Debate Transcripts

LB 1228 (1998)

General File

March 3, 1998


CLERK:  27 ayes, 0 nays, Madam President, on the advancement of 1035.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  LB 1035 advances.  LB 1152.  Excuse me, before we reach 1152, items for the record..  Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  Thank you, Madam President.  Senator Hillman, amendments to (LB) 1035 to be printed, Senator Bromm to (LB) 309.  Government Committee reports LB 1120 to General File with committee amendments attached.  (See pages 863-67 of the Legislative Journal.)


Madam President, with respect to 1152, the bill was discussed yesterday.  I have a unanimous consent request from the primary introducer, Senator Schmitt, to bracket LB 1152.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Is there any objection?  Hearing none, it is so ordered.  LB 1228.


CLERK:  Madam President, LB 1228, originally introduced by Senator Bohlke.  (Read title.) The bill was introduced on January 20, referred to the Education Committee, advanced to General File.  I do have committee amendments pending by the Education Committee.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Bohlke to begin the discussion of the committee amendments.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Don't I open on the bill?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Excuse me, I'm sorry, to open on the bill, Senator.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Madam President.  I thought that's what but I didn't want to question the Chair.  Thank you very much.  I do bring you LB 1228 which creates the Quality Education Accountability Act.  You know, it has been something that I have wished for a long time that here on the floor of the Legislature we could begin to talk about those things that we think deal with quality education.  I'm not bringing a printout.  We aren't going to have to discuss the formula.  We aren't going to have to discuss how that works.  You aren't going to have to




go down at your desk the long list and see how this is going to impact or not impact your district.  But we are going to have the opportunity to discuss I think those things that we think are important for quality education path for our schools in Nebraska.  There are a number of issues in the bill so I will review some of those.  I understand that there will be a move to divide the question and so I still will do an overview of the bill; and at that time that may very well help everyone focus on the different sections of the bill.  But the three components basically of the bill are that it's an act of quality education incentives, a financial reporting system, and a testing program.  I will give a brief description of each of these elements focusing on the provisions that are not changed in the committee amendments.  First, quality education incentive payments will be made to local systems meeting certain criteria.  Because of changes in the committee amendment, I will go over the criteria when I open on that part of the committee amendment.  The one important thing i's that the payments from the Education Innovation Fund will be $50 for students or $100 for students in the very sparse cost groupings.  The reason for this is as we looked at the number of students and we discussed this a little last year on a bill on trying to do something with the lottery funds that would go to every student, but when we did that we realized that in some districts it really wouldn't amount to a significant amount of money.  With this, the example I can give you is that Arthur, Nebraska, Arthur School District I mean, would qualify for about $10,000; Thedford, $14,000; Tryon, $10,000.  They could pool that money together and come up and do with something very innovative I think for that area of the state by doubling the amount for those very sparse school districts.  Otherwise, the amount would not be that significant that I think that they would be able to do anything that could really impact significantly the quality of the program being offered in those very sparse districts.  The second component is a financial reporting system.  The State Board of Education will be required to provide a financial reporting system for all local systems beginning with the 1999 school year.  The financial reporting system may be purchased from a private vendor or developed by the department after a cost analysis.  The department shall also provide periodic training to district and ESU personnel and to the school board members and interested members of the public.  The department and each local system




shall provide defined financial reports to the media and other interested parties.  The state information shall also be available on a statewide public computer information network.  We actually have this going on now in a number of districts in the state.  And in North Carolina, excuse me, South Carolina, they have adopted this statewide.  What we're saying is that if we want people to continually support public education they need to understand how we're spending their money.  Currently, we do ...  we have a general public who find it very difficult to understand the budgets of school districts and how their money is being spent.  I think we're very fortunate in that we have a large percent of our population who are very supportive of public education in Nebraska.  They simply want to understand how their money is being spent.  Oftentimes you hear that people do not show up at budget hearings for school boards.  If any of us have sat on a board of education, we know that to be true.  I believe that oftentimes the reason they do not, it's not that they aren't concerned, but it's Just that they don't even know which question to ask.  And so this provides an accounting report that will be an overlay actually of what they currently report to the state Department of Education.  But it then reports on how those dollars are spent in a very understandable fashion from the examples that I have seen.  The next is a testing program.  The state board is implementing a state test currently.  They are having the Buros Institute doing some norming for them, and I have worked closely with the commissioner and members of the state board on this segment.  We had this bill last year as you may remember.  It was on General File and so we put it into this bill.  This says that the state board shall implement a statewide testing program for students in a selected grade in each of the grade ranges, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  Last year when I introduced it, we actually named the grades.  The state board came back and said please give us that option as we develop the test, and I said, that certainly is fine with me.  And so it just says actually that at the primary grade, the middle school grade, and the high school level that we will be testing the students.  It also goes on to say that the state will be responsible for the test materials.  And so this is not a cost to the district.  A testing package shall be purchased from a recognized testing service In the areas of mathematics, reading, science, and social studies.  A writing test shall also be included but may either be developed within




the state by educators with expertise or purchased as part of a testing package.  We have found out that there's an ESU presently who has developed a writing test that a number of school districts are using.  That could be incorporated by the state board if they want to look at something that's already being used in Nebraska.  However, if they purchase a test, a number of those currently have a writing sample as a part of that test so this really leaves that discretion also to the State Board of Education.  All public school districts shall participate and all students enrolled in the designated grade level shall be tested except the state board shall establish criteria that schools may use to exempt special education students from testing in any or all subject areas.  This is done generally across the country, The state board may also adopt alternative tests or means of scoring for special education students and students with limited English proficiency.  The individual scores shall be confidential, that's very important, shall be reported to the district which currently happens now.  Any of you who have had students who have been tested in the schools as a parent you got that report back to you as to how your student was doing, but shall not be reported to the department individually.  Aggregate results for each district shall be reported to the department by the testing service and writing test scores.  That really is the main, are the main parts of the bill.  As I have said, I know that there's going to be a motion to divide the question on the amendments.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I think that will help separate out the issues for everyone.  I don't have a problem with that.  But in the end, at the end of the discussion, the part that I really look forward to and I hope that you find as rewarding is not having to spend all the grueling time we spent last year on understanding formulas and state aid as we will be talking about quality and I believe this is a move to improve the quality.  And when we do that, it improves the public support for education.  And when that happens, most importantly, it improves the opportunities for Nebraska's children.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Senator Dierks announces that the following guests are visiting the




Legislature.  There are 20 juniors and seniors here from O'Neill High School in O'Neill, Nebraska, along with their government class teacher.  They are all seated in the north balcony.  Will you stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senator Bohlke, the committee amendments are next.  Do you wish to open on the committee amendments As a whole or we could move to a motion to divide.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Madam Speaker.  I think for everyone it would be easier to follow along if we do, it as ...  open on each one as we divide.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  Madam President, I have A request for a division from Senator Bromm, five separate components.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke, are you in concurrence with the motion to divide into five separate pieces?




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The motion to divide is granted.  Senator Bohlke, which order do you wish to take them up?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President, division one I would like to take first; division four, second; division three, third; division two, fourth; and division five, fifth.


CLERK:  If I may, Senator, what I would suggest if I may, Senator, I'll just reference the sections so the members know...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Good, all right, thank you.


CLERK:  ...  to what we're ...  but that's the order you want, Senator Bohlke, then I have that in front of me.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's the order and then, right.


CLERK:  All right.  So the first component of the committee amendments, members, would be the first division which would consist of Section 2 of the committee amendments I believe,




Section 2 of the committee amendments.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke, do you with to open on Section 2 of the committee amendment?




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Could we have stated to us what the divisions are so we know which parts of the bill are going to constitute the different divisions?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The first division is Section 2; second division is Section 3; third is Section 4; fourth is Section 5; and fifth is the remainder of the bill.  Senator Chambers, I gave those to you in chronological order.  They -will not be taken up in that order but we will announce each section as we take them up.  We'll start with Section 2.  Senator Bohlke.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Madam President and members, thank you.  The quality education incentive payments that we will be discussing will be paid based on what we call primary and premier qualification factors.  The intent is to continue to get schools to move towards improvement.  And so we have two levels, a beginning level and then they move to a second level.  The first two years a system qualifies, the system shall meet all the primary quality factors.  The third and fourth years, the system shall meet all of the primary factors and at least two of the premier factors, continuing to get them to improve.  The fifth and sixth year, the local system shall meet all of the primary factors and at least three of the premier factors.  And the seventh year and each year thereafter a local system shall meet all of the primary factors and all of the premier factors in order to qualify for the payments.  And so the primary quality factors are, which would be the first two years, the school district would have to have the adoption of state academic standards or local district standards approved by the state board as being more rigorous.  This is allowing school districts who already have their standards that may be beyond what the state board implements for those to be recognized.  The second is an alternative school class or educational, and this is




important word, program because this is what we've talked about with schools is available or in operation for all expelled students.  Or, and here's another important, we heard from schools, well, how could we qualify if we've never had an expelled student?  And that very well may be the case.  So the "or" there is a policy to have such a program available if any students are expelled.  And as I've said many timed when I served on a board of education, one of the best ways to avoid a problem in the future was to have a policy.  And so I think this goes directly to that.  The third, each district has an approved program for learners, now this is an approved program, for learners with high ability or the same thing, there is a policy to have a program available if any students are Identified.  And (d) at least 60 percent of the graduating seniors have taken a standard college admissions test-and the average most...  and the average of the most recent score is above the statewide average on any exam taken by at least 25 percent of-the graduating guess, to look at if these quality factors are present in a school system that we need to see some measurement that proves that it is a system that can report and look at their testing to ensure that they are meeting this particular goal.  The premier factors are then after two years they would have to, as I explained, go to the premier factors and they could choose from among these.  First, at least one teacher certified by the National Board for Professional Training ...  for Professional Teaching Standards.  Currently in Nebraska, we have very few teachers who qualify for this and, in fact, this may be something that would be one of the factors that would be further in the future for schools.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  It's a cost to a teacher of about $2,000 to reach this and it's very rigorous training.  But second would be that at least 36 percent, now that is a statewide average, of the certified teachers in the local system have advanced degrees.  We have checked and that is the statewide average and it's the average for many small schools as well as large schools.  (C) Each district participates in the mentor teacher program and provides a mentor for each first year teacher or has a policy to participate and provides mentors in any first year ...  any first-year teachers are hired.  And (D) the high




school district improves the annual percentage dropout rate from the prior year or maintains a dropout rate of 4 percent or lower.  And so those are the things in the second, in the premier factor.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator.  Mr. Clerk, an amendment.


CLERK:  Senator Bohlke, you now have an amendment to this piece of the committee amendment, Senator, AM3445.  (See page 857 of the Legislative Journal.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Bohlke to open on the amendment to the first section of the committee amendment.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam Speaker.  This amendment goes to the issue of schools who already have a mentoring program.  There are a couple who have gone to great lengths to develop their mentoring program and so we wouldn't want them to have to totally redo their mentoring programs.  So it simply says on page 3, line 8, after "the act" insert "or a mentor teacher program established by the district and approved by the state board." So if they have a mentoring program am currently, it would recognize that program and that's the amendment.  I did not get to the issue of the poverty factor before running out of time on the qualifications under the incentive program, but 1 will do that.  I have my light on and I will discuss that as soon as I have the opportunity.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Senator Cudaback announces that the following guests are visiting the Legislature.  There are 70 fourth graders here from Cozad, Nebraska, with their principal and nine sponsors.  They are all seated in the north balcony.  Would you all stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senator Chambers, do YOU Wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments?




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bromm, do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment to the first division?




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Madam Lieutenant Governor.  And I told Senator Bohlke that my purpose in dividing the question was to facilitate discussion, understanding of the bill and that is my purpose.  The amount of discussion that I've been able to have with Senator Bohlke, and it's not her fault at all, but when the bill was introduced, she indicated to me that this was a different way of dividing lottery funds to schools, and I've had a bill last year to do that.  And I was interested in looking at different methods of dividing the lottery funds as opposed to the system that we've had.  Although it's been good in many ways, I thought that perhaps it could be improved.  And my interest in that issue certainly is there.  This bill contains an awful lot more and, Senator Bohlke, I think you should get ...  you should almost be awarded a grant for the provision of this bill because it's highly innovative.  And I'm interested in some of the background on the bill, and I don't want to totally ignore your amendment because I am supposed to be speaking on that.  So in that respect, I will ask you some questions if you'll yield to some about the mentoring portions of the bill.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke.




SENATOR BROMM:  Senator Bohlke, the section dealing with mentoring which is I think on page 3 of the committee amendment provides that each district in the local system participates in the mentor-teacher program and then You amend that.  If I've got a system of seven or eight affiliated districts with a high school district, that comprises a system if I'm right.  And so is that to say that a district in order to meet that criteria, a system in order to meet that criteria, all seven or eight of those districts would have to participate in the mentoring program?  Would you be able to answer or comment on that?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Bromm, that is the intent.


SENATOR BROMM:  How many districts already now in Nebraska have a mentoring program?  Do you know?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I'm not certain.  I know of two who have sent me material on those and that, those happen to be Millard and Westside.  I have had conversations with the commissioner of education who has indicated there are a couple of smaller districts who have a mentoring program also, but I'm not...  I don't remember the names of those districts and I haven't verified that, Senator Bromm.


SENATOR BROMM:  The State Board of Education would develop a program and the state department would adopt rules and regulations.  Is that the intent?




SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  Would you just tell me very briefly what your vision of a mentoring program is?  If I'm asking you to repeat something, I apologize but I think it's important.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, I also think it's important.  We have heard when we talk about quality education, nothing is more important than the teacher in the classroom.  And as we have traveled throughout the state, we know that those first-year teachers very often, or any of us who had been teachers, know that that's the difficult year of really trying to do the best-job we can.  With the number of teachers that will be retiring, the mentoring simply gives that assistance to that teacher in the classroom by mentoring, by having them have a mentor to help them through those first few years.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I don't want to take all of your time, Senator Bromm.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  How will that impact districts financially?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  We pay for the training in the bill.


SENATOR BROMM:  The state does?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, well, with the lottery funds.  That gets




first call for the training.  And then I think that the arrangement as far as the district makes that sometimes that will be up to each local system to decide.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, so 10 percent of the lottery funds would go to support the financial mentoring, the financial requirements of the mentoring program.  Is that right?  Ten percent, is that later on in the bill?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, that's later on.


SENATOR BROMM:  And that would amount to,' based on last year, somewhere...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  between $900,000 and a million?




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Kristensen announces that the following guests are visiting the Legislature.  There are 17 seniors here from Wilcox High School with their sponsor and principal.  They are all seated in the north balcony.  Will you stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senator Robinson, do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments?  Senator Bohlke, do you wish to speak to your amendment?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Madam President, the one thing that I...a couple of things I wanted to get to to follow up with Senator Bromm's and my discussion.  Because that mentoring factor is in what we call the premier group, that would be at least two years off into the future and so it will give schools an opportunity to look at that, to look at the mentoring programs that are in place, to look across the country really at the issue of mentoring and the recognition.  of it as really helping those beginning teachers being more effective in the classroom.  The portion that I did not get to finish on when I opened that




talked about the poverty factor in the bill and one that I want to clear up immediately so we have an understanding, it can be shown that when there is a significant percentage of students from low income families that oftentimes that can be reflected in the test results for those students.  And so the committee spent a great deal of time discussing how we might address that particular situation.  And we've decided, what we bring before you is that if at least 40 percent of the students qualify for the poverty factor, and I want to tell you that many of you are going to think of only urban schools.  I will tell you that those who would qualify, Omaha would be one, but after Omaha really it's Arthur, Blaine, these ...  or Arthur County Schools, Sandhills Public, Lynch Public, Hartington Public, Wauneta-Palisade, Cody-Kilgore, Crawford, Newcastle, Greeley, Walbach, Spalding, Stratton, Stuart, Mullen, Loup County to give you an idea, Rock County, Gordon, Sioux County, Thedford, Walthill, Wheeler Central so you get an idea that we are talking about a number of small schools who would actually qualify for this.  When they do, we are saying that the average test scores, that when they do, the local system meets all the qualifications except that the average test scores are not above the statewide average, the local system shall receive payments equal to $50 per formula student multiplied by two times the percentage, I'm going to explain this to you, of seniors who scored above the statewide average on any test.  What we're saying is if you are in one of these poverty schools, you take the percentage of your students who have tested over the statewide average and then they qualify that percentage.  And so if you would take a school like let's just say Arthur and they, for some reason, because of a poverty factor and this probably isn't a very good example, that probably wouldn't happen in Arthur, but let's just say that they wouldn't qualify, they would take the students who did score over the statewide average, two, three., four of those students, and they would get that times two.  The reason we do the times two is because otherwise we create a cliff effect and this is what we could resolve...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  when we have an economist on the committee.  And so by doubling it, we avoid that cliff effect.  So what we're saying is when you qualify on the poverty, it's just the




percentage of students who do, we don't hold the whole system accountable, you get rewarded for the percentage of students who score above the statewide average, therefore, continuing to allow those schools to improve on that number until they reach the 50 percent.  Once you reach above the 50 percent, you would be where all the other schools are.  And so that I think is the important part of the poverty factor and understanding that, most certainly understanding the schools that would qualify and that the bill is trying to address.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Senator Beutler, we are on the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments.  Do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment?


SENATOR BEUTLER:  I do not wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Witek, do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments?


SENATOR WITEK:  Yes, Madam President.  This program ...  Senator Bohlke, can I ask you a few questions on this amendment?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, uh-huh.


SENATOR WITEK:  You did say that Millard School District that they would already qualify with the program that they already have in place with this amendment.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  The mentoring, Senator Witek, the mentoring program?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, with that amendment we are saying we are recognizing school districts who already have a mentoring program.




SENATOR WITEK:  Okay.  And in the mentoring program that you envision with this bill, is the mentor an individual who is in the same classroom as the first-year teacher for the entire day?  Are they right along with that teacher, or is it a teacher who has their own responsibilities who is just there for advice at certain times during the day?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Witek, once we train the mentors, it's really up to that local system to decide what type of they want to construct their mentoring program.  We may have retired teachers who, if they went through the training program, could come back; and 1 think we'd probably have a large number of those teachers who would be interested in coming back and being a mentor.


SENATOR WITEK:  And would the school districts set up the salary requirements for that individual?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  They could decide if they wanted to pay them or if this wants to be voluntary.


SENATOR WITEK:  Okay, so it's not necessarily an expense to the district if those would come back.  Is this a contract bargaining situation for those individuals in any of the school districts?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Not in this bill, Senator Witek.  I mean that would be up to the systems.  The only thing we would pay for would be the training for the mentors and then it's up to the local system if it would be a cost to them or not.


SENATOR WITEK:  So the state's responsibility for dollars is to set up a training program for these individuals who will be involved and then the local school districts will determine.  Now are we making it a mandate in this that the school districts must be involved in that mentoring program?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No.  In the second premier grouping, it is one of the things if they want to continue to qualify for incentive payments, but that could be as far as seven years from now.  So they get to select from that premier group those things that may .help them to qualify once again.




SENATOR WITEK:  Did you see how many school districts at this time would qualify for this money in this first year?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  In the first grouping?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, if you look at the fact that 50 percent have to score above the statewide average, you'd take about half the school districts.  When you enter the poverty factor in, you would probably enlarge that somewhat.


