1998 Regular Session
To: Rules; Education
By: Senator(s) Farris, Gollott, Furniss, Browning, Burton, Smith, Carlton, Mettetal, Frazier, Huggins, Jackson, Rayborn
Senate Concurrent Resolution 539
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION CREATING A SPECIAL JOINT LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDYING THE CURRENT CURRICULA UTILIZED FOR READING AND WRITING INSTRUCTION IN MISSISSIPPI'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That there is hereby created a special joint legislative task force to study and assess the current curricula and methodology utilized for reading and writing instruction in Mississippi's public schools and to make relevant findings and recommendations. In addition to any other matter the committee may deem appropriate and relevant to its study, the committee shall specifically (1) review and assess core curricula and methodology with a view to eliminating any unnecessary and/or overlapping curricular requirements which unduly reduce time spent on essential tasks by educators; (2) assess the need and utility of a mandatory statewide curriculum for basic reading and writing skills; (3) to the extent a statewide mandatory curriculum is employable, consider means of development of specific grade level methodology by the state's master teachers to be used in conjunction with said curriculum; and (4) study and assess the current curricula and methodology used and taught in elementary and secondary education degree programs in Mississippi institutions of higher learning in preparing teachers to teach reading and writing effectively. The task force shall report to the 1999 Legislature and shall propose legislation related to its findings.
The task force shall be composed of the following members:
(a) The Chairmen of the Senate and House Education Committees;
(b) One member of the Senate from each Congressional district to be designated by the President of the Senate.
(c) One member of the House of Representatives from each Congressional district to be designated by the Speaker of the House.
(d) The Governor, or his designee.
(e) The Superintendent of Education, or his designee.
The task force shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman of the task force. The vice-chairman shall also serve as secretary and shall be responsible for keeping all records of the task force. A majority of the members of the task force shall constitute a quorum. All members shall be notified in writing of all meetings at least five days prior to the date on which a meeting is to be held.
For attending meetings of the task force, each legislative member shall be paid from the contingent expense fund of the respective house the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses shall be paid for attending meetings of the task force while the Legislature is in session, and no per diem and expenses shall be paid without prior approval of the Senate and House Management Committees.
The members of the task force who are not legislators shall be compensated at the per diem rate authorized by Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, and shall be reimbursed in accordance with Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Any member who is also a state employee shall not be eligible to receive per diem compensation. No task force member may incur per diem, travel or other expenses unless previously authorized by vote at a meeting of the task force. The non-legislative members shall be paid from any funds made available to the task force for that purpose.
The task force shall not hire any staff, but shall utilize the clerical and legal staff already employed by the House and Senate, and any other staff provided by a state agency pursuant to a request therefor by the task force.
The task force shall be dissolved on January 1, 1999.