A controversial education bill, authored by District 19 State Senator David C. Ford (Rep.), failed to get a hearing in the Senate Education Committee.
The bill, which proposed lengthening the school year from the current 180 days to 200 days over the course of a four-year rollout, left the funding for the additional days up to the school districts to the tune of an estimated $736.4 million annually.
Shortly after the introduction of the bill, Senator Ford fell ill and was unable to return a request by the BannerGraphic for comment on the proposed legislation.
Ford's Legislative Assistant, Maureen Green, did say that, "(Senator Ford) loves children and wants to see them succeed. In some areas there is not enough time for gym, art and music classes. He feels that these are a necessity for a child's development as well as the academic curriculum."
Senator and Majority Floor Leader Connie Lawson (Rep.) notified the BannerGraphic of the bill's demise in an e-mail received yesterday. In the communique, Lawson stated, "I'm sure the fiscal impact of this legislation was the reason it was not heard. I'm certainly not an expert in this area ... I've never been a member of the of the Education Committee where I would be privileged to the testimony on a bill such as this."
Lawson did not respond as to whether she would have supported the initiative had it received a hearing.