SENATOR WITEK:  So more than half the school districts will qualify this first year for the $50 per pupil under the premier or under the...  is it primary class?






SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yon know, we ...  but they may, yes.


SENATOR WITEK:  They may, okay.  And the only expense involved in the mentoring program to the districts that might want to go ahead is what they decide, if anything, to pay to the mentor and how that whole relationship will work.  That's all done through the school board.




SENATOR WITEK:  Okay.  And then how many mentors are we going to have available in the state of Nebraska the first year of this program for districts that might not have a program already up and going?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Senator Witek.  And I said the mentoring is in the second grouping so that would not begin for two years.  And I think what we've done with the retirement package that we ...  that I think we passed this session..* that's going to enlarge the number of people available.  I think we may be surprised at the number of people who are interested.  And I




can't give you an exact answer.


SENATOR WITEK:  Okay, so all the teachers who retired in any other...




SENATOR WITEK:  ...  does it have to be a certified teacher to mentor?  I would imagine that's probably the first qualification.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, it does have to be a certified teacher.


SENATOR WITEK:  So all the certified teachers who may want to be involved in a mentoring program more than likely retired, since they would have other responsibilities, would make application to go to a state training program.




SENATOR WITEK:  And then in two years' time those individuals would be available to the districts across the state to get them into their districts and then they would qualify under the second year of this bill.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That could be one of the things, yes...


SENATOR WITEK:  One of them.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  that they would select to qualify.


SENATOR WITEK:  Okay, thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Remind the body that we are discussing the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments.  Senator Bromm, do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment?


SENATOR BROMM:  Yes, thank you, Madam President.  Senator Bohlke, would you yield to a question or two?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke.






SENATOR BROMM:  Senator Bohlke, with respect to the mentoring, now that applies just to first-year teachers.  So if a school hires a teacher that's had one year or more of teaching experience, they would not be subject to the mentoring requirement or mentoring program.  Is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's true, Senator Bromm.  Our discussion really was around that beginning teacher and.  what skills they brought to the classroom.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  And if a school doesn't have any, first-year teachers and let's say they haven't had any first-year teachers for ten years, if they have a program in place so that if they ever do have a first-year teacher, would they meet the criteria under the mentoring requirement if they had a program in place in case they do hire a first- year teacher?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Bromm, we do point that out that they just simply have to have a policy in place.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, okay.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's what the amendment does.


SENATOR BROMM:  All right.  The...Senator Witek's questions regarding who would be the pool of mentors is interesting and it would most likely be retired teachers probably.  Is that accurate or what do you see in that respect?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Bromm, some school districts use existing staff and give them an extra stipend for signing up to be a mentor.  And then when they have a free planning period, those types of things, working with the teacher or after school on weekends, can agree to do it that way.  So it's not necessarily...  in fact, in the programs that are in existence, I think it would go more to teachers currently on staff.


SENATOR BROMM:  So they wouldn't have to.  be in the classroom




necessarily at the same time as that first-year teacher was teaching as long as they spent time with that teacher trying to help them develop their skills and so forth?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And it would be up to, you know, for them to determine that.  But, right, currently that's not necessary.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  In our teaching curriculums at the university and other colleges that offer a teaching degree, do they still require a certain amount of student teaching before the person receives a degree in education?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, they do.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  But that's now at the beginning usually.


SENATOR BROMM:  It's now at the beginning of their course of study.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  We used to...  it used to be that we waited till, and that may differ from institution to institution, but I think most have moved to the beginning rather than waiting till just before you graduate.  However, in thinking that through, there are some who still wait till the very end, but some have wanted to move that up to the beginning to see if people really are interested in the profession and staying in the profession rather than waiting till their senior year and deciding that they really didn't ...  they wish they would have majored in something else.


SENATOR BROMM:  So the money from the lottery grant that we're going to use for the mentoring program, the $900,000 to $1 million, is going to be used for training mentors?




SENATOR BROMM:  And that's not ...  none of that would go to the districts themselves or to the mentors for payment for their services, but it would go to provide training.






SENATOR BROMM:  That sounds like an awful lot of money.  Is that 10 percent figure cast in stone or is that ...  can it be up to 10 percent or does it have to be 10 percent?  I need to reread that.  That's in Section...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  I think that's in...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Right, it's up to 10 percent, Senator Bromm.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  And that is less than other states but, of course, we're smaller than other states.


SENATOR BROMM:  That's less than other states spend on...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  On the training.


SENATOR BROMM:  ...  mentor-teacher training?




SENATOR BROMM:  And what states, are there any states around us that have a program in place?  Iowa or Kansas or do you happen to know off hand?  I won't hold you to that, but.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I will have to...  I looked over that list, Senator Bromm, and I don't remember but I'll bring that forward...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  and have that information for everyone.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, thank you.  I support the Bohlke amendment to the amendment, Madam President, and let me say this, that I think we've all learned in the past that as major education bills come through we need to discuss them.  We need to




understand them.  And I don't...




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Chambers, do you wish to speak to the, Bohlke amendment?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, I'm starting to get my feet under me on Senator Bohlke's amendment because I was looking at other parts of the bill prior to this.  First of all, I can understand what's being attempted, but as a policy, I'm in opposition to it.  But let me get some clarification from Senator Bohlke first.  Senator Bohlke, the purpose of everything in this bill is to pay the schools money to.  encourage them to, do certain things and implement certain programs.  Is that correct, above and beyond what '%'--hey get now?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  It's to give them incentive money to spend on innovative programs to continue to improve the quality of education.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And the purpose of all this is to bring students up to the level of learning that we would like to see the public schools raise them to.  Is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I think the purpose is to ensure that those quality programs are available to students mainly and then, yes, we hope that they come up to that level.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  If the purpose is not to raise the students to a certain level, why have all these programs?  To just have them but have no goal for them seems to me pointless.  And if there is a goal, is the goal to raise the students' level of learning to a certain point?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I would say, yes, to raise the level of learning to a certain point.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And shouldn't that be the role and goal of the public schools anyway?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  It they can do these things by being given extra money, then it indicates that these achievements are possible to be made.  Isn't that true?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  In other words, if by giving them extra money a child can be taught to read, it establishes that the child can be taught to read.  Isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's true, but, Senator Chambers, what schools have available for funds for those things out of the, outside of the regular curriculum for those innovative programs I do not feel that they have those funds available to them.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So in effect what we're doing is paying the schools extra to do that which they're paid for to do right now.  Isn't that really true if we strip everything away?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  only we have limited the amount of money available to them.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But we're paying them to do what the schools are supposed to accomplish anyways.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  We're paying them, but at a less amount than we have previously.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But we're paying ...  the public schools exist to give children an education.  They're not getting the quality of education apparently that some people believe they should.  So now we're going to provide additional money to try to tickle these school systems into doing for the children what they ought to do as far as providing quality education..  Isn't that really true?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, in the schools that I visited all across the state, I think that I have heard they would very much want to do these programs.  It's a matter of limited resources.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  With the amendment that you're offering now, if I understood the exchange between you and Senator Bromm, there need not be a mentoring program in operation.  All there needs to be is some policy in place where they say if they ever hire a first-year teacher they will then provide a mentor.  Is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's correct.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And will that school get money through this program when they don't have one of these programs in actual operation?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That could be one of the factors in that category to make sure that they have that in place for a beginning teacher.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And they also in another part of the bill would allow...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  money to be obtained with these children of high learning ability even if no children are currently being served who fit that definition as long as such a program has been approved of.  Isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's true, Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So they could in effect have two programs, neither of which is operational, that would qualify them to get this money.  Isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  They would because they may not have students that qualify, but it says they must plan for it.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And because my time is out, I'm going to turn




my light on and then make some comments.  Thank you, though, Senator Bohlke.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Bohlke announces that the following guests are visiting the Legislature.  Corrina and Nick Bohlke are here from Lincoln.  Corrina is the daughter-in-law of Senator Bohlke and Nick is her grandson.  They are seated under the north balcony.  Will you both stand and be recognized, please?  Welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senator Janssen, do you wish to speak to the Bohlke amendment to the first division of the committee amendments?


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Thank you, Madam Lieutenant Governor and members of the Legislature.  I've been listening to conversation and rim trying to follow this mentor provision here.  Why would you...  if you're going to use retired teachers if you can, to me that would seem the most likely person that you'd want to use.  Is there a training program for that mentor then?  But why would you have to train a teacher that taught for 30 years and was 55 years old?  Now what training would they have, could you give that person?  I mean, could you answer that question, Senator Bohlke?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Janssen.  If you taught for 30 years and have not really ever been trained in the skills of helping someone else, I think that there are things that you go back, new things have happened in the classroom since that person and from recognizing new teaching techniques, what are good techniques, what are poor techniques, a number of things that are happening at our universities in our teacher's colleges that if you have been out of that situation for a long time may not be techniques that you are aware of.  And certainly there are other things about how you give positive input and how it may just be very, seen as criticism that really wouldn't be beneficial to a mentor.  So I think there are skills that are necessary in order to be a mentor that a teacher very well may not have.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Maybe that, you know, maybe the mentor would learn something from the first-year teacher also, beings the first-year teacher just had recently came out of the teacher's




college.  Anti maybe it would be a, and I'd certainly hate to see that, that we would be retraining mentors by the first-year teacher.  And another thing, you would only...I understand this right, you would only get incentive money if you improved your test scores.  Is that right?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  If you score over the statewide average.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  All right, all right, all right.  So if you score more students each year over that, over the state average.  Say you start off the first year you have 20 that the students that are over the state average, all right, and the next year you raise that by 5.  So theoretically, you could get state aid if you keep raising that every year, you would always get some incentive money.  Am I correct in that thinking?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  If you are not in a poverty area, you would get incentive money for every student by scoring over the statewide average.  If you're in the poverty, the example you gave is true.  You would continue, as you would continue to use a number of the things we did last year in that poverty factor, programs, reading recovery, those types of programs as you would see those test scores improve, you could continue to move up.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Now another thing that I was wondering about is if, all right, if you have a mentor in there and you have a first-year teacher, that first-year teacher is usually pretty gung-ho and ready to really roll.  Could you increase your class size then?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, that would certainly be up to that local system.  You know, I don't know if they would decide to do that or not.  I have no idea.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Would that mentor be put into a classroom that is, say...




SENATOR JANSSEN:  ...a little bit larger?  Would you imagine this is the area where they would put that mentor?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I would imagine that the programs that I have seen is the mentor does not spend all day in the classroom with the teacher, that it's more meeting with the teachers certain hours during the week, Possibly on weekends, and so, you know, a district could do...  a system could do what they wish.  But I would think it wouldn't be very many mentors actually who would even want to go in and do every day in a classroom.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  And also that mentor doesn't necessarily have to receive compensation.  They could be doing that on their own also.  Is that right?  This would be a more or less a contract or an agreement between that local board of education and those who want to join in that mentor program.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Totally a local decision, if you're paying them or if it's voluntary.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Senator Beutler.


SENATOR BEUTLER:  Senator Kristensen, members of the Legislature, I really am not speaking to this particular amendment to the amendment, although I support it, just wanted to say a few things about the bill generally and perhaps a little information about the mentoring program.  It is not often that a bill comes along that overall, in my opinion at least, has such a positive effect on the possible quality of education.  It seems like for so many years we've been dealing with the division of the financial resources.  Obviously, that has an effect also; but this is the first time in a long time that we I've come along and directly gathered together ideas about how the quality of education could be encouraged and improved.  And the things you see in this bill, not just in Section 2, but in the other sections, the testing programs, but in this section even those primary factors and those premier factors, if you look at them taken all together, see if you don't agree that you think the effect of all that will be very positive upon the school systems.  Now no school system has to participate.  But to me it makes a lot of sense to encourage them to participate




because I think the things they will have to measure up to in doing so can have a general positive effect on how schools are run and in particular keeping engaged the average student and the above average student.  We spent a lot of money on special education during the 1980s and that was good in my opinion.  But, you know, now we've turned the focus around a little more to the average student and the above average student and there needs to be some focus there.  We've too long neglected them and we've too long neglected the idea of a quality education.  And I think we're all interested in improving the quality of the education, not just in surviving.  I've always ...  I've said this before but I want to continue to say it because I think it's so important that we keep in our public schools all of our students, the best students, the rich students, the poor students, I think it's a very poor division that's occurred in .the east and some of the western states where the rich take their kids out of school because the quality of education is not good enough.  And then the public schools tend to go downhill because there's not widespread general support for the public schools.  And I think this kind of bill and putting in this money is important for keeping up the overall quality of education in Nebraska which we have and which we should be proud of and which hopefully we will be willing to make some small sacrifices to continue and to make even better.  I have some interesting information on the mentoring program that was provided at the public hearing.  Some of you who are interested in that aspect of things might want to look at this.  One of the pages, for example, outlines what mentors might do, not necessarily all the same functions in any particular school district but a variety of functions:  recognize, foster, and encourage a new teacher's potential; act as a role model for appropriate behaviors; impart necessary skills to new teachers to survive in the organization that they'll become a part of "inside" information and practical training and instruction and dealing with organizational realities; teaching knowledge of the organization's culture, traditions, and values; teaching teachers how to use the organizational system to accomplish goals; ...




SENATOR BEUTLER:  ...  how to improve their performances and




particular competencies; how to relate to the particular competencies that they will be asked to teach; increasing their own sense of competency; encouraging them to take risk and initiative; requiring tasks that will cause them to deal with various parts of the organization; constructive feedback in a wide variety of situations; teaching them how to assess their own behavior; fostering creativity in the classroom and showing how that can be done.  These are only a few of the items on a list of 40 or 50 different aspects of relationships and mentoring of new teachers which can be important.  And the mentoring of new teachers and getting new teachers to fit into the system and working quickly and efficiently and getting them well adopted and appreciative of the situation that they're in...




SENATOR BEUTLER:  ...  has been identified as one of the most important things we can do by national sources.  Thank you.




SENATOR SCHIMEK:  Yes, thank you, Mr. President, members of the body.  I rise to maybe make a few editorial comments.  First of all, I want to make clear that I am supportive of this bill.  I have signed onto this bill.  I am very supportive of the idea of mentoring because frankly I could have used a little mentoring myself as a first-year teacher and I don't think I really got it, although there were certainly lots of teachers around who cared whether I succeeded or not, but not inentoring in the true sense of the word.  But I have two concerns; and as I've been listening to this discussion, I've been reflecting back on a meeting that some of us in the Lincoln delegation had with some of our teachers on Saturday.  And there were probably about 20 teachers in that room.  And they went around the table, and probably 25, they told us what was happening in their individual schools around Lincoln.  And that's what I want to share with you because two things concern me about this mentoring issue and one of the concerns is, is this going.  to be more responsibilities for teachers.  There could be a retiree component built into this program.  I think it's very probable and likely.  How long it's sustainable or how much of a




percentage could be built around retirees I don't know.  And the second concern is the additional dollars that I think this program may take in the long run.  And I'm not sure that at least in my own public school system that that money is available right now.  I think, and I don't remember, but I think the latest figures I saw is that we might have somewhere between a $7 million and $10 million shortfall.  I don't know if that's up to date or accurate.  But I've also read that the school board is thinking that they may not indeed go back to the voters and ask for any increase in the levy limit.  So what it !a going to mean for the public school district in my town is that there's going to be more ratcheting down.  Let me tell you what some of these teachers told us at that meeting and, frankly, I was shocked by some of the things that they told us.  Many of them now have 28, 29, 30 children in their classrooms.  When you look at the student/teacher ratio, that doesn't always tell you how many children., there are in the classrooms because some teachers may be partly administrative, they may only teach a class or two, they may be the school nurse, they may not have any classroom responsibility at all, but all of these different people with teaching degrees are counted in the totals of the teacher/pupil ratio.  So it was a universal complaint, I guess you would call it, that classroom size was going up.  The second thing that I heard is that what the first-year teachers are most concerned about is not whether they'll be mentored or not, although I think they could be in support of that, but whether they're *going to get riffed or not after we ratchet down some more at LPS.  They ...  there was a young woman there who was a second-year teacher who was concerned as well because she figured she would be one of the first to go in her building because she was a special ed teacher...




SENATOR SCHIMEK:  ...  and she figured that special ed would be one of the first areas to go.  And the third thing they mentioned, and this is really astonishing to me, they don't have enough supplies in their classroom.  They, at least in some of the buildings, are limited to one piece of paper per student per year.  I was just astonished and appalled, per day, I don't mean per year, per day, I'm sorry, it just occurred to me what I had said.  That was a little extreme.  I was really appalled to




think that we are that limited with some of our paper and pencil supplies, that kind of thing, as well as I understand textbooks.  So I just bring these thoughts and observations to you because I think that some of our classroom teachers are already pretty burdened with the numbers of students they have in their classroom, with the kinds of things they are...




SENATOR SCHIMEK:  ...  doing for their students.  Thank you.




SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members of the Legislature.  I guess, I still have a lot of questions on this whole section although we've kind of focused on the mentoring portion.  There are some other areas of this section that concern me.  And as I read through this, the mentoring idea or program will be required, after seven years, to get this money when all those kick in on page 1.  It says that in the seventh year they have to meet all the requirements of the primary quality factors and all of the premier quality factors.  So at that point in time, to receive any of these monies, all of these programs outlined in these sections will have to be adopted by all of the schools in the entire state.  So, I guess, this is definitely worth a significant amount of time discussing.  And then as you read through there and see that in the first year that you have to ...  this is also in the first two years, a local system qualifies for these incentives if they meet all of the primary factors in subsection 2 of this bill.  That's also* on line 2.  So as I read all of the factors in the primary, it starts on line 24, page 1, and flips over to page 2 and lists these primary factors that all of these will have to be in the first year adopted by the districts that will receive or the systems that will receive these money.  one of them is the alternative school class or educational program available that we had pretty significant discussions on last year.  And I think when Senator Bohlke says that she's traveled and the schools want these programs, I had heard a lot of opposition to mandating alternative schools in the state of Nebraska, personally.  I don't know if anyone else had received that, but a lot of school districts did not want to have to have this




mandate.  And it wouldn't necessarily be a mandate in this mechanism, but what it does is if you don't do these things, you aren't eligible for this money.  So it's kind of coming around a different way to initiate some of these programs that school districts don't necessarily want.  True, some say if it's funded that they would want it, so, if they go ahead and start it up and have the start-up costs, then qualify, they'll kind of get the money in through this mechanism.  But I don't know.  I can't read from looking at the fiscal note what the balance of the economics is in going ahead and starting a program to get the 50 or however much money this is per pupil.  And if you look on the fiscal note, just these areas, it says, if half the adjusted formula students in the state qualified for the incentive payment, I believe this is in the first year, it would be well over $8 million that would be disbursed.  So we're talking a lot of money going to areas that at this time already probably have these in place, .which,, is more than likely my area.  And then areas that don't have these already in place, like the 'high ability learner programs, there's a bill that comes right after this to spend an additional $6 million to set up the high ability learner programs, which are good programs.  But, I guess, the point I want to make sure that I make is that these are very expensive programs that maybe some of the larger districts can afford but some of the smaller districts don't ...  are not able to do it, especially with some of the recent legislation that we passed through...




