pearson bill providing support assistance to local schools by Department of Education


STATE HOUSE — In its latest efforts to reform the education system, the Senate today passed legislation introduced by Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) that would see the Department of Education take a greater role in supporting local schools.

The bill (2022-S 2291) would direct the Department of Education to provide professional support and assistance to local education agencies regarding effective ways to use data such as budget and demographics, school culture, and assessments to improve student performance.

“When we began our education reforms, we really wanted to transform the Department of Education from a compliance organization to one that actually gets out into school districts to support and assist them,” said Senator Pearson. “This legislation would require the department to take a hands-on approach in helping schools with their budget, with their curriculum and with these reforms.”

The legislation, which was developed in collaboration with superintendents and curriculum coordinators throughout the state, is the latest measure developed by the Senate to reform education.

The Senate has been at the forefront of education reform, passing an entire package of bills related to curriculum, instruction support, accountability, teacher certification, specialty skills certification, teacher assessments and the principal certification process. Many of these bills became law in 2019, including legislation introduced by Senator Pearson that provides for greater school-based management at the school level, expands the duties of principals and school improvement teams, and establishes a new chapter in education accountability which provides for evaluations, assessments, and education review reports on the performance of both school districts and individual schools.

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.