From the Office of State Representative Danny Watson

The House Education Committee advanced legislation today designed to help fund technical training programs for high school students.

SB288 would allow a school district to join with cities, counties, vocational-technical schools, and even neighboring school districts to create workforce development centers. These centers would provide students, who may not want to pursue a degree, an opportunity to learn a technical skill such as welding.

The sponsor of the legislation explained that many school districts cannot afford the state of the art equipment and facilities that are now needed to provide proper training. This would allow cities and counties to work together with the schools to develop new funding sources.

The House passed SB328, which requires anyone who applies for a K-6 teaching license or a special education K-12 license to receive training and pass a test on the science of reading. This legislation is designed to improve the ways schools teach students to read. Currently, 63% of Arkansas third graders are not reading at grade level.

The House also passed SB167, which allows surgical technicians who have received credentialed training to voluntarily register on a State Medical Board Registry. Surgical technicians are in charge of prepping operating rooms and ensuring the instruments are safe and sterile.

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