SENATOR WITEK:  ...  here.  So, I guess, when I look at this bill, you have to kind of look at the broader picture of everything we've done in the last few years and what we're actually asking schools to adopt, all of these programs to get at this lottery money now, whereas now they can make application for programs, I guess, that they might want to initiate and take their chances on whether that's accepted or not.  There's no prequalifications in place for that lottery money, necessarily, it's just they go through this council.  And this would more than likely do away with that council and I imagine that's why the council head was in opposition to the bill, although the people on the committee can talk about that at length.  That this will probably do away with those education lottery funds as a mechanism for grants for




different schools.  It will all come under the programs that are in this bill, so I want to make sure that everybody...




SENATOR WITEK:  ...  thinks about that, too.  Thank you.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Schellpeper.


SENATOR SCHELLPEPER:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members.  The General Affairs Committee has been talking, about the lottery issue for several years and what we can do with the funds in the lottery.  Last year there was about $9.4 million in the lottery.  This bill, it looks like, will use about $8.2 million of that $9.4 million.  The lottery funds have been kind of going down the last couple of years.  They kind of peaked two years ago, they've been basically kind of going down just a little bit.  The General Affairs Committee put out a bill that is Senator Maurstad's, LB 1182, that basically would use all of the money, the whole $9.4 million, but it would go to every student in the state and that would amount to $32.75 for every student rather than to have all these different programs.  Whether that is good or bad I don't know, but it was another way to have this entire money spent because the committee has felt that maybe the program that was here earlier might not have been the best way to spend half of the money, because, if you had a good grant writer, you basically were assured some of that revenue.  And we thought it should go back to all of the students in the school, if we're going to actually do something.  So that's what Senator Maurstad's bill does.  As far as 1228, it sounds like a very complicated bill.  I think maybe it will be all right.  I have a little bit of concern that you have to do all four of those things in this section.  If you don't have to do ...  or if you don't do one of them, then you don't get the funds, so I have a little problem with that.  But I think as we go down through the years there's going to be less dollars available.  But I think it needs to go to something else than the current formula that we have right now.  And so I want to listen more to this ...  these different senator views to see what we actually can do.  But I think this money needs to be moved to a different formula than where we're at right now.  Thank you.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, I want to be sure that I'm not looking at this incorrectly.  Senator Bohlke, would you answer some questions for me again?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond, please?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  This time I'm going to stay just in the mentoring area.  I talked about some of the other things to kind of lay the groundwork.  This bill is designed to make these incentive payments, if certain programs are implemented.  Is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Planned for or implemented.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Now in this mentoring program, the exchange between you and Senator Witek established that some schools meet these requirements already.  Did I understand that correctly?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I said I knew of two.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Okay.  Are they going to be entitled to -these incentive payments, if they're already doing this?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  They would in that year probably not pick that one thing to qualify.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Would you say that again?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  In the premier year, you have to pick from that group of offerings.  And so they would pick something else from that group.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  How many of these premier items will they have to have to qualify for these payments?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Two in the third year.  The first two years you do the first group and then when you move after the two years to that premier group you have to.  select two.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And this that we're talking about now is in the premier group.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  The mentoring, yes, is in that second grouping, the premier group.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And a school system that's already doing this cannot use this as one of the two qualifiers.  Is that correct?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, Senator Chambers, they could use it.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, if the purpose of this is to provide money for those services that schools are not providing now because they don't have the money, why are we going to say a school already doing this needs an incentive through additional money?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, this doesn't say that they would get money to provide those services in these areas.  What it says is they would got funds to do innovative types of things.  Because they have already done something in quality education, we should not deny them the opportunity of funds to spend in other innovative areas.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But they're getting money for something they're already doing.  Isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  If they already have that as a part of their school system, they have been providing that part that we think is a good proponent of a quality education that's true.  But that doesn't mean they're going to spend the money in that area.  It does qualify them because they are already operating that program to help to improve the quality of education.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Members of the Legislature, this is a bill which separates out children for various purposes, and the main purpose is to get more money to some of these school districts.  When they talk about these children of high ability, maybe what they ought to talk about is those who have achieved a certain level and even that I don't think is a good thing to do, but how are they going to determine




ability?  They can't even administer good tests to determine academic achievement.  And now we're going to separate out some children and create tracks.  That's what I see happening.  You're going to designate some children as high ability and special consideration will be given to them.  If a child is what some people refer to as a late bloomer, has not bloomed at the time you're making this designation, he or she gets tracked as one who does not have this high ability, does not get...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  this specialized treatment.  And to me, whatever the schools can offer should be available to every child.  That's what public education is about.  Let the elitist take their children and go to these elite schools where they can say you're better than everybody else.  But when in a public school system, there's going to be a designation through the creation of programs that separate out some children and will make them special and we cannot show that there is a means to identify all such children at a very early age, it is not the right thing to do.  By the way, public education was implemented when black people, after or during reconstruction, were in southern legislatures, they created the public education system.  There was none.  They created it, then we were kept out of it as black people.  So the idea of public education is not foreign to me.  But I don't want to see it...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Senator Jones.


SENATOR JONES:  Mr. President, members of the body, I wanted to talk a little along the line that Senator Schellpeper did on the lottery money because I was considering putting a bill in like Senator Maurstad did.  I still think that that might be the right way to do it in place of the incentives to pick out the different children.  But anyway, that never got no place, but maybe his will this year.  I don't know, but I think that that would be the right way to do it.  And I'm concerned about the alternative education classes.  I've got several schools in my district that they call that a mandate and they don't really have that many children that's not ...  that is being set out, but they have to have something in place.  Now I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke one question on that, if I could.






SENATOR JONES:  On the alternative school class, the way I understand it you have to have a plan in place so that you can got the money.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  You only, you do not have to have a program, Senator Jones.  You only, if you have no expelled students, like some of your schools you would hear concern from, you would only have to have a plan that says if you have an expelled student here's what we would do for them to continue their education.  That could be all kinds of things.


SENATOR JONES:  Just so they have a plan and they wouldn't have to have anything that would cause a mandate or any money then to have another person on hand to teach them, if they did have it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I promise you, yes, Senator Jones.  I did not want to go there on that issue.  No, they do not have to.


SENATOR JONES:  Thank you.  That's one of my concerns about trying to do this, because we got to do all these steps and I'm concerned about that, and I think she pretty well answered my question on that, so thank you, Senator Bohlke.




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  Is this my third time on the amendment to the amendment?  I think it is.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Yes, Senator, it is.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  I'd like to make some comments.  Senator Bohlke, I'm going to follow it up with a question so I notice in the green copy that the mentoring idea is not there.  The mentoring provision appears in the committee amendments.  And so I'm sure it resulted from discussion in the committee and consideration of some alternatives.  One of the things that I want to throw out for your thoughts and consideration, as short as we are, always short as we are on money in education, I ...  there's something that grabs me a little wrong about




spending up to 10 percent of the lottery funds or $900,000 for training mentors to train teachers to help improve the education of our kids.  one of the things that I'm wondering if you discussed is whether or not we could use this money somehow to reward or provide an incentive for those outstanding teachers in systems that we know exist and that go above and beyond the minimum requirements.  They actually really stand out and affect kids' lives and we're never able to do enough for them because of the way our salary schedules are.  So, did the committee talk at all, I'm getting to the question, did the committee talk at all about implementing this factor as an incentive, financial incentive or reward for those teachers that do an outstanding job or providing that a school system would have to have an identified program for rewarding outstanding teachers in some fashion, could I ...  and then use the $900,000 in that fashion?  Could I ask for your thought or comment on the discussion of the committee and that idea?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Bromm.  It really, the mentoring factor did not just come from a discussion within the committee but actually came from LB 1336 which was a bill introduced on mentoring; and after that discussion in hearing that bill, there was a lot of interest from the committee in implementing that and it certainly then seemed to fit into, that's why it's not in the green copy and was then amended into this bill.  We already, maybe, I'm sure we probably don't do enough, but we have started participating in the Milken Awards for teachers that is a $25,000 cash award to them.  We also have the Buffett Foundation awards.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Those are just two that I think of off the top of my head.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  So I think we do some of that in that area.  We do not do anything for helping those beginning teachers In the classroom.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, I'll look at 1336 further.  But my




interest in the lottery money is getting it to help as many students as possible.  And if this is the best way to do that, then I'm for it.  But if there's a more direct way to benefit teachers and students with the use of the money, then I'm for that as well.  So I will continue to be listening and thinking about this and trying to figure out if this is the best way to use that portion of the lottery funds.  Thank you very much.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Robinson.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  I promise to be more laid back today, if that's all right with you.  I want to just mention a couple things about the mentoring program.  Now I was thinking about the Legislature.  Wouldn't it be great if we had a mentoring program when we come in here?  Think about it, think about it.  We come in here, most people don't know up from down.  They don't know up from down, and I mean it.  In fact, I probably still need a mentor.  But you think of a teacher or ;student goes through college, they take all of this stuff in college and if they're majoring in biology, they'll get two or three courses in biology and then they get the real shocker.  They go the first day of school and there's 30 individuals sitting there.  My gosh, what am I going to do to fulfill that class period?  Well, tell me, I know what it was.  I was there 17 years in a classroom.  I think it's a great idea.  And, Senator Bromm, you want to give the money to the best teachers so what happens?  You give the money to the best teachers, but those new teachers, they're still wallowing out there.  They don't know where they're going.  I think a mentoring program would be great, I really do.  You get your best ...  that's where you pay your best teachers, get your best teachers to mentor young teachers.  And believe me, they need it, they need it because they don't...  it's just like...  I bet when you, Senator Bromm, when you were...  Senator Bromm, I want your attention, if I can get it, when you became a lawyer, I bet you didn't need any mentoring, did you?  Yeah, I bet Jim Jones didn't have any mentor.  I bet his dad was his mentor, probably.  We all have mentors someplace.  I think it's something to take a good look at.  And another thing, Senator Jones and Senator Schellpeper say, well, we ought to get them divided up and give them $32 a person.  You know what's going to happen?  Nothing, just going to roll on and roll on.  There's some schools wouldn't do a darn thing.  They'd




just add the money.  But our school system needs some vitality which we haven't had.  I think we need some of these ideas.  I don't know if we need them all.  I like the looks of a lot of them.  I think we ought to give incentives to the administrators.  We don't ...  we ought to give them a job to upgrade their schools and their teachers.  That's what we need.  We need to give them some incentives.  And I think there's some built-in incentives in this.  And I was on the General Affairs Committee.  I remember I think Senator Brashear had a bill in that was going to divvy the money up, but that's not going to help the schools.  We ought ...  the only way you help the schools is to improve the teaching in the classroom.  And the number one thing you have to have, above that you have to have an administrator that makes sure that that gets done.  If you don't have an administrator that's going to get it done, your school is just going to lay out there and not do very much good.  And I think it's great to have goals and incentives., If you look through these, I think there's some good ideas in there.  I'm not saying that some of them shouldn't be changed, but I think, Senator Bromm, that you could work the incentives for the better teachers into mentoring.  I think that's the way you do that.  And I think the guy from Beatrice, I don't like his $32 per student thing, but that's neither here nor there so, but I think there's better uses for the money for our school system.  Thank you.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Mr. Speaker and members, I have been taking some notes and so I'll go back and touch on some of the points that Senator Witek raised and then a couple of Senator Jones' and Senator Schellpeper's.  We do not, Senator Witek asked if we do away with the council that presently is in place.  We do not.  And so, and then said at the end of seven years we have now mandated that to schools, which is not true, because at the end of seven years, if they don't want to continue to offer the different programs, they don't have to apply.  They won't get the payments.  And I think that talking to people who actually serve on the current council, I think there's concern as to what they're seeing as truly innovative.  And I know I've talked to Senator Kiel about this that I think as I visited schools across the state I have not heard any of them say,




please, please do not take away my excellence in education grant opportunity.  We've done a great deal, they've done a great deal, and I think the council would say that they are ...  to really say that those grant applications coming in are innovative, that there are some concerns from the council.  Senator Jones, one thing I would like to say to you in talking about what Senator Schellpeper said also, if we do it $32 per student, that's not going to do the schools in your district very much good.  And that's what us talked about last year in recognizing when Senator Bromm tried to bring it to our attention and I think it was really the concern for the smaller schools that it would really not be very fair because what are they going to do?  This at least in the very sparse areas which I think would be a lot of those schools are in your area; we double it for those schools so that they really can do something that would make an impact.- And I appreciated Senator Schellpeper's comments.  I said I was going to...  I always have appreciated his support for funding, for education, and realizing the amount of money that we need to put in and certainly recognizing how we've limited schools.  I know that he did not support 1114 because that was one of his concerns and also said last year if need be he'd support $200 million into the A bill on 806 because he recognized the necessity for schools and I think that he felt that we were limiting the ability of schools to offer the curriculum he would like to see them offer.  I think this goes to that in picking out those programs we know are very often not offered by schools today and allows them the opportunity to fund some of those ideas.  In fact, it was the superintendent from Thedford who came in to see me and said that he would really like to see this.  It would give them an opportunity to join together with some of the other schools, with Arthur and Tryon and that's why I had worked those numbers to really do something innovative, heard from Benkelman, heard from school districts across the state who say they are excited about an opportunity that gives them very, under a very broad umbrella the opportunity to offer and try some.  new innovative ideas and the money to do that.  I think that...  I hope I can continue to answer the questions that you raise.  I think on the alternative education, I've answered that question for Senator Jones.  And someone said, well, have we made this too difficult?  Well, this is not supposed to be easy for schools.






SENATOR BOHLKE:  This is supposed to continue to raise the bar.  This is supposed to continue to get them to improve quality education.  It's not supposed to be easy.  It's to look at this and say this is something we can do and here are some ways that we can, that actually push schools towards improving in the areas of those programs and then gives them some money to continue to use that for innovative programs that they see is important to their district.  And I think that's something else very important.  It really for the first time says to schools, you just have a great deal of freedom.  If you are proving at your local board of education you're making good decisions, then you're going to get this money for those students.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  And we are going to require lengthy reports, lengthy applications.  We're going to give those boards of education the time or the...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  ability to make those decisions at the local level.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Mr. Clerk, any items for the record?


CLERK:  Mr. President, Senator Suttle amendments to LB 1035; Senator Hilgert to LB 395.  General Affairs reports LB 1182 to General File with amendments.  Enrollment and Review, LB 204A, LB, 1053A, LB 1134A to Select File.  New A bill, Senator Hilgert offers LB 1171A.  (Read by title for the first time.) Revenue Committee will have an Executive Session at 1:30 in Room 2022.  And Senator Bruning would like to add his name to LB 204; Senator Lynch, to LB 1189.  That's all that I have, Mr. President.  (See pages 870-78 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Thank you, Mr. Clerk.  Any personal announcements you'd like to make at this time?




CLERK:  No, sir.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  I think what the Clerk failed to read into the record was that today is a special day for the Clerk.  it's his birthday.  I think we should all congratulate him at this point in time.  Senator Chambers, you're recognized to recess us until 1:30.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker, I move that we recess until 1:30 p.m.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  You've heard the motion.  The question before the body is, shall we recess until 1:30 p.m.?  All those in favor say aye.  All those opposed say nay.  We're in recess.






SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Good afternoon, and welcome to the Nebraska Legislature.  Senators, would you please record your presence so we can begin this afternoon's proceedings.  Roll call.


CLERK:  I have a quorum present, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Thank you, Mr. Clerk.  We'll now proceed with debate on LB 1228 and we will go back to the list of speakers that we had before lunch.  Senator Witek.  There's Senator Witek.  Senator Witek, that's fine.  We'll just recognize you when you get to your microphone and let you catch your breath for just a moment and...


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  ...  we'll begin your time.  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members of the Legislature.  I guess, since this is the last time I get to talk




on this amendment, what I wanted to draw attention to was the different fiscal notes from the different bills that have gone into this piece of legislation, and talk a little bit about the expense, not only to the state to accomplish something like this, but also to the local school districts.  And first of all, I want to make it clear that I support public education.  My children are In the public schools.  And I am not exactly convinced, though, that putting money into it necessarily raises the quality.  So, I guess, that is something that I disagree with.  But the fiscal notes on 1228, the bill that we're working on, give money from the General Fund, and it talks about the total funding being well over $2 million, nearly 3, at the top, on '99 and 2000.  It also talks about the lottery funds that will be disbursed under this, and, I guess, that was my comment as to whether we would need the ...  the Education Innovation Fund Council, or whatever their formal title is.  Once we disburse these lottery funds, there won't be much left., if anything left, .in that account- for anything other than this piece of legislation, if it stays in the form it's in now.  And then you go over to (LB) 1336, which is the bill from the program that is being set up, one of the programs that is being set up here, and that's the mentoring program, and the monies that were to be appropriated out of this fund.  And also if.  you look farther down in the fiscal note on 1336, the cost that they are estimating to go ahead and run the program, and that would be including the stipends that some of the teachers would...  some of the mentoring teachers would get, and also training first year teachers.  And then you look at LB 712, which is another component of this bill, a little farther down, that's on the testing portions, which we'll get to in another section of this bill.  But the testing portions of this bill could be well up over $4 million.  So when you're looking at this bill in its totality and the different areas of the bill, we're not just talking about one program.  We are at this point in time in this division of the amendment, but we're talking about a significant fiscal note, a significant change in policy what we're doing with our lottery money now, and really using up all of that lottery money for some of these changes.  And so that ...  those programs that are the grant money that's being used now in some of these schools, we're changing that.  We're taking that whole system out and we're putting this system in with the change of this bill.  So it isn't just a question of whether you think a




mentoring program is a good program to have or how that should be done.  I hope that we think the bill in its totality throughout the discussion, especially since it's been divided up into different amendments, but looking at these different fiscal notes from these different areas of the bill, and the impact that that'll have, not on on the state, but also to the individual school districts; and one of the concerns I have that I wish someone from the Appropriations Committee would address at some point in time is if we run out of those lottery funds, which is a very good chance from looking at these fiscal notes, could happen...would happen, really, if you look at it because you read through there, not all the students are included in these fiscal notes.  If we run out of these lottery funds for these programs, are we going to be still responsible with General Fund money?  How quickly will that happen?  Are we going to, once the schools go ahead and get these programs operating, to be able to take this lottery money?  How much more is that going to be within..  in those school districts that are trying to live under lids and all the different programs that we have already discussed and initiated over the years, and I think we could...




SENATOR WITEK:  ...  lock ourselves into, if we do something like this.  I think we could lock ourselves into some pretty significant costs from the General Fund, farther down, because the lottery monies are falling off somewhat every year and that's what other states have experienced, and I don't see us having any different experience.  And we are not just talking about it, so we should really look at it, if we're going to use lottery funds for doing something like this.  Just using the money that's available for these programs, and not locking us into a responsibility through funding the program per se, and then locking us into using General Funds to make up any difference that we would override with the lottery funds, but just using lottery funds for these programs as they are now.  That's the policy change that we make in the money end of this, and I want to make sure that we don't just talk about the policy of mentoring and state testing, et cetera, but we need to be looking at the funding source...






SENATOR WITEK:  ...  that we're using.  Thank you.




SENATOR JONES:  Mr. President and members of the body, I just wanted to make little more comments on the lottery money that I visited with about Senator Bohlke ahead of lunch about, my main concern was that a lot of the small schools out there couldn't get grant-writing, you know, and couldn't get somebody qualified to write a grant so they could get it, and it'd be an expense to them, but then when we went out there and took the trip through the Sandhills and found out that the ESUs went together and put in for one lottery grant, and they put distance learning in a lot of them schools out there, I could really see a benefit in that then.  I thought that was great because little schools couldn't have put in one big enough to do any good, but, when they all went together and did it, I thought that was a big plus.  So that's one reason that I kind of backed away with the idea of per pupil because, like she said, $32 didn't amount to too much.  But anyway, that was my thinking on that.  I'd like to yield the rest of my time to Senator Bromm.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bromm, you have approximately four minutes.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Senator Jones.  And I think Senator Witek brought up a point that we all need to look at, and that is if we implement the bill as is, what are ...  what are the implications for costs?  And I haven't got a good handle on that yet, but I think she touched on several things that are pretty .relevant, and we need to look at that.  Senator Bohlke mentioned that this mentoring section is really from (LB) 1336, which was another bill that was introduced.  Well, 1336 called for a $1,000 stipend to each mentor, to help pay the costs of mentoring, and the cost was going to be, like, $2.4 million.  So now, as I see this language in 1228, we are not funding the actual costs of mentoring but, rather, we're funding, through the lottery funds, the cost of training the mentors.  I'd like to ask Senator Robinson if he would yield to a question, please.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Robinson, would you yield, please?


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Well, it depends on what the question is, but I'll try to handle it.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Senator Robinson.  I think you would be a wonderful candidate to be a mentor for something.  I'm trying to put my finger on it, but...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  How about for living a good life?


SENATOR BROMM:  That's not ...  that's not the question.  I know there's lots of ideas out there.  The ...  do you agree that the money that the mentoring provision here, the money that's spent on mentoring will be spent with the Department of Education training mentors?  Do you agree with that, that that's what the bill does?


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Well, I can't answer that.  If that's what the bill says, fine...


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  Assume that it...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  ...but I ...  are you asking me ...  go ahead.


SENATOR BROMM:  ...assume that that's the case, then who will pay for the actual mentoring?  The mentoring that takes place in Blair schools, who will pay the mentor?


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Well, I ...  I guess, you got to trace the path of the money.  Where's the money going to go?  I mean, it will go to the schools.  Would they...would they submit a bill, or, I mean, mentors?


SENATOR BROMM:  No.  No, the bill says the money for mentoring will go to the Department of Education for training mentors.  Okay?  Then Blair has to have...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Would they train them, themselves?  Would they do the training?


SENATOR BROMM:  Well, the ...  the Department of Education could




train themselves or they could ...  perhaps they could contract with somebody to train them.  I don't know, but my question is, have you thought through who will pay for the mentoring, where that money will come from?




SENATOR ROBINSON:  Have I thought through it?






SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, my point...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  But ...  but...


SENATOR BROMM:  ...  my point, Senator Robinson.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  ...  I think the point is, what's the worth of mentoring?


SENATOR BROMM:  No, that isn't the point.  The point...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  That might not be your point, it's my point.


SENATOR BROMM:  All right.  You answered the question.  You don't know who will pay for the mentoring.




SENATOR BROMM:  I'll tell you who will pay for it, it'll be Blair Public Schools.  Now if they get enough money...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Well, is that all bad?


SENATOR BROMM:  That's all the questions.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Is that all bad?


SENATOR BROMM:  Well, if they have plenty of money, it isn't.






SENATOR BROMM:  But if they don't have enough money to go around, it's another problem that we need to address, because I've had enough of putting things out there that schools feel they have to do, and not giving them the money to do it.  Now if all of the students that we have in the state would qualify for this incentive money...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  I'm wondering what that would amount to per student, and I'll ask Senator Bohlke later.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Cudaback.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Mr. Speaker, members, it's hard to argue with quality education, and this bill here is a major bill.  All bills are major, I guess, but some are ...  have more of an impact and are used, and so on, than others.  As I spoke to the Cozad forth graders this morning, I had 70 fourth graders, you know, and what you say to them, they soak it up, they really do.  And they mean well, we mean well, but we do need quality educators out there doing the job.  I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question, please.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you yield?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Senator Cudaback.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Alluding to what Senator Bromm, has said, and Senator Robinson, will ...  will the teachers get to choose who they have...  I hate to say teaching them, but showing them the ropes or guiding them or mentors or whatever, will those teachers that participate, I guess, it's voluntary, correct or wrong?




SENATOR CUDABACK:  I guess, that's maybe the answer to Senator Bromm.  If the school doesn't want to do this, will Blair have to do the program or whole going to...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, Senator Cudaback, there have been a couple of misstatements that I think we need to clear up.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  First of all, there is not $1,000 in the bill, ,in (LB) 1336.  It wasn't.  When they did the fiscal note, they looked at what North Carolina did, and so they put that in the fiscal note.  So it doesn't do the $1,000.  But second of all, each district really would determine how they match up their people, and so that would be would work different for different districts.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  But would there be a vote taken if they wanted to participate in this?  Would the school board do it, would the teachers do it?  Who.  .


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Your local board of education, as all things, would have to decide to implement a program.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  So if they think there's enough money in their budget, they can do this.  If they don't, they can say, hey, sayonara.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And it can be volunteering.  It doesn't cost the district a dime at all.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Okay.  Say,.  they choose to do this, and the teachers want somebody to look up to or whatever word you want to use, teach them, or ...  will they have a say in who?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That then goes back to the very same thing at that local district, how they ...  how they decide to go about it.  Some of the programs I've seen, they do look at people who, you know, and match them up.  A beginning teacher may be interested in upgrading their skills in technology.  You would have a mentor who had those skills so they could match, but that's totally up to the local level, how they want to do it.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Could this mentor be a walk-in, so to speak?  Does it have to be a teacher?  Does it have to be a...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I think it does ...  does have to be a teacher.  I don't...


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Does it have to be a qualified teacher?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, you have to hold a certificate, yeah.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  You do have to have a certificate?  So it can't be just anybody teach these ...




SENATOR CUDABACK:  He's got to be a qualified person to...




SENATOR CUDABACK:  .1 hear Senator Janssen laughing..  In other words, it can't be him.  Janssen can't teach.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Robinson, if he got his certificate updated, he could be.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Could be what?




SENATOR CUDABACK:  Oh, okay.  I want to clarify that.  Uh...lost my train of thought here.  But anyway, know, back to my original question here.  Other states do these ...  do this type of a mentoring type?




SENATOR CUDABACK:  Like, how many do you...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And I didn't, over the lunch hour, get that number.  I can get that number, but there are ...  many different states who are beginning the mentoring program.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  I asked Senator McKenzie...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  It's not a brand new idea.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  I asked Senator McKenzie over the lunch hour.  She was...  I thought maybe she had some concerns with this, so I asked her about what the possibility of each one asking for their particular...




SENATOR CUDABACK:  ...  guidance in their area.  But back to that ...  will that teacher have the right to ask, or tell, who they want to be ...  she won't be assigned a person then?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Cudaback, like I continue to say, that's up at each ...  to each district, but they can ...  they can put it together any way they wish.  Generally, we're talking about someone spending a few hours a week, not in the classroom -every day.  Now some school district out there wants to do-, that , they could do that but, (a), I'm not sure that they could get anyone to volunteer for eight hours a day and, (b), if they're going to pay them, I'm not sure that they would want to go to the expense of paying someone for eight hours a day.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  I guess, I want to make certain that person is comfortable with whomever is trying to tell them how to teach, or trying to instruct or whatever words you want to use.  And you say that will be possible?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, in any mentoring program, if, you know, it doesn't happen to be a good relationship, I am sure you would have...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  an exit to the program.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Okay, thank you.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, your light is on next, but you have spoken three times to this amendment.  Senator Janssen.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members of the




Legislature.  Senator Bohlke, am I right in presuming that most of these ...  most of the criteria in this amendment are either set out that you will have them or have a plan in place to be eligible for the...  so you could ...  you could adopt 50 percent of the actions that are in this amendment, and have the other 50 percent ...  have a plan to do such, and you would still be eligible to receive some of the...  some of the rewards?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Right, because we were concerned about not making...  it is not a mandate to any school, but it's saying that, you know, if you need to have a policy or a plan...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  which I think is ...  as I said as a previous board member, I think that ...  that's a good idea.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  So if you have a plan in place, beings we're on mentors...  if you have a plan in place for mentors and you have one or two, and they are ...  they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, say, you know, just looking for something to do, and all of a sudden those people leave and you have no one else that comes forward to do this.  And in order to keep it up, why you're going to have to pay someone perform this duty, and then the district is going to be under a strain on their budget to pay these other people.  So if the plan were still ...  were only in place and you didn't have someone to, say, a period of a year...  let's say, one school year, would you ...  would you lose your chance to have some of this incentive money then?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Janssen, you would because this is never supposed to be ongoing money that they just plan on, but you could come back and requalify if you then had people interested in participating.  The idea is not to have schools just plan on this money year after year.  In fact, we want to make sure that doesn't happen.  This is supposed to be that they continue to offer the incentive ...  the programs that they're receiving the incentives ncentives for, and that they use those monies then for innovative types of programs.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  So then it's...we not...  and I was aware of




this ...  we're not talking about an ongoing process here.  Every year you would have to present your plan and if you didn't meet the criteria, you would not get any money.  Is that right?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And you only have to do that if you want to get the incentives.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Right, so if...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  You don't have to participate if you don't wish.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  That's exactly true.  And I ...  how man ...  what would be...if the top of your head, how many school districts in the state receive monies from...maybe Senator Kiel can answer this question.  Senator Kiel, would you answer a question, please?  Senator Kiel.






SENATOR JANSSEN:  Senator Kiel, what ...  how many schools could you have ...  have many of many of these school districts have received incentive money from the the Excellence in Education Fund?  What would percentage-wise be, a year?


SENATOR KIEL:  If I can qualify that a little bit, those entities that could apply for grant monies were not just school districts.  They could be individual teachers, they could be ESUs, they could be school districts, they could be individual schools.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  How many schools?




SENATOR KIEL:  Just based on...  I think we had a conversation, actually, about the minigrant, and it...  just the minigrant, I think, it was 79 schools...


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Seventy-six.




SENATOR KIEL:  ...  76 schools qualified ...  or school districts qualified for that, so I'd probably maybe double it or even triple how many would ...  would receive that money per year.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Uh-huh.  So around...


SENATOR KIEL:.  This is only based on what I knew a couple of years ago when I was on.  So at least, if we're counting all the school districts in the state, probably at least a third or more have received money.


SENATOR JANSSEN:  Some kind ...  some types ...  some funds...




SENATOR JANSSEN:  ..:,..-,from if you ...  so if we're looking at, say, a third, and I wonder how many schools would adopt this, and as far as I'm far as I know, this is all permissive.  You can...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Before they leave the legislative chamber, Senator Chris Peterson announces she has the following guests.  There are 26 fourth graders from Cedar Hollow School.  (Also named teacher from Grand Island.) Please be recognized by your Legislature.  Thank you for being with us this afternoon.  Senator Robinson.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Senator Bromm, I have a question for you.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bromm, would you respond?


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Would you move away, Senator Janssen, so I can see.  Oh, I can see.  How many children do you have?




SENATOR ROBINSON:  Five.  I have five children.  I want to ask you this question, and then I'll answer it myself.  Now, of your five children, I'm sure they're not all the same level.  Now, wouldn't you have loved to have...and my five children, some of them had first-year teachers.  Now, wouldn't you have loved to




have someone mentoring those first-year teachers, and helping your children in school?


SENATOR BROMM:  Certainly, it would be hard to say no to that, yeah.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Yeah, that's right.  That's my answer.  That...


SENATOR BROMM:  But there's a ...  but there...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  That's what we're really talking about, is what good would a mentor do.  I think...  I think it could really enrich a school district.  I know in Blair we probably lose five teachers a year.  I know you're not talking about a lot of money, but ...  and I think if you think it's a good idea, I'm sure the money could be raised some way, but ...  Senator Matzke, I have for you,.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Matzke, would you respond?


SENATOR MATZKE:  Yes, I'd be happy to respond.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Now, when...when you were fledging out in the field of law, did you ...  did anyone mentor you or did you do that yourself?


SENATOR MATZKE:  No, I had a mentor, a senior partner...


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Sure, really helped you out, didn't it?


SENATOR MATZKE:  ...  that I worked under for a number of years.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Yeah, okay.  I tell you, the best program they've ever had in the United States, as far as improving the teaching of people, is back in the sixties they had the National Science Foundation, and it was a federal program, but there was money given in all fields, and a lot of teachers benefited from it.  I know I got a major in biology from it, and I know it improved by teaching.  But a mentor is a little like that.  I .had a mentor that was a professor down at the University of Omaha, but as far as the worth of mentoring, I think it's hard




to say it isn't worth something.  I think ...  now I know you have to work through the spending of the money and so forth, but I think it would really help the ...  help your children that are there, and it certainly would help the teachers, too.  Thank you.  Wait a minute.  I'll turn my...  I'll turn my time over to ...  Senator Bohlke, do you want some time?  Senator Bohlke, do you want some time?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, you have approximately two minutes?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Senator Robins on.  I was clearing up one issue with ...  for Senator Witek and pointing out that the bill does state that the funds are prorated, and so It can never really become an obligation of the state.  If you go to...  in the white copy, page 4, starting with line 19, it points out very clearly that the funds are prorated, and so I wanted to make that clear as one of the issues that was raised.  And also, the...the current council will receive the applications, and they are ...  they will audit as far ...  and report back as far as how schools are spending their money.  And so it does leave that council in place and, as I said, it does not have anything in the bill about paying for mentors.  I think those were the three things that, as I'm taking notes to try and clear up for people on issues that are raised, and these are good issues, things that we need answers to...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  that I will continue to do that, and if there are other questions that need to be raised, I'll try to find a way to answer those, beings I have spoken three times.  Thank you.




SENATOR KIEL:  Senator Bohlke, do you want to continue your discussion of this?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Kiel, I ...  did you ask me if I wanted more time?






SENATOR BOHLKE:  I would I appreciate just maybe having a discussion with you, if that 6 possible, because we've had a discussion and I know you've been very involved with this, in trying to decide that certainly trying to preserve for education the money that I think when people voted for the lottery, that they thought was very important, or at least that was before I was here.  And I remember ...  the three things I remember really were education, environment and innovative.  And beings you've been involved with this, I don't think that we've done anything to stray from that goal.  And so I would ask you, if you think that is true?


SENATOR KIEL:  As I communicated to you, I was, obviously, very interested in that part of your bill that dealt with the lottery money and how it impacted education.  And as we discussed this, I felt pretty comfortable with the idea that this indeed continued to do what I thought was very important, and that was encourage school districts to do innovative things in education.  One thing that Senator Janssen and I were talking off microphone about was the fact that, in terms of this issue of mentoring teachers, one thing that we may see happen in the coming years is that we will have a lot more young teachers in the system because, as teachers take advantage of the opportunity to retire early, and as we have made retirement perhaps a little more attractive so that we can save school districts money, I think we probably should be looking at how do we provide a better support system for young teachers.  We may not have that many older teachers who are actually teaching in the system, but if we could take advantage of those older teachers by having them do some mentoring, I think...I think we all benefit from that.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Senator Kiel.  And that was an issue also discussed in committee, and one that I think is a reality for us in schools in Nebraska, and certainly, Senator Janssen would recognize that from what they've discussed in the Retirement Committee, what kind of an impact this is going to have on our schools.  And I think we will see a number of teachers, or at least people I've heard from, who are are interested in the bill take advantage of it and, therefore, we will have a significant number of new teachers in our system.




And so I think that's a very good point.  Thank you.  Thank you for the time.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Kiel, would you desire the rest of the time?  It's approximately two minutes.


SENATOR KIEL:  Senator Janssen, did you have any further conversation you wish to have on the issues that we were talking about?




SENATOR JANSSEN:  No, thank you, Senator Kiel.  Just...  just to reiterate a few of the statements that you made.  There will be more teachers coming off of the...  out of the system now and on to retirement.  And sometimes they would...would want to do something like this, to kind of ease them out so they didn't go.,..  let's say, cold turkey right, you know, jump-out right away', and they find that...that it's very rewarding to them.  And I think it's a valuable resource to tap into, these newly retired teachers, and they could have a big impact on younger teachers, especially if they did retire a little early, they'd say, look what you've got to look forward to, kids, you know, hang in there, keep up the good work, and when you're 55 years old, why you can do the same kind of thing as I'm doing, come back and help someone else.  But, no, I think it...  I think it would be a big impact, and thank you very much for the time, Senator Kiel.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Cudaback.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Mr. Speaker and members, Senator Bohlke, I appreciate your understanding of this bill.  It's something I don't have, and so I think I should have to ask these kind of questions, just so I can go back with my constituents, or whomever might call me, and have a better ability to answer their questions, which I know we will have.  I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke another question, please.








SENATOR CUDABACK:  Nebraska is a large state.  We have a ...  you know, schools of all sizes, from a thousand students perhaps to down to three or four ...




SENATOR CUDABACK:  ...  down to two.  In your opinion, is there anything in this bill that would be ...  make it not quite as fair to some of our so-called smaller districts, as in the larger districts?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Cudaback, I want to tell you that we worked very diligently to make sure that we ...  that there was equity in size in this bill, and so that's why you see a number of the things that we've talked about.  Certainly, for the very sparse school districts, certainly that you only have...  if you don't have an expelled student, you only have to have a plan in place that was the dropout rates, that's easier, actually, for small schools; the poverty factor, as I read, really, Omaha, and then it's all smaller schools.  And so we have tried to balance that, and we talked a great deal about that in committee.  And, as you know, the organization that represents a majority of the small schools is very supportive of the bill, so they've looked at that very closely, as well as organizations who represent mid-sized or large schools.  So those people read things very carefully through the eyes of the people they represent, and they feel that it's balanced and fair.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  I guess, that was going to be my next question.  I have a town, like I say, the size of Litchfield, up in northern ...  up in Sherman County.  Would the people that represented ...  or the people that spoke for the bill were the people that more or less covered, or canvassed the whole area of schools?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, let's take Litchfield.  They would probably be very easy for them to qualify on the...  above average on the test, I'm certain.  They would only have to have the plan in place if they had an expelled student, and the same with the gifted.  And the fourth one is ...  have to think of what the fourth one is, oh, the standards, which they either have to adopt their own or the state board ones, whichever are higher.




There wouldn't be a reason in the world that I can think of that Litchfield wouldn't qualify under those ...  those four, but except that they may have to develop a plan.  And that, I think, would be good for people in Litchfield.  You know, the dropout, the alternative schools, as we've seen, we've had schools who have not had a problem in the history of their school, are now beginning to see some problems, as we have kids enter school from different types of homes and backgrounds than previously.  And so, it's something that they're going to have to start to deal with, and so, like I said, the way to avoid a problem is to have a good policy in place or a plan, so I don't even...  I think it would be a good exercise for them, and certainly not cost them any money.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Senator Bohlke, I'm trying to stump you, but I can't do it, but I'll come up...  I'll try to come up with some more questions here.  If you'd like my time, the rest of my time, you may have it.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, thank you, Senator Cudaback.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Wehrbein.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, members.  Senator Bohlke, I'm sorry, I did miss your opening this morning on the bill, and I ...  I think I've caught up.  This changes the thrust of where the Educational Trust lottery money is going.  I noticed now it's 75 percent of the lottery proceeds go to the Educational Innovation Fund.  Is that true?  And I...Senator Kristensen, I would like to...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, it's more than that.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  ...  ask Senator Bohlke a question, please, have a dialogue.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond?


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Anyway, I'd like to have you give your synopsis of how ...  of what this does, so that I understand, since I missed, but I also want ...  what I really want to know then...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Another opening of another, right.






SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  No, I ...  you don't need to go through a whole opening.  Is that what you meant?




SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Is there ...  what happens to the money that's left in the fund?  Will that continue as it is with the educational grants?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Two things.  Well, that...that first point.  This takes the competitive grants, the money from the ...  that would be the competitive grants, and then the first part on how I envision the direction of the funds.  As I've said, we've heard from schools who have done some very good things in the past.  But the innovation, as we've talked to people, seems to be lacking.  We've done a great deal with it.  And so, looking at trying to preserve...  and I think it's 49 percent goes to education ...  those funds, we thought we needed to do something new ...  new and innovative for education and really get ...  try to get at the issue of improving quality.  So that's the philosophy behind the bill, and it does, then, go to $50 per student for a district.  And they really get to use that money for something innovative, but they're very few strings attached.  For the first time, we're saying to school districts, you're a board of education who have approved quality indicators or programs and so you make that decision.  You know, and I think that's very appealing to schools.  For once, government is saying, you know what?  We think you've demonstrated you're making good decisions; you get to decide how you're going to spend the money.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Okay.  Thank you.  And then, so what I'm saying...  so I'm thinking of the 49.5 percent, 75 percent now will go to this new approach, and the remaining 25 percent will stay in the fund and continue as it's been disbursed in the past?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  It could...  it would more than likely be above the 75 percent, Senator Wehrbein, because ...  but...


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Because it says at least 75.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  there may be some current obligations that they have to take care of that ...  on grants that may be out there.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Will this be the whole fund then, after...  is that your intent?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  We do not know, until we see how many qualify, but I would say to you that it would be a very major portion of the grant.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  When we added the mentoring, that added, as has been pointed out, another million dollars for the training, and so I think it would take a major portion of that ...  of that money.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  But the intent is to have a major change in direction from what it was, and the...  if there was a shortfall somewhere, misfiguring this calculation, it would be prorated among the schools.  There would be no hit upon the General Fund, either in the immediate future or into the indefinite future, at this point?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Right.  And we are very, I think, very clear on that.  Thank you.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, the reason I have problems with this mentoring element, just like I do on the gifted, I mean, well, they call them the high ability children element, is that you don't have to have a




functioning program.  The program does not have to be functioning, just words on paper.  And I want to ask Senator Bohlke a question or two, to be...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, I don't want to use hyperbole or misrepresentation to characterize this activity in a way that is not justified.  There need not be actual mentoring going on in order for such an element to be a qualifier for this incentive money?  Is...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  They only have to have a plan for it.  That's correct.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Suppose I ...  I were to be able to strike that from the bill?  It has more political than educational significance, doesn't it, in reality, because it's designed to draw support from those schools that are not going to do this?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, it really goes at the issue of a mandate or not, and we were trying not to do a mandate, given the current levy caps on schools.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, how would it be a mandate if you left it voluntary, but until you actually implemented it, you cannot use it as a qualifier?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I'm sorry.  I thought you meant that, rather than have a plan, that you actually have to have the program in place.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes, in order for it to be a qualifier, you've got to have the program.  The money is ...  the incentive is to not just have words on paper, but to have something that is functioning, so if you just have words on paper or a plan, but no mentoring, then that which is to be achieved by mentoring is not being achieved, but you're still treating that situation as though it's the equivalent of the one where mentoring is taking place.  Isn't that correct?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's correct, Senator Chambers, and the issue, then, goes back to what you said.  Some schools, beings there are a number of these that are new programs and haven't been able to offer them, you would be barring them from being able to participate.  I think that just getting the school boards to talk about it and putting a plan in place really pushes them towards providing these quality programs.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But if they never provide it, but have the plan, they still can use the fact of a plan as a qualifier, can't they?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Only for that limited time.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And how long a-period is that at the maximum?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  At the first level, it would be the primary grouping, two years, and then it would be one year as they add each one on.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And if they never had a first year teacher, they could still continue to be ...  continue to use this plan as a qualifier, couldn't they?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  If they never had a first year teacher come into their district, yes.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And it would be...  so there is no time limit on this, and those that don't have an actual mentoring program in operation are treated the same as those that do?  Isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's correct because it puts the importance on the plan.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  If you happen to have a first year teacher but you don't provide a mentor, does that disqualify you from being considered any further?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I would think, if you have a first-year teacher and you do not have a mentoring program, that would disqualify






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Suppose I could...  I would try to strike this from the bill and say that you do not're not in a position to use this as a qualifier...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  until you actually are making use of it.  It's not enough just to have the plan.  Might not the requirement that they actually have some mentoring going on encourage them to maybe hire some teachers, if you want to find an upside?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That would be a different intent than certainly what was my intent, Senator Chambers, but if that's your intent, you know, you're welcome to...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  No, I wouldn't do that for that reason, but thank you.  I think the time's going to run out.  Was that my third time, Mr. Speaker, on this one?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Yes, Senator, it is.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, there are no other lights.  You're recognized to close on your amendment to the first division of the committee amendment.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I think we've had a broad discussion.  I think I will just remind people that we're only closing on the amendment that I handed out that let's the school qualify if they currently have a mentoring program.  That's the amendment we're on, to make sure that we don't disqualify any school that currently has a mentoring program.  And although we've talked a great deal about all other portions of this, we'll get to those others following this amendment.  So with that, I urge the adoption of the amendment that would allow a teacher program established by the district and approved by the board of education, as a qualifier.  Thank you.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  You've heard the closing on the amendment to the first division of the committee amendments.  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Have you all voted?  Please record.


CLERK:  26 ayes, 1 nay, Mr. President, on adoption of Senator Bohlke's amendment to this component of the committee amendments.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The amendment to the amendment is adopted.  Next amendment to the amendment.


CLERK:  Senator Chambers, I now have your amendment,' Senator, starts on page 2, line 16.  (See FA550 on page 879 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, you're recognized to open on your amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, Senator Suttle, of the culture corner, was kind enough to give me a copy of my amendment so that I can let you know what it is.  If you would look at page 2...  I do have my copy of the amendment that would be amended.  This that I'm talking about goes to this so-called high ability type program.  On page 2, in line 16, after the word to, t-o, I would insert "and being used by".  What that would do, that part of the amendment, is to say that not only is there an approved program for these learners with high ability, it says more than that the program is merely available, that it is being used by students, so that again you don't have words on paper that will allow this money to be brought into the system for nothing other than to put money into that system.  And since it is my intent to see that these programs are not going to be a basis for additional funding, to do what the schools ought to do anyway and are being paid to do and that the public expects them to do, you must have an operating program serving students.  So since that is what my intention would be, I would then go to line 17 and I'd put a semicolon after the word "ability".  I would strike the remaining language through the word "identified", in 21.  Here is what would be left:  "Each district in the local system has an approved program for learners with high ability pursuant to




Sections 79-1106 to 79-1108 available to and being used by students identified as learners with high ability".  That would be all that you have there.  This is what you would strike "or, for districts that do not have any identified learners with high ability, an adopted school board policy to have an approved program for learners with high ability"..  ."if any learners with high ability are identified".  What I'm striking is the language that would say you don't have any high ability learners identified.  But if you have an approved plan or program adopted by the school board to say that if we would run across any of these critters, we'll put them In this particular corral, then you can get the money, too.  Why is it, necessary, if we're talking about education and money being spent to provide a service, that you get the money even if you don't provide the service?  Just say that, yeah, we'll do this at some point, and it's left completely within 'your control subjectively to determine if there are any of these kind of children in, your system., And if you never identify' any of them, then you never have to have a program implemented.  But if you say that you would implement that program, then you're on the same basis and treated the same way for the distribution of this money as a system that actually has a functioning program.  You ought to take the time, if you have it at some point, to read the material found in Section 79-1106 to Section 79-1108.  A lot of very subjective terms.  We all know that when various types of tests are administered, Senator Suttle and I have been talking about that, especially these standardized tests, some people take them very well, other people freeze up when they have to take any kind of test.  So when the indicator of a person's ability, not only talking about what he or she has learned in the classroom, but that underlying ability or capacity to learn and achieve, will be determined by administering tests, which we all know, first of all, don't record or measure accurately what they're supposed to, even in an academic setting, in terms of what has been learned in the classroom.  When such tests are going to be the indicators, and then some subjective observations by teachers, you allow the establishment of a system underwritten by the state of tracking children.  And tracking is where you say certain ones have certain ability and you put them on this track to go In a certain direction, based on their limited ability, and these others on the other track, which, based on their exceptional ability subjectively




determined, are sent off in a different direction.  So you have two tracks, one is east, one is west, and by God, never the twain shall meet.  The farther these children go through life, the more their tracks diverge, the farther apart they get.  And those on the favored track will be the rulers and leaders of society, whether they ever show that ability or not, because they've been given all the accoutrements.  The others, such as me, who can demonstrate ability, never get the opportunity, and we become the workers, the drones, the slaves, the drawers of water and the hewers of wood, the cleaners of people's houses; and I have seen it happen.  I was considered a slow child when I was in grade school, so what does that say about the rest of you all?  Teachers didn't make me smart.  They didn't give me ability.  The genes, not that I'm wearing, my daughter bought me those, the genes provided me by my parents and their parents, and all the way back to the continent of Africa, contributed to my being what I am.  And if there's any ability that I demonstrate In learning language and being able to utilize, it, being able to read and understand those codes, it's not because some teacher put me on a track and said, this kid, even though he's black, has some ability.  We were embarrassed and humiliated when I was in school.  We were made fun of.  It just happened that they couldn't crush me down.  They made me defiant, not in the classroom, because I was taught and reared by my parents to be an obedient, respectful child.  So I respected on the outside by the way I acted.  I appeared to respect the very ones who were humiliating me, who thought nothing of hurting my feelings and the feelings of the few other black children in the otherwise all white school that I attended.  So then I see bills like this, in a society where they say we're against affirmative action, against quotas, and giving people something they're not entitled to, a bill like this to give more to those who already have.  This material is for white children, for white schools, for white society.  And when we talk about those who are impoverished, that often is a code word for black children.  But Senator Bohlke tried to point out that we have poverty in other parts of this state.  But that is not the way it's going to be viewed by others, that part will be lost in the shuffle.  And we are not just labeled, we are branded.  So to have been branded a dumbbell as a child, and not .having let what these adults, white adults, I never had a black teacher in my life, what these white adults did...








SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  to try to destroy me, I overcame it, I did what a lot of white children did not do.  I did not fall by the wayside, I would not let them destroy me.  Every child who is black, every child who is white should not have to confront what I confronted.  And I don't want another child to have to confront that, but a lot still do.  So I think these public schools should have to provide Cadillac opportunity to every child, because the public schools exist for that purpose, and they should not be bribed to do that which they are being well paid right now to do.  And if they can do it as a result of bribery, they can do it without the bribes, because they demonstrate that these goals can, be achieved.  And when some school:  systems have already done it, they should-not be given the bribe, they should not be given the blood money.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Time.  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Bromm, to the Chambers' amendment.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Senator Brashear.  As I have read the bill and thought about this, and as I have listened to Senator Chambers, it's not in the best interest of the districts that I have a lot of concern for, for me to take the position that I am taking, because this bill is a way to distribute money and it will help a lot of districts that need money.  But sometimes down here we have to do things in a more direct manner.  Senator Coordsen's bill, to distribute $6 million or more to those districts who kind of had their legs cut off at.  the knees, is a worthy bill and it simply addresses a problem directly and forthrightly, and you either make your decision whether you should help those districts or you shouldn't,.  it's a forthright approach and should be done.  This bill, and I ...  and I agree with Senator Chambers, if we're going to put...  if we're going to tie strings to distribution of the lottery money, whether it be putting in a gifted program, putting in mentoring for teachers, then we should just simply say that.  And we should Bay, we will give the Department of Education a half a million dollars and let them develop the guidelines that are appropriate for a




mentoring program, for a gifted program, and whatever other programs are appropriate, and those schools that meet those guidelines get the money on a per pupil basis.  There is no point in going through the hoops and saying that if a school has a plan, we give them the money, if they never implement the plan, they still get the money as long as they had the plan.  That is not educational ...  that's not a good educational objective.  And I know there's a lot of political ...  there's a lot of political considerations that have to be met in passing a bill like this, or any bill, and I understand that.  But as legislators, whether it helps our districts or hurts our districts, I can stand up and defend and say, this is a good academic plan, this will help improve the quality of education in Nebraska.  And the only way you do that is by implementing something, you implement the gifted program, you implement the mentoring, and you pay the stu ...  the schools that do it.  The lottery money is supposed to be to provide something extra for quality.  We have schools out there with problems and financial problems.  And what we have here is a way to distribute money.  Why should a ...  why should a school in a sparse district get $100 per student, if they have these programs, and the schools in my district get $50?  The rationale for that has got to be distribution of money, not quality education.  Senator Chambers has a point.  He has a very good point.  And it makes it more difficult, politically, for the bill, but it makes it a better bill.  And if we do that, my suggestion is we take the laundry list...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  of stuff out of here, we trust the people that know what they're doing, that are trained to set academic standards, and when they establish the standards, the districts that meet those standards promulgated by the Department of Education get the money.  But they don't get it for having a plan that says, if we ever have a gifted student, we're going to ...  we're going to recognize them.  That doesn't quite meet the academic standards that I want to meet.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Bromm.  Senator Witek, speaking to the Chambers amendment.




SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Legislature':  Senator Chambers, I would direct your attention for just a minute to the bill that follows this bill, and it's LB 1229, and it talks about gifted students or high ability students, whatever your district refers to them as.  We refer to them as gifted.  We passed a bill, or this Legislature passed a bill several years ago, that said that these students have to be identified.  It was a bill of Senator McKenzie's, if you remember, and said that we have to identify the high ability learners in every school district.  And if you have the money, then you can go ahead and implement this kind of a program.  But they do have to be identified and they have to be turned ...  that information, as I understand it, has to be turned over to the Department of Education with those identified learners.  And what this bill following this bill does, 1229, is to take $6 million and say this money will go into the high ability:.  learner programs,- and it's really- almost to your advantage to...and that's just the beginning money, 6 million, it'll increase every year as they identify more high ability learners.  So you're right, in a lot of cases what schools have traditionally been told is, if you identify a lot of resource students or children with learning disabilities, and this is where the money comes from for these programs and you have a lot of identified students in these areas, then you're going to have, usually part of the problem has been, and I know it's debatable, that more students than necessary have been identified as students with learning disabilities, to receive some of those monies.  Well what this does is kind of the exact opposite, in the bill following.  It says, if you identify those high ability students, you will get so much money for those high ability students.  And as you identify more of those high ability learners you will get more money into those areas.  So, I guess, this wasn't...  I don't know why this wasn't in, probably because it's a $6 million addition to the note, but I know we've got several bills now with (LB) 1336 and (LB) 712 and 1228, now (LB) 1229, but these all tie in together in this 1228.  And this $6 million start on the gifted students calls for some additional people within the Department of Education, but the money will go out to the districts for these programs.  So it's to their advantage to Identify them.  And I'm not...  I am concerned about some of the issues you've raised about the percentages of students, minority students, who are in some of




the programs, especially in the Omaha area, and whether that need be the case or not, and that's kind Of an issue ...  or discussion I'm not sure I want to get into on this on this particular discussion.  But I just want to let you know that it would be to the advantage and ...  to identify minority or any students as a high ability learner, if the following bill passes, and the districts would utilize the money for that individual.  So it's not quite as bad, I guess, as it sounded when you went into the...into the piece of legislation.  I agree that you need to have a program, a real program, not a piece of paper, and will probably be voting for your amendment, that you do need to have a program in place if you're-going to take the money for those programs, and that money does need to go into these program areas, if that's what you're going to do.  Because if we're going to try to improve the quality of education ...  and I would remind everyone in Nebraska, that by anyone's standards, Nebraska already has some of the best schools in the nation.  A lot of the problems that we're addressing, when you ask how other states are doing or what other states are do ing, the y're dealing with very low test scores and ...  on any indicator, not just test scores, but NAEPs or any other test scores....




SENATOR WITEK:  ...  they're dealing with low test scores.  We don't have that problem in Nebraska.  I think on NAEP, in eighth grade math, we're like fourth in the nation.  We're like tenth in the nation on spending per capita for our schools.  We have really, I guess, an attitude in Nebraska that we're going to support education in a lot of these areas and have done that, so we don't have maybe a lot of the problems that a lot of the other areas in the nation are dealing with, with some of their suggestions.  So high ability learners and gifted education is something that I wish we would take a little closer look at and maybe getting some programs into these areas for those children to keep connected, because a lot of times they disconnect out of boredom, because we have...  I do think we have somewhat "dumbed-down" our curriculum over the years, and there's a lot of tests to indicate that that's the case.  So this is an ...  this an area where I think this is...






SENATOR WITEK:  ...  a good idea.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Witek.  Senator Chambers, to your amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, members of the' Legislature, the reason I brought up some of those other issues is because I find it Impossible to discuss so-called educational bills without talking about the reality that a substantial number of children face.  Who in here...I don't know who would know, but I'm going to take a chance and see if Senator Kiel knows.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Kiel, will...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Oh...excuse me...


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  ...  you yield?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Okay, yes, Senator Kiel, I'll try you first, an,' maybe you know the answer.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Is it true that about thirty-something percent of the children in the Omaha Public Schools are minority students?


SENATOR KIEL:  That sounds about right.  I don't have those numbers.




SENATOR KIEL:  I think over the years that's about right, 30 percent.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Right, and that's where it is, based on what I understand, too.  Do you think 30 percent of the teachers and administrators are of minority extraction, however we define minority?






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  They would be majority?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Do you think that, if I don't know how to speak Spanish, I could teach children who speak only Spanish how to speak English?  I don't know how to speak Spanish.  My children that I'm teaching speak only Spanish.  I speak only English.  Can I teach those children how to speak English?


SENATOR KIEL:  I'd say probably you wouldn't be the best person to do that.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So I...okay, so I say, I say...I say que es esto ...  esta.


SENATOR KIEL:  If I could...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Okay, so I say hand, hand, then the child says# mano.  I say eye, the child says ojo.  So, okay, hand, eye.  That's not teaching anybody how to speak a language.


SENATOR KIEL:  I should respond more directly.  I think a person who can speak Spanish is the best person to teach a bilingual class, yes.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But they have to know the language of those they're teaching.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Now when it comes to an educational situation, do you think all the purpose of education is served when you teach children dates, how to spell, how to calculate?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Do you think that people who have nothing or very little in common with the children they're trying to teach can reach those children in the type of way necessary to teach them well the types of things that they should learn in a






SENATOR KIEL:  In other words, is the teacher that's completely removed from experiences of their classroom the best person to teach them?  No.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So why do you think we have such a high percentage of minority children in the Omaha Public Schools and such a relatively small percentage of minority people who teach and are administrators?


SENATOR KIEL:  I think probably the school districts have not done as good a job as they ought to in recruiting and keeping minority teachers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  And members, during my lifetime, a fellow named Harry Burke, after whom a high school was named, said, no black teacher will ever teach in the Omaha Public' Schools, and they named a high school after him.  See, that's what I have to deal with.  That's what happened to us.  And he said it publicly.  The Omaha Public Schools were segregated by race and it took a federal court decree to acknowledge the existence of the segregation and order the.  Omaha Public School system to do something about it, and they have not done a very good job.  But when we talk about these things down here, you all are talking about it from one perspective, and I from another.  You all from the perspective...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  of looking at a school that had the whole purpose of serving your children and your kind; and I have it from the perspective of those who were trying to disadvantage my children and my kind.  So we never are going to be on the same wavelength.  But I'm going to do all I can to keep you from making the rich richer while creating a system that legitimatizes keeping the disadvantaged not only disadvantaged, but pushing them even further behind by saying you should take more money and give it to those who already have.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Bohlke., to the Chambers amendment.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, members.  There were a couple of things in visiting with people on the floor I wanted to clarify.  One seemed to be a question that some people thought that the incentive money would go to fund the programs in the primary and premier categories, and it does not.  We have closely paralleled it to how it is today with the money from the lottery and how schools can qualify for it.  It's the very same thing, you'll see a long list of a number of things; but they're for innovative programs, not for ongoing funding of implementing something into your budget.  And so it doesn't mean that they use this money to then fund the things listed here, but that they use it for innovative types of things for their district that would help to improve the quality of education.  And I, I thought that was important to clarify that point for you.  And I will continue to try and listen to some questions that I hear around me and clarify any further of those questions that people have.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Senator Chambers, to your amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, members of the Legislature, what my amendment would do is to make it clear that before one of these programs, even though I don't like it, but if you're going to have it as a basis for letting a school dip its greedy hands into the till, even though it's in that contaminated till, carrying the ill-gotten gains of gambling, I understand that the trooper who flew the coop had a gambling problem.  I don't know whether he played the lottery, but while we have one of Nebraska's finest, as they call them, stealing a cruiser, $61,000, and deserting his family because of a gambling problem, supposedly, we're going to take the ill-gotten gains from gambling and try to bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing by saying you'll put it in the schools.  Yet the children who are to benefit are not allowed to participate in the lottery which produces the money because the lottery is an evil.  So you take an acknowledged evil, that the children must be protected from, to generate money that is supposed to make them better people.  That shows the convoluted system of politics, but sometimes you have to do what you think Is possible to achieve your goal.  What my amendment would do is to say before a school




system can get hold of that money, they have to have a program which is functioning.  It's not enough to have a school system be paid as much for not doing something as the one is paid for doing it.  If Senator Dierks is a judge and Senator Willhoft is a judge, and I'm going to give some bribes, I'm going to bribe Senator Willhoft and I'm going to bribe Senator Dierks.  I'm going to say, Senator Willhoft, I'm going to bribe you to rule in my favor.  Senator Dierks, I'm going to bribe you to rule not in my favor.  That's crazy.  That makes no sense.  So, Senator Hudkins is more intelligent, she runs a farming operation.  So she says, Ernie, I want to hire you and I Want to hire Senator Hilgert to work on the farm.  Ernie, I will pay you to shuck corn.  Senator Hilgert, I'll pay you not to shuck it.  And we scratch our head and something doesn't seem right.  If we put it like that, everybody does kind of smile.  But in this instance, you're paying schools rot to have a functioning program.  All rivers and.  most people are crooked.  because, they follow the path of least resistance.  And if you gain as much by following the path of least resistance, as by climbing an arduous trail to the top of Mount Everest, you're not going to climb to the top of Mount Everest, you're going to just slide right down to the ocean.  This system being contrived here is not about education.  If anything, it is about giving money and incentive to people to do nothing.  How much time do I have, Mr. Speak ...  Mr. President?


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Approximately a minute and a half,...




SENATOR BRASHEAR:  ...Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  John Wayne, when he was alive, thank God he's no longer alive, condemned, condemned Hispanics because he said they don't work and yet they get welfare.  So he said, I'm tired of paying people for work that they don't do.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But John Wayne had some agricultural land, and they said you're mad at us because you say we get paid for work we don't do, then you ought to look at yourself for getting paid for crops that you don't grow.  That's the way the big




shots like John Wayne and his ilk can do.  They call it something different, but they get theirs from the public till.  And to set up a system where schools are paid not to do what other schools are doing, to me is not wise.  So I hope you will adopt this amendment; it is eminently wise and proper.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Suttle, speaking to the Chambers' amendment.


SENATOR SUTTLE:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Members of the body, Senator Chambers and I differ on this in that there are lots of small districts in the state of Nebraska, probably more than we need, but if a district doesn't have any gifted students that they have designated as gifted students, why should they be barred from qualifying for these incentives money?  I ask that rhetorically and am thinking that students are advanced, students come in, students leave.  If a...  if a district suddenly has an on ...  an opening of a huge plant and' lot of students move into that district, and they are suddenly identified as gifted, we would then have a program in place, and these students who are moved ...  who have moved into the ...  to the area are, are taken care of and the money is there to help them.  I think this ...  removing this section of the bill is, is not in the spirit with which we are presenting this idea.  I understand Senator Chambers' reluctance, I understand Senator Bromm's.  They don't...they don't particularly like tracking kids and making kids fit into a certain slot and be put there and branded forever.  I don't know that that is necessarily the way it's going to be.  However, I do think that it is important for these school districts to have this type of program in place so that they can be ...  so that a school can be ready when a gifted child comes in.  There are all kinds of gifted kids.  There are academically gifted as well as mechanically gifted, all kinds of gifted children.  And if a school district is open to serving these children, I think in the long run the state of Nebraska is better off.  We are always looking for the best and brightest.  It seems to me that the Governor's brain gain initiative, and all of the emphasis on gifted and the best and the brightest and keeping the best and the brightest in the state so that we can have a wonderful workforce, in something that is laudable.  And laudable is not three syllables.  So I do want to, to say that I rise to oppose the Chambers' amendment and urge the rest of the




body to oppose it and keep this section of the bill in the bill.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Suttle.  Senator Witek, speaking to the Chambers' amendment.  Senator Witek, speaking to the Chambers' amendment.


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members Of the Legislature.  I guess, I just wanted to make the point again that Senator Bohlke made so that it was clear to everyone, because it was not clear to me, and it does concern areas of high ability, all of the programs that are listed in this are a of the amendment as to how you make yourself available or how that fund ...  how those funds become available to you, to your district by complying with these areas of the statutes.  If you don't adopt the bill coming up after here, especially in the area of high ability, then even if you put together a program for high ability learners and have a ...  we have one in Millard, you cannot use these monies for those programs I rams per se, it would be for a grant, similar to what it is now, for something if you wanted to use in these areas.  So even though someone might want to start up a high ability learner area in their school, this doesn't necessarily ...  this, well this doesn't pay for it.  You have to incur the cost Of starting up a high ability learner in your schools, and the Chambers amendment makes sure that that is done explicitly, that you can't just have a plan for it, that you actually have to start up a program for high ability learners in your school and pay for that out of your funds for your school.  And then the grant money that you would get out of 1228, you could use it for some portion of that, if you wanted to, but you couldn't use it to pay for the actual program.  it's like a one-time grant money.  It's not an ongoing amount of money that you would use to sustain a high ability learner program, an entire program.  So now that I'm clear on that, I'm not...  I'm not really...  I'm seeing how much more we are unleveling the playing field for, not necessarily the Omaha district or the Millard district, who already have these in place, and they would use this grant money for additional monies for those areas, but definitely in smaller schools that, you know, are already struggling to try to get the money together to have a high ability learner program, which I thought this could be used to go ahead and start that up and sustain it; you can't do that.  You can only, with this money, use it for one- time




program expenditures, just like is.  that stipulation is in the lottery grant money now.  So where I thought we were going to get some actual high ability learner programs going and sustaining and getting them going across the state of Nebraska, this is not the funding source for that.  So, while I will adopt the Chambers' amendment to make sure that any monies used here are actually being used for programs that are in existence and not on paper, I ...  it gives me even more concern about the bill itself to find out that, that we're going to require or ask some schools, if they want this money, to go ahead and start these programs up and then we won't be able to use this money for sustaining those programs, it'll have to be grant money that's used for something, some kind of one-time expenditure in those programs.  And as far as I'm concerned, why are we going to all this trouble then to change the entire lottery process?  So, I guess, I still have concerns about the entire bill.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:.  Thank you, Senator Witek.  Senator Stuhr, speaking to the Chambers' amendment.


SENATOR STUHR:  Thank you, Mr. President and members of the body.  I rise in opposition to the Chambers' amendment, just in the fact that sometimes it's necessary for schools to start having a plan.  And because they don't have the resources at ...  at first to implement, that it is necessary for them to have a plan before they can go ahead and proceed.  So ...  and this could affect many of the rural districts who, because of a combination of factors of LB 1114, the levy limit and LB 806, are really struggling at this time.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Stuhr.  There being no further speakers, Senator Chambers, to close.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Mr. President, members of the Legislature, I'm not going to let this bill go.  I'm going to fight it.  It's a principle with me on this.  And I heard what Senator Stuhr said, I heard what Senator Suttle said, and we differ in our approach.  Let's say that you have a cluster of schools which are doing more than what we would say the average school is doing, and forget what I say about there being a level of education that ought to be available to all children.  This so called equalization money is supposed to reach that goal, but




it never does.  You have other schools that are falling down.  Some might think the purpose of this, this bill and the money is to bring those schools up which are not doing their job.  No, it's not, because they still don't have to do it, but they get the money.  They don't have to identify a single child, and by the way, Senator Witek, the reason I use this high ability, that's the term that's in the statute.  I didn't make that up, and that's not what we called them in my, my district or my area.  But these schools that are falling down don't have to come up with a program that works, they don't have to implement it, they can just borrow what's on paper from some other school, and the school board adopts it and they do nothing.  There is nothing that compels them to identify any of these children or put them in the program.  Just say you have it on paper, and those schools that are not doing anything can continue to not do anything and get just as much money as those who are doing something.  Senator Witek, you touched on something which I think I can draw an analogy for.  You may or may not be aware, but you probably are, of many cities that accepted federal money, during all of the outcry about crime, to put numbers of law enforcement officers on the street.  Then when that federal money ran out, cities did not pick up the cost and continue these officers, they dropped them.  They stayed there as long as the federal money was there.  When the money ran out, these cops were let go.  You start these programs, and let's say you got one that you actually start.  You reach the point where you can't get any more money for it, then you drop it.  You might have been better off never starting it, never giving a taste of what ought to be done by the public schools instead of putting it out there then pulling it back.  This bill does need to be examined, and I'm looking at it from the standpoint of what is, actually going to be done under this bill and not just at what the goals are.  Maybe what we ought to do is just pass a resolution, I'm being facetious, expressing all these hopes, prayers, wishing, hoping, praying, and singing.  That won't get it.  That will not get it.  Even in the country western song, that did not get it.  So here we're being asked to enact a bill into law which is not going to achieve the stated purpose, but it does open the way for great mischief and injustice to result.  This amendment that I'm offering does not even have a bearing on what Senator Suttle or Senator Stuhr talked about.  If you have a little school somewhere and they don't have any high ability




learners, what about that school is going to attract this great influx?  But let's say you have a school where you want to try to drain people off from other schools and get money, tell them, if you come here, your children will be put in a high learning ...  a high ability program, so bring your children here; and you drain off more of them.  And we know who these children will be if they're attending school in a district where there are lot of minority children.  So...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  the welcoming school district now has an additional incentive because you're going to get 50 bucks a head for them.  So bring them on into the corral.  And everybody can pretend that this is all being done because we've identified these high ability students who can't get what they need at this other school or in this other district.  You all may think I'm cynical; I have reason to be.  But even if you are not cynical to the point that I am, just look at the mechanics of this bill and how it operates.  Never should the one who does nothing in the public sector, where the public is to be served, never should the operation which does nothing be accorded the same benefits as the one which does something.  And this bill does say that a school in Senator Stuhr's district which does nothing will get as much as a school in Senator Witek's district which does something.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I would ask for a call of the house.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The question is, shall the house go under call?  All those in favor signify by saying aye ...  or by voting aye, those opposed nay.  (Journal shows the motion prevailed with 20 ayes, 0 nays.)


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The house is under call.  Will all members please report to the Chamber.  All unauthorized personnel please leave the floor.  The house is under call.  The house is under call.  Will all members please return to the Chamber.  Will all unauthorized personnel please the floor.  The house is under




call.  The house is under call, would Senators Kristensen, Preister, and Wesely please return to the Chamber.  The house is under call.  The house is under call.  Senator Wesely, will you please return to the Chamber.  We are all present.  The question before the body is the adoption of the Chambers amendment to the amendment.  All those in favor vote aye, those opposed nay.  Have you all voted?  Please record.  A record vote has been requested.


CLERK:  (Record vote read.  See pages 879-80 of the Legislative Journal.) 11 ayes, 19 nays on the amendment.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The amendment to the amendment is not adopted.  Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  May I read some items, Mr. President?


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Yen, items for the record.  The call is raised.


CLERK:  Mr. President, Judiciary Committee reports (LB) 507 to General File with amendments; (LB) 1308, General File with amendments; those reports signed by Senator Brashear.  Revenue Committee, chaired by Senator Wickersham, reports (LB) 911 as indefinitely postponed; likewise with (LB) 913, (LB) 930, (LB) 942, (LB) 955, (LB) 1061, (LB) 1062, (LB) 1092, (LB) 1114, (LB) 1116, (LB) 1148, (LB) 1149, (LB) 1186, (LB) 1195, (LB) 1215, (LB) 1226, (LB) 1231, (LB) 1289, (LB) 1291, (LB) 1298, (LB) 1311, LR 304, LR 315, LR 317; all those reported indefinitely postponed, signed by Senator Wickersham.  Senator Pederson, Don Pederson would like to print amendments to LB 1229.  (See pages 880-81 of the Legislative Journal.)


Mr. President, the next amendment to this section is by Senator Stuhr.  (See FA551 on page 881 of the Legislative Journal.)


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Stuhr, to open on her amendment to the amendment.


SENATOR STUHR:  Thank you, Mr. President and members.  This is actually a simple amendment that is found on page 3, if you have the amendment handy.  It addresses the premier quality factors:




"(b) At least thirty-six percent of the certified teachers in the local system have advanced degrees", and what I would be adding to that, "or at least thirty graduate-level hours." And the reason I'm suggesting this amendment is that I believe that it helps to broaden this quality factor.  In many of the smaller schools, you will find first year teachers, you will find less experienced teachers, you will find teachers that have advanced hours, but not necessarily an advanced degree.  And an advanced degree, required hours, are from 30 to 36 hours, depending if you do a thesis or not.  So I really feel that many of these teachers have, by taking these advanced hours, are really doing a better job then in their area of instruction.  And I feel that this is important in the fact that we said 36 percent is the average, which means there are 50 percent of the schools below that average and 50 above, but I really think that this would help broaden this quality factor.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Stuhr.  You have heard the opening.  Senator Bohlke speaking to the Stuhr amendment to the amendment.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Mr. President.  I think that Senator Stuhr raises a question, as I read her amendment, that I think it does improve, as far as there are times when you're teaching that you are asked to teach out of your area, of which the area you may have gotten a degree.  There are some schools that you would be asked to teach an additional class, perhaps, in English, Government, any number of things.  This would allow you, rather than having to get a degree, to go ahead and take some classes.  You would have to do 30 hours, as I understand it, Senator Stuhr?  So it still is a major commitment, I think, on the part of the teacher, but allows a little more flexibility, other than just having to target a degree, which would then put you on more of a singular track, as far as the course offerings that you would be taking.  And so I do think there are those instances when we have to, mainly because of the size of the school, someone teaching out of their area of certification, but that it would allow them to go back and pick up hours in that ar...  in those other areas that they are having to teach.  And so I think that does help.  I think that certainly meets my guidelines of improving quality of education when teachers are willing to do that, and I have no objection, and support the Stuhr amendment.




Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  Senator Chambers, to the Stuhr amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, members of the Legislature, I am in a mean mood now, but I am not going to be mean to Senator Stuhr.  Senator Stuhr, I would like to ask you a question or two.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  The way your amendment in drafted, 36 percent of the teachers could have these 30 graduate-level hours and not one would have to have an advanced degree, isn't that true?


SENATOR STUHR:  Yes, that's true,, the way it reads.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And they could have gotten these 30 hours, 40 years ago, if ...  well, 20 years ago, because they probably wouldn't still be teaching.  They could, have gotten these 30 hours, 20 years ago, isn't that true?


SENATOR STUHR:  Well, yes, it's true.  I doubt very much, though, that they would have gotten them 30 years ago, and the fact that many of the school require a continual update of hours every so many years, two or three years, I am not sure.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So, if you had a small school district, and they had somebody who had gotten these 30 hours, 10 years ago, they would fire that person, is that what you're telling me?


SENATOR STUHR:  No, I'm saying that most of them do have rules that in ...  that insist that they do go back within a four or five year period.  So it would be much more recent than 10, or 20, or 30 years.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Why do they make them go back?  You mean to keep a job at these schools, the person who is teaching has to work until he or she gets an advanced degree?


SENATOR STUHR:  Most of them have stipulations that ... 





because they want them to do better in their teaching profession in their area, they want them to keep current on methods, material, that that is why they...  they encourage, and some of them, in their contracts, will say they need to go back.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And if they don't go back, then they are fired?  Is that true?


SENATOR STUHR:  I don't...  it's been a number of years since I taught, Senator Chambers.  If we had someone recent who was in administration, maybe they would have a, better handle on exactly, but I just know that the stipulation and, of course, you move along the salary schedule, if...  if you go back and get additional hours also.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Stuhr, is it necessary., in order for me to take postgraduate courses, to be working toward a.  degree?  If I went to UNL and I have an undergraduate degree, and I see a couple of subjects I'd like to study, will they tell me, you cannot take these courses unless it is a part of a degree program?


SENATOR STUHR:  No, you ...  you may go ahead.  Once you start your graduate degree, there is a certain length of years that you have to complete that degree.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But, these ...  these 30 hours don't have to be taken pursuant to obtaining a graduate degree, though, does it ...  do they?  All it says is 30 hours.


SENATOR STUHR:  Thirty hours, yes.  And, as Senator Bohlke stated, in many of the schools, sometimes it is necessary.  They may have...  I know of one example who had a degree in counseling, and then went back into library science.  Of course, those were .undergraduate hours, so those actually wouldn't probably apply; it would be like a double major.  But, no, they can go ahead and take additional hours.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, now that I see Senator Bohlke back, I would like to ask her a question or two about this.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, do you agree also that, the way this amendment is drafted,...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  these 30 hours do not have to be pursuant to any degree, or in any given subject area?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  It has that flexibility, and I said that's what ...  what I thought was the strength of it.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But must a person, when getting ...  taking continuing education, be taking postgraduate courses?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  They have to be taking courses that are related, in the education field.  I mean, it has to be in education.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  'Is it your belief that, if a person has acquired 30 hours, let's say 5 years ago, and hadn't gotten any more since then, that person would be fired as a teacher for failure to get additional graduate hours?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I am checking on the number of years, Senator Chambers.  I was thinking it was five years, and you required six hours,...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  to take six hours.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Before proceeding to our next speaker, Senator Bromm has a guest this afternoon.  Please welcome Mr. Ken Miller, from Rising City, under the north balcony.  And, Senator Bromm, to the Stuhr amendment.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Senator Brashear.  I have a couple of questions, I guess, and not necessarily on the Stuhr amendment, because that...  I think that expands that section a little bit,




and if this has been answered, I apologize, but I haven't heard the answer.  I would like to ask Senator Bohlke, if she could answer a question or two on this?


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?




SENATOR BROMM:  Senator Bohlke, this particular clause in the bill says that at least 36 percent of the certificated teachers in a local system have advanced degrees, and then Senator Stuhr's amendment follows that.  What are the facts, an far an the districts that meet this 36 percent criteria, and where did that percentage come from?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That is the statewide average currently.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  So if a school ....  Have you done any study as to where the districts are concentrated that have ...  that have the 36 percent or more?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  We did, and it was all over the state, without regard to small, large.  In fact, I may be able to find this in my folder and show you the list.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  But it covered the spectrum, as far as size.


SENATOR BROMM:  As far as large and small...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  thereto a smattering of districts.  So, in order to meet that criteria, districts should try to somehow get their teachers to go back for their ...  for an advanced degree or at least take graduate hours.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  With Senator Stuhr's amendment, it really would take those graduate hours which...  and to make that commitment to have 30 of those...






SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  to have reached that, I think her amendment says 30.


SENATOR BROMM:  Could I ask you a question on the clause right above that in the bill:  "The local system has at least one teacher certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards".  How prevalent is that, that local systems ,have one teacher certified by the National Board?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That is not very prevalent, Senator Bromm, and I would guess for all schools, that may be one of the more difficult ones.  It's a fairly new program.  It costs a teacher about $2,5OO to get that type of certification, and it's very...  it's a fairly rigorous program.


SENATOR BROMM:  So in order to, at a certain point here, for a district to have all the premier factors, they'd have to have one teacher in their system that was able meet that standard, which we think might take $2,SOO.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, Senator Bromm, that could be the seventh year.


SENATOR BROMM:  Right, right.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  So, seven years from now, and, you know, that could be a factor.  But, certainly, in seven years time, that allows people some time to plan and aim to get that certification.


SENATOR BROM:  Okay, thank you, Senator Bohlke.  I think these are all elements that are very worthy of discussion.  I think that, as we are moving down a path here, while we are, for example, in (LB) 822, in the retirement bill, we're doing a couple of things, trying to help teachers that want to retire to do so, but also to save some money.  I see some things here that give me concerns about how we're ...  how we're going to fund them.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  one minute.




SENATOR BROMM:  And particularly in those schools that have several schools within the system, there certainly ...  they are going to have, even If they do have five, six, or seven years, it's...  it's going to take some resources to meet these criteria, and I am not saying it's bad.  I think it's good to have people improving their skills, but we also have to consider how we pay for it; and I think that's one of the things we will need to spend a lot of time, before we are done with the bill.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Bromm.  Senator Chambers, speaking to the Stuhr amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, members of the Legislature, I just want to make it clear that I am here.  I have a way of drawing, they say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  I am not going to say what we-attracted here, but this-is the, culture corner, and there is an incentive for people to congregate here, because, wherever particular people congregate, you will usually find a drawing card.  I won't say who constitutes the drawing card, but it's a good place to be.  Members of the Legislature, I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question or two.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, under this amendment that Senator Stuhr is offering, since it changes considerably what the proposal that you're offering presents to us, even in a big school district, none of them have to have an advanced degree at the time they want to qualify for this money, if they've got 36 or 30 hours toward...  30 graduate-level hours.  And there need not be a teacher present with an advanced degree in hand, isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's true.  They would need 30 hours, but not a degree.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And we were talking earlier, and, although we may not be exactly on point, to keep the certificate to teach




current, the person would have to get six hours in a five-year period,, is that correct?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  The first certificate is good for five years, ...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And then how...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  and then a five-year renewal.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And you have to have gotten six hour...six additional graduate hours.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I don't have that ...  huh, maybe I have it now.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  Six credit hours in graduate courses for your renewal, or two years experience, that's for your certificate.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So then you don't have to get additional graduate hours, just two years experience.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  This says the first certificate is good for five years.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  And then it says the renewal, you earn six hours credit in graduate courses, or two years experience.  So we are raising the bar by saying it can't just be the years experience, it has to be the 30 hours.  But it doesn't say it has to be the degree.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So then you wouldn't lose your teaching certificate if you took a long time to get these 30 hours, as long as you're teaching and getting this experience.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Two years experience, from the information I've just received, qualifies you for the renewal.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  so if a school district has trouble keeping teachers, the school district can allow a person to continue teaching, who had gotten 30 hours of graduate work, graduate-level hours, five or six years ago, and has gotten no more, but is continuing to teach, so the certificate would be good, even if you get no more graduate hours.  You wouldn't have to actually get a graduate degree, postgraduate degree?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  You would not have to get a postgraduate degree.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So you could be taking an hour here and an hour there and never have a teacher with an advanced degree in your system.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  You could, and, Senator Chambers, I don't want to do it on your time, but...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  That's all right, because I asked you.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  but there are a number of courses that are offered through the community colleges, different Service Units, so teachers can upgrade their certificates, or you could go in and get two or three areas in an area that you thought you may be lacking, if you are asked to teach in that area.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But there is nothing in this amendment that says you have to do that.  It doesn't say, first of all, you're working toward a degree, and it doesn't say you have to get more than 30 hours.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  No, it says that you have...


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  one minute.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  to have 30 hours to qualify, and so...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Right, and you could have gotten them some time ago, and you do not have to have gotten more.  If the system will let you continue to teach, you can get your certificate renewed by having two hours ...  two years of experience, during ...  between those renewals, then you can




continue to teach and never get an advanced degree in hand, and yet qualify.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes.  The only thing, Senator Chambers, I would say is that it takes a good deal of time, I would think, to get 30 hours for most teachers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And that's why five years ago when you got the last one, you stopped getting them, it's too hard.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I would say it is the accumulation of the 30, not that it is too hard.  I think that it's very easy from, like I said, the Service Units, the community college, those people who offer those courses for teachers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, was that many times have, I spoken on this amendment?


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Twice, Senator Chambers.  Time.  Senator Stuhr, to your amendment.  Senator Stuhr.


SENATOR STUHR:  Thank you, Mr. President and members.  Again, this is really quite a simple amendment, just allowing more flexibility, broadening it to allow at least 30 graduate-level hours.  Again, I think there are many circumstances in a number of schools that would need this qualification.  A range of hours for graduate degrees are usually 30 to 36 hours.  Again, we are looking at improving the quality of our teachers, and if they do receive graduate hours, get additional hours, receive additional hours, they are going to be improved in their area that they are teaching.  So I ...  I believe that this, again, this amendment does improve ...  statistics prove that the quality of teachers are very, very important, the most important factor in having quality schools.  So I ask for the support of this amendment.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Stuhr.  Senator Chambers, to the Stuhr amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, members of the Legislature, for the record and those who may have an interest in this, let me lay out for everybody what's happening here with Senator




Stuhr's amendment.  This is a bad bill.  If it passes, Senator Stuhr is trying to protect her constituency so that they can put their fingers into the till and pull some of that money to themselves also, and for that I do not blame her.  But what her amendment shows is what school districts and their representatives are reduced to doing by a bill like this.  You, first of all, have to come here and say, yes.  we have little ragtag, bobtail schools.  We don't 'have people with these advanced degrees.  We're the stepping stone for people.  They come here and get experience, then they go someplace else.  Yes, we're the doormat.  You have to admit that.  Then you have to come with hat in hand and say, now, can we dumb down and lower the standards so we can get money.  In other words, this is the affirmative action program for a lot Of school districts in Omaha, but you haven't heard it called affirmative action, have you?  Because it's for people of the right complexion, and I am not condemning Senator Stuhr.  That's not why I am saying it.  I Am" showing that 'affirmative action comes throughout this-' society, but when it's for you all, you don't call it that.  But when it's for us, we don't say, lower the standard.  We say give us a chance to compete with everybody, but they know or they think they know what we'll do, because As soon as you give us a chance, we excel at every thing.  But that's only because you have to work so hard and you're overqualified by the time you get a chance, and you are doing something that is below your ability.  But because the majority group are judging us as they would judge themselves, they'd say, well, every black person, if you give them a chance, they're going to excel and outdo us in every thing, so don't give them a chance to get in the door.  That's what happens.  That's the reality.  And, see, I couldn't come as brazenly and blatantly and say lower the standards, lower them absolutely, so that I don't have to have a single degree, and yet I qualify the same way.  I couldn't do it because somebody would quickly say, uh-huh, quotas and affirmative action.  Senator Hillman, we are talking about affirmative action in quotas right here, in Nebraska on the legislative floor.  We're lowering the standard and it can't be called anything else.  That's what people are reduced to when you use these stratagems to distribute money.  This bill is about money and not education.  It cannot be about education because you get the money, even if you don't have the programs operational that you're getting the money for.  How can you say




it's for or education when you don't have to educate, but that 1 s what the bill is doing.  So I'm going to fight it tooth and nail, and eventually I'll lose.  But maybe as I talk, others are going to look at this bill and maybe the 11 who voted for my amendment will not support the bill; maybe they will.  Maybe some who wouldn't support my amendment will not support the bill either, but they didn't like my amendment.  Maybe they can't get 33 votes to invoke cloture.  Maybe they can't get 33 votes to put it in the structured debate mode, but they're going to probably need 33 votes at some point because my dander is up now.  And if you adopt this affirmative action amendment, I would applaud you if you are going to do it across the board.  But here's the difference again, Senator Stuhr is not saying that these teachers that she.  wants to help were denied opportunities because of their race.  That's not why you give white people affirmative action.  You give it to them because it's the thing to do, because-they're used to getting it.  Every thing is affirmative action for white people in this society, and if you get irritated, that's good because you will pay attention.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  You'll listen and you'll see what it is we're doing.  Senator Stuhr, if she stood up to respond to what I'm saying could not desire...could not deny that the standard is being lowered.  Thirty hours is not the same as an advanced degree.  You're lowering the standard.  She didn't bring this bill.  It's a bill designed to funnel money certain places.  She wan ts to be in a position for those that she represents to get some of that money.  But she had to argue from the standpoint of affirmative action and lowering the standards, which is not what we do when we talk about affirmative action.  We talk about being fair.  The thief was caught with the goods, you've got to give them back.  I don't know how I'm going to vote on Senator Stuhr's amendment.  I am in favor of affirmative action, but I am not in favor of lowering standards.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Jones, to the Stuhr amendment.


SENATOR JONES:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, and members of the body.  I




want to talk about that second section just a little bit more that we talked about earlier.  I wonder if I could ask Senator Bohlke one more question, please.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?




SENATOR JONES:  In the bill where it says primary quality factors and premier quality factors.  What made put them in that criteria and can we change them around, or how did ...  what qualifies one above the other?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Remember, Senator Jones, when you asked me if this was a balanced approach between small and large schools?  So we looked at things that, initially, as introduced, those primary ones were, as it was initially introduced.  And then there are...there are things in there that maybe more difficult for larger schools and may be more difficult, some others, for smaller schools.  When you move to the premier, those are raising the bar for everyone, but still having that balance in there so that we are trying to treat all size schools in the same manner, and not, if you ...  you know, you could put all in that would make it easier, I suppose, for if you had a school district in mind, you could shuffle it around so that they could all easily qualify the first year.  But I think if you look at that first year of the primary ones, that the really guide on that is that the students qualify on the test, on the college entrance exam, above the statewide average.  That..  that seems to be the equalizer in that with the poverty factor that we explained in there.  And the others, I think that you would read over, I think then the premier category really increases, raises the bar, as we would say, and it's a little more difficult for those, and that's how it should be.  We want schools to continue to try to improve.




SENATOR BOHLKE:  And this is not supposed to be easy, I mean we don't want to shuffle it around so that we can make it easier for schools.  We want to really have schools work to improve the offerings of ...  that really that we know help the quality of






SENATOR JONES:  So the primary one would be up front, that way, so that you could ...  everyone could meet that a little easier, then the premier would be a little harder to reach.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And there are some in the premier, as I said to Senator Bromm, the one would be the nationally ...  national certification, I think, would be the most difficult for all schools, bt it does continue to have schools stretch in trying to qualify in the premier categories.  For Instance, the dropout rate in the premier category is maybe a little...  it may be easier for schools in your area of the state.  That's going to be very difficult for schools possibly in the urban area.


SENATOR JONES:  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Jones.  There being no further speakers, Senator Stuhr, to close on your amendment.


SENATOR STUHR:  I would like a call of the house, please.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The question is, shall the house go under call?  All those in favor signify by voting aye, those opposed nay.  Please record.


CLERK:  20 ayes, 0 nays, Mr. President, to place the house under call.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The house is under call.  Will all members please return to the Chamber and all unauthorized personnel please leave the floor.  The house is under call.  Senator Stuhr, your time is running.  You may begin when you care to.


SENATOR STUHR:  Thank you, Mr. President and members.  What I am addressing in this amendment is adding, the (b) part, at least 36 percent of the certified teachers in the local system have advanced degrees, and I am adding, "or at least 30 graduate-level hour." This is, in no way, lowering standards.  It in providing some flexibility to this quality factor.  It is, also I would like to point out that it is often a time factor for those teachers that are teaching full-time and




beginning an advanced degree program.  There is a limited time frame that might be very difficult for them if they are full-time teaching, and also taking care of family, and other concerns.  So this does allow some flexibility.  We are talking about quality, trying to improve the quality of our schools.  We know that quality teachers depend very much on providing quality education for our students.  Again, this just adds some flexibility to this factor.  It is no way lowering the standards, and I ask for your vote on this amendment.  Thank you.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Thank you, Senator Stuhr.  The house is under call.  1.  Senators Elmer and Schimek, please return to the Chamber.  The house is under call.  Senators Wehrbein and Wickersham, please return to the Chamber.  The house is under call.  Senators Wehrbein and Elmer, please return to the Chamber.  The house is under call.  We are all present.  The question before the body is the adoption of this., Stuhr amendment to theamendment.  All those in favor please vote aye, those opposed nay.  Have you all voted?  Please record.  A record vote has been requested.


CLERK:  (Read record vote.  See page 882 of the Legislative Journal.) 34 ayes, 0 nays on the adoption of the amendment.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  The Stuhr amendment to the amendment is adopted.  Mr. Clerk, items for the record?


CLERK:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Health and Human Services reports (LB) 1354 to General File; and Appropriations Committee reports (LB) 1158 to General File; (LB) 1100 to General File with amendments; (LB) 1138 to General File with amendments; (LB) 1199, indefinitely postponed.  Senator Will, amendments.  to LB 309 to be printed.  (See pages 882-86 of the Legislative Journal.)


The next amendment to this component of the committee amendments is by Senator Chambers.  (See FA552 on page 884 of the Legislative Journal.)


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Chambers, to open on your amendment to the amendment.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. President, members of the Legislature...


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Excuse me, Senator Chambers.  I am sorry.  The call is raised.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  in order that I have the correct amendment that I'm discussing, Mr. Clerk, does that say on page 2, strike 11...  lines 14 through 21?


CLERK:  Page 2, line 13, after the word "occur", and then you go and strike lines 14 through 21.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes, that's it.  Members of the Legislature, those who are following, in line 13, 1 would add the word "and".  I would then strike all of subdivision (c).  That would eliminate that portion and join subdivision (b) to subdivision (d), not connecting them, but they would be one after the other, so we would renumber, naturally.  But the reason I added that word "and" after the word "occur" is because that's where it should be placed, if you agree to remove subdivision (c) which is found in line 14 through 21.  What I had tried to do with this the first time around was to require that a program actually be operational and functioning before it could qualify a system to get money.  A majority of those who voted, which was not a majority of the entire body, decided not to support that amendment, which is telling me that they want to encourage these districts to just put these programs on paper and they'll still get the money.  They are on the same standing, they have the same standing and enjoy the same footing as a system that has a program operational.  I don't like these programs anyway, but I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question, if I may, because it's her bill.  That's the only reason I am asking her this one.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke, will you yield?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, I am going to read from the legislator's bible, which is a copy of the Nebraska statutes.  Deacon Jones, I knew I'd get your attention on that.  I am going




to turn from my text to Chapter 79-1107, subsection (3), to tell all of my colleagues what our bible says a learner with high ability is, because that is what this is talking about that I want to remove.  Learner with high ability means a student who gives evidence of high performance capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, or artistic capacity, or in specific academic field and who requires services or activity not ordinarily provided by the school in order to develop those capabilities fully.  Now what does that mean?  It means that anybody who wants to can make a designation and say this particular student, if you are going to get money for making the designation, gives evidence.  I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question now because that's what I was aiming for.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Senator Bohlke,,,...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke..


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  ...  will you yield?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, based on this definition, this student who is going to be identified as a learner with high ability does not have to actually perform at a high level, isn't that true?  Let me read it again so that it won't seem I am throwing you a curve.  Learner with high ability means a student who gives evidence of high performance capability.  They need not have performed, and all they have to do is give evidence of a capac ...  of a capability.  How do you give evidence of a capability?  Oh, if you've thought about it, Senator Bohlke, and if you haven't, then I am not going to hold you to that.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I'm trying to look at the updated rules, since we passed the bill on identifying high ability learners, which may be different than what you're looking at in current statute.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So, if you have a different definition, it would amend this section of statute that I'm talking about?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I don't think that they're talking about




amending the statutes, but the rule sometimes is more specific and clarifies, as you well know, the statute.  And I am trying to get to that information on the rule.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But when ...  okay, but when we get the rule, the rule cannot conflict with the statute, can it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I don't believe so, but it can be more specific, I believe.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I will wait and get that and then see what it says.  But let me ask you this.  If the areas currently in statute where this evidence is given of this performance capability, we have intellectual, whatever that means; creative, whatever that means; or artistic, whatever that means, why is nothing here about athletic capability?  I am just curious.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I do not know.  Obviously they did not want to widen the scope that...  to that degree to include those things other than the three areas mentioned.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  There is an overabundance of certain types of people in the athletic realm showing capability to perform at a higher level than others in the minds of some people, I believe.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  And I believe it...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And I just wandered if that has anything to do with it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I believe that sometimes that people have used the word "gifted" in a broader sense, and that's, I think what you're getting to, I think in the rules when you talk about a high ability learner, that that may be more specific.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  What does "gifted" mean and to what does it refer?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I believe "gifted" means any child with a grandparent.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Alive, a living grandparent?






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So then all the children in public schools qualify for this program, except that is not one of the specific categories, correct?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, in my mind, I differentiate between gifted and high ...  high ability learner.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Is there some bill that we're going to look at which uses the term "gifted" instead of high ability learner?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I believe the bill that we're going to look at uses high ability learner, in (LB) 1229, which is a couple down now from 1228.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So if we use the term "high ability learner" and this section of statute is referred to in LB 1228, which we're dealing with, and it's referred to specifically in the portion that I'm dealing with, high ability learner or learners with high ability is used in this section that I want to strike, the subsection, and it also is used in the section of statute that is referenced in this subsection.  But here is the question I want to get to.  All such determinations, no matter what the categories are, will be done on a subjective basis, isn't that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, to some extent.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And a child who one person feels is gifted or high ability learner may not be deemed so by another person making a judgment, is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, I believe in determining that that there are certain tests administered that I know that you don't really approve of, but that are standard measurements that would not allow the type of interpretation, I think, that you're getting to.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, let's talk about artistic ability.  What standardized ...  what standardized test is there?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  I think there is none on that.  I'm...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  What about creative?  What standardized test establishes creative capacity? 


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I do not believe there is a standardized test...






SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  on creative.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  How about intellectual?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I believe there is a standardized test to measure intellectual.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Intellectual capacity, or that which people have already learned?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I think there are tests that do both.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So we have one area in here which you feel there are standardized tests that can measure this, but in the majority of these that are named, creative or artistic, there is no standardized test, agreed?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  None that I know of, Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Nor do I, by the way, and I don't think there could be one.  So that allows a wide open field for a school system which wants to get $50 a head, to designate all these people as having this artistic ability.  Isn't that true?  Who could deny that a child...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Senator Beutler.


SENATOR BEUTLER:  Senator Kristensen, members of the Legislature, I would oppose Senator Chambers amendment but




certainly do not oppose his questions, and what his questions make clear is that this is an area in which there is some measure of subjectivity, but I think there are also measures of objectivity, to a certain extent, in certain areas, and I think over time we learn more and more about how to measure things in a more objective manner.  But where I cannot follow Senator Chambers is to the conclusion that simply because the state of science, the state of art, the state of human knowledge right now is such that we cannot be perfectly objective, that we should, therefore, abandon the objective of providing for, of attempting to identify and provide for the needs of children who are high ability learners.  I think there is a place for that.  It in not always easy, for example, to identify children who are in need of special education.  Some clearly need it.  A great many of them are marginal, may not need it, may not...  should be treated that way.  It is not totally objective in that area either, but that doesn't prevent us from attempting to help, and attempting to draw the line, and attempting to provide for.  And in a like manner, in this particular area, Senator Chambers would strike the entire program by striking subsection (c), and perhaps the more constructive approach would be to deal with the statutes as they are, and if...  if there is a constructive suggestion to make it more objective or to improve it, present that to the Legislature and I am sure everybody would ...  would keep an open mind towards it.  But, hopefully, for this time and for this place, one might take a broader look at what the bill is attempting to do and, hopefully, approve of an effort overall to insert some measures that I think will encourage, strongly encourage, all school districts to improve the quality of education, generally, and in the process of trying to meet these standards, for example, of trying to meet the standard of having so many students above a certain percentage on the test, not only will they improve education for the very top students, but that's also going to improve the educational efforts for all students in order to get as many students as possible above that line.  So, Senator Chambers, I think there are some very strong and good parts of this bill that affect all students and is blind to everything except hopefully a true look at those who can ...  at identifying those who can be helped by certain types of assistance.  Thank you.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, the only thing I disagree with that Senator Beutler said was his expressing opposition to my amendment.  We have to discuss things based on our experiences.  I have to bring you all a point of view which is different from that you had.  Do you know what happened to me, again, when I was going through school, not just the lower grades now, when I was going through high school, went to Creighton, do you know what they showed us as the standards of great art?  Roman and Greek sculpting.  That was it.  That's the epitome.  They've done all that they could to preserve those artifacts, everything they could.  Do you know what happened when the white people went to Africa and found artifacts and artworks?  They called them heathenish idols and they destroyed it, and Mexico, too, destroyed it because of white people's point of view.  They decided that what white people had done is great art, what others -ha& done constitutes' work done by heathens, and their statuary are idols, and they destroyed this artwork, lost to the world forever.  And I'm supposed to stand on this floor and listen to people use these terms which have different meanings to all of us, and you all will pass your bills.  You will pass them overwhelmingly, but I'm going to fight them, and I'm going to get information into the record.  And I will share transcriptions of our debate with others to show the narrow-mindedness of this Legislature.  Notice I said narrow-mindedness, not racism.  I want to keep that clear.  I don't think racism is at work in this bill, but I think it's a vehicle for implementing racism in these school systems where racism is at work, and actively at work, and this gives them a way to do it and it gives them a perfect cover.  I am going to tell you all something else to show how idiotic and ignorant not only the people in the state are, but the reporters, and how you all don't pay attention to the art in this building.  The Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee brought a bill talking about child pornography and it's frontal nudity of children.  Go out here and look on the floor of the Rotunda and you see a little boy's genitals, and you see a grown man's genitals, and you see bare-breasted women, several of them, right out here.  You see penises depicted on the floor of the Rotunda.  And you're passing bills talking about frontal nudity being pornographic because it involves children.  Well, I can make a judgment about that, and I say I think white people




abuse their children sexually and I think that's pornographic.  I don't want to see that child nudity, frontal view, with a penis clearly shown and depicted and the man's penis, I don't want to see that on the floor of this Capitol Building.  But it's out there, I look at things, I see things.  You've got a building, when you walk out the north entrance of this Capitol, there is a huge depiction, I guess it's a sculpture of a man, a woman, and some children, and there is frontal nudity, children.  Frontal nudity, boys and girls, frontal nudity, brothers I and sisters.  So why doesn't the Attorney General and the Chairperson of the Judiciary Committee go over there with jackhammers and clean up what we look at when we leave the northern entrance of this building?  They don't talk about that, and they are not going to mess with that.  So all of these things are in the mind and eye of the beholder.  The same thing is pornography when somebody wants to make a political point, and it's something else if to call it by that same name means it:  puts them afoul of those who want to leave things on the floor of this Rotunda, as we find them, and depictions on the face of a building.  So we're talking about artistic...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  talent now.  So we have a child who draws a picture of a naked woman, is that art?  Who is to say it is not art?  And if it's a very explicit depiction, then the child is viewed somehow as having something wrong with him or her, and the parents obviously are wrong, because what does a child know about drawing a picture of the form of that person who brought him or her into the world?  When we bring these bills, we don't go deeply enough into these subjects.  When we talk about education, we don't deal with education.  We don't deal with development of the mind, development truly of values, so that people can be given the maturity to deal with human nudity and not always see it as something ugly, and prurient, and evil.  But you look at the minds of those who are making these judgments, rather than properly characterizing the attitude of those who depict these things.




SENATOR SUTTLE:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Senator Chambers,




may I ask you a question with your amendment?




SENATOR SUTTLE:  Would eliminating subsection (c), would that make the bill so that there are only three requirements on the first level that needs to be attained and, therefore, more schools would ...  would be able to qualify for these funds?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I believe this is called the primary group, yes.  But that wasn't, to be honest, that wasn't why I was doing it, but that would be an effect of it.


SENATOR SUTTLE:  So, Senator Bohlke, may I ask you a question?




SENATOR SUTTLE:  If we adopt'...




SENATOR SUTTLE:  If we adopt Senator Chambers' amendment and put it down to three levels, three qualifications and eliminate the gifted qualifications, would that enable more schools to qualify for this funding?




SENATOR SUTTLE:  Do you know how much, or is there any way of knowing at this point?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, there is no way of knowing, and really what...  I am not sure, I answered that rather quickly.  What it would do is that the schools who would now have to put at least a policy in place wouldn't do that.  And so perhaps it would be fewer schools in that ...  with that regard who would qualify, because they wouldn't....  I mean why would you go ...  why would you go through the exercise, even if you...  if you don't have...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...a program, why would you go through the




exercise of developing a policy and planning for students, if there...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  if there is no incentive?


SENATOR SUTTLE:  Okay.  Because this was the...  the intent of the introducer, I believe, was to promote quality.  Reducing the number of qualifications that a school must meet does not seem to be the direction in which I would like to see this bill go.  And understanding whether a gifted program is objective or subjective would not be my prime reason for voting against this amendment.  The reason I am voting against this amendment is because we would be reducing the qualifications that a school had to meet to be able to obtain the money from this ...  from these programs.  So I rise to object this amendment and I won't be supporting it.  Thank you, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, I don't expect any amendment that I offer to be adopted, but I am going to bring them, and I am going...  I am going to do what I can to stop this bill.  Some of the senators have come to me and told me they don't like the bill, they think it's a bad bill, and I said I wish they'd say something and let the introducers know that, and maybe they'd be more reasonable.  And some of the senators had indicated that nothing that is done with this bill would make them any difference.  But if it passes, then certain things ought to be done to it.  And at some point, it may pass, but I believe in being forthright with Senator Bohlke, and I'm just letting her know that with some of things in this bill, I am going to fight it tooth and nail.  And I'll fight the next one, too, because I see these bills as tending towards elitism and designed to benefit those who already have the benefits anyway.  There is not equality of educational opportunity in this state and not in the Omaha Public School system, and there never will be.  As long as you don't have the homogeneous student body, racially speaking, there is not going to be equality of opportunity.  People favor their own, that's whythey want to have white people presiding over little black




children, so that little black children will be a basis for drawing in any kind of federal money of an educational nature, and 30 percent of our children, our children make up 30 percent of those in the public schools of Omaha, just like we make up 30 percent of the people in the military, so whenever there is a war, we are killed out of all proportion to our numbers.  We bring in money out of all proportion to our numbers, and we have fewer opportunities based on our numbers and the money we bring into these other systems.  So our children are used, by virtue of their numbers in the system, to bring this money in, and programs are put together to benefit your children.  And you want to talk to me about affirmative action and quotas, and .  I am supposed to back away from things so as not to alienate and irritate white people when I see my children cheated all the day long.  No way.  I am going to fight this bill and I am going to fight other bills.  And I won't get tired, and I'm glad that the Speaker said, we're going to go at least till I six o'clock everyday.  He didn't say only till six, he said at least till six.  But do you know what disappointed me, brothers and sisters?  Yesterday was the first day we were supposed to go till six o'clock, and you all bailed out before we got to six o'clock.  The first day, and do you know why you put in the six o time?  Senator Raikes, not you.  The lobbyists think that that'll exhaust me.  I'm the one who is supposed to get tired by going till six o'clock every day, but I don't care if we go to midnight.  My colleagues don't even have the stamina to sleep twelve hours, brothers and sisters.  They go over there in the lounge and they get tired of trying to sleep.  But I'll stay out here and I'll battle, and I'll continue to do.  it.  it happens on this bill I have legitimate concerns, and it's unfortunate that the public is not aware of the nature of this bill.  Senator Suttle said that quality education is what she wants, but Senator Suttle supports giving money to schools that don't even have programs operational.  You got a program designed to provide these things needed by these gifted children, whatever that means.  So you put together a program, and identify children and you're taking care of their gifted nature.  You have a school over here, they don't identify any children as gifted, they don't have a program going,...






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  but they write on a piece of paper, if we find one of them, we'll put him in a program, and they get just as much money consideration as the one that has the program, and I'm supposed to believe this is about education?  What kind of education do we have when we try to run that game down on the public?  This bill is not about education.  It's like saying that we're trying to encourage education, so we're going to give money to cities that build schools.  Oh, and by the way, we'll give money to cities that don't build schools either but that say at some day ...  point in the future they may build a school.  So you give them both the same amount of money.  What incentive is there to build a school if you get the money without building it?  Senator Suttle and Senator Bohlke want to ask, what incentive is there for a school board to write on a piece of paper that we may do this?  Well, you're giving them a money incentive to just put it on the paper...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  and go no further.




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  Senator Chambers, would you yield to a question or two?




SENATOR BROMM:  Senator Chambers, is it your feeling that some changes in the present distribution of lottery funds could be appropriate if it were structured differently?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  The way you asked the question...


SENATOR BROMM:  Or are you totally...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  I would have to say yes to that ans ...  to that question.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay, and I ...  I mean I've heard and as I've looked at it the last couple of years, I think we are getting to a point where we maybe could encourage some improvement in




schools in different ways than just using the lottery grant system totally.  But I also think that there is a place for that system, at least for awhile, maybe a phase-in arrangement of some kind, as we adjust to a different system of distributing the funds.  How do you feel about that?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  If you were going to ...  now you know that I don't like using the lottery money,...


SENATOR BROMM:  I understand...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  I don't like this bill, ...


SENATOR BROMM:  ...  well, I understand that.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  but if you're going to use this money as an incentive, apply the money where the work is being done that you're tyring to encourage through giving the -money.  And if you're not going to do the work, you don't get the money.


SENATOR BROMM:  In other words, if there is some activities that would help enhance the educational opportunities and the schools follow through and actually implement those activities, then you reward them accordingly.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I would sputter and object, but I wouldn't fight against that as I am fighting against this, because realistically speaking, we can see now that perhaps some sweetener must be offered, and I would have far less objection if we saw a result springing from this additional incentive money that they would be getting.


SENATOR BROMM:  Okay.  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  I have had some district meetings lately around my district, and I've gotten nailed pretty good myself for not being very favorable on some of the gambling bills, but ...  but I do share some of those same concerns.  And we do have the lottery and I think it's an opportunity to have some money to do some good things, and I think Senator Bohlke has some things in this bill that are ...  are very usable, but I think it's going to take a little restructuring of the way we're going about it, and identify those activities clearly that we can all agree enhance the




educational opportunities, and then make sure the schools buy into that and actually implement those activities, and then distribute the money to those that do, or that faithfully promise to do so, and that's the way the lottery system works now, the grant system.  Those activities aren't necessarily present before the money is doled out, but there is a pretty ironclad plan that those activities will be there, and we hand the money out to those that buy into that program, and I think we can do that here.  And I guess, as I was listening, I thought we were getting quite a ways far afield from...  from the bill, itself, and I understand those concerns that Senator Chambers is expressing.  But I'd like to figure out a way to bring us back to a point where we take the good ideas that are in the bill and mesh those with Senator Chambers' valid concerns, and then ...  and I share a lot of those concerns.  I don't think it's just him; I think many of us do.  We don't articulate it maybe as well, but I think there is something there that we could do, and I haven't hit -on exactly what it is, but I'm going to 'Continue to try to think about that, and I am sure Senator Bohlke will and others.  And so let's not...  let's not...  let's not throw the baby out with the bath water, but let's find what will work here.  I think that...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  I think we need to, again, focus a little bit on the educational enhancement qualities of the original lottery educational fund, and not just ...  not just distributing money.  Distribution of money will follow, but it will follow only to those schools that meet ...  that actually implement the programs that we think are worthy of being implemented, and at the same time, I have some concerns that the definition of high ...  of the higher ability students, that we examine that, and that we make that broad enough so that those students who may be "gifted" in nontraditional ways are also given an opportunity to enhance and hone their skills.  So...




SENATOR BROMM:  encourage us to continue to work at it.  Thank you.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, your light is on, but you have spoken three times.  There are no other lights.  I am going to recognize you to close.  Yon, you're now recognized to close, Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Yes, and, Mr. Speaker, since I intend to keep us on this bill, if I don't get this one, I have some other amendments that I'm offering, and even though they take time, there are things I want to get into the record while we are talking about education and all this talk of gifted students.  When they were talking about The B211 Curve and how inferior my people are, I made the comment that I've- been around white people all my life and went to all their schools, and I hadn't found these white people were superior to me yet, and when ...  when they come along, by God, I am going to sure be happy to meet them.  I haven't found them.  I haven't seen them in law school.  I graduated from Creighton Law School, didn't even attend classes, and I was the only black student there.  And I didn't see those superior white people that they spend all their time writing these books about and teaching about in schools to show how inferior my people are.  And although they humiliated me when I was in grade school, I didn't see white students who were superior to me in the ability to learn either, nor was that the case in high school.  So somewhere these white people are hiding out, but it seems like they ought to be sufficient in number for us to find them very easily every time we look around, since they are going to write books and tell me that they are there.  When I see programs such as this, I see it as another of those attempts to let the schools single out white kids, say they're superior, and the schools get money from the state to do it.  If I had seen fair treatment in the schools now, then I wouldn't have the attitude that I have.  Our children are in these so-called backward classes, the dumb rooms, out of all proportion to our numbers, and a lot of our children in the dumb rooms are not dumb, but white people make the decision that they will be there because they get more state money for every dumb kind, every kid you can label dumb, an d put in that dumb room.  I am the example of the black man who is not the most capable in our community, but I'd match what I'm able to do against that of what any white person I've ever been around can do, any white person in whose presence I've found myself.  I won't take low to anybody.  I'm talking about




intellectual capability, not just the ability to memorize facts but to think and to create, and I have to stand on this floor talking this way, pace up and down this aisle, listening to the kind of things I have to listen to, and watch these kind of bills being proposed and people do it, perhaps in good faith, as though there is a justification for it, and they are not even meeting the needs of what we would call ordinary students.  So now they say, give us some money and let us work with these we call gifted, and we'll let these others just fall further behind, and we'll blame the students for not learning, in the same way that if people who are sick come to the hospital and they die, it's their fault for dying, not the health care provider, not the conditions in the hospital.  Do you know why you all go to school?  Because you don't know in the ones they are supposed to teach you, and if your parents can't read, they are not supposed to tell you, you can't learn how to read because your parents don't know how to read, the teachers have the job of teaching you to read.  And that's what we hear all the time.  Your parents don't read well, that's why you don't read.  But when people come here from other countries and don't even speak English originally, they are taught to read and their parents can't even speak the language.  That's what I have to deal with, and you all want me to be nice as pie when we're dealing with the expenditure of this money.  We pay taxes like you all do.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And on the poor property that we have, we pay a greater percentage based on its value than the rich people pay, and we get less in return throughout this society, and I am supposed to go along so that I won't make people upset with me and accept a bill like this that I think is wrong, that I think is unjust?  You all will get the bill eventually, but you are going to work to get it.  You are going to work as hard to get it as I am going to work to try to stop it, and this is not the only bill that I'm going to work.  Mr. Speaker, I want a call of the house and a roll call vote, if I can get a call of the house, that is.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  There has been a request for a call of the house.  The question before the body is, shall the house go




under call?  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Record, Mr. Clerk.


ASSISTANT CLERK:  17 ayes, 0 nays to go under call, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The house is under call.  Would all unauthorized personnel leave the floor.  Would all unexcused senators please report to the Chamber and record their presence.  The house is under call.  The house is under call.  Senator Beutler, okay.  Senator Brown, Senator Brashear.  Senator Hartnett, the house is under call.  Senator Matzke, Senator Wesely.  Senator Schellpeper, the house is under call.  Senator.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  May I begin my close?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator, you had your close, and you have, your close.  Senator Brown, Senator Matzke, the' house is under call.  We are looking for Senator Brown and Senator Matzke.  Senator Matzke.  You've requested a roll call vote, Senator.  You're requesting a roll call vote.  Members, will you please keep your conversations to a minimum.  Mr. Clerk, call the roll.


ASSISTANT CLERK:  (Roll call vote taken.  See page 887 of the Legislative Journal.) The vote is 0 ayes, 34 nays on the adoption of the Chambers' amendment, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  It is defeated.  Mr. Clerk, priority motion.


ASSISTANT CLERK:  Senator Chambers, would move to reconsider the vote just taken.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, I will raise the call.  You're recognized to open on your motion.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Mr. Speaker, now it begins in earnest with Ernest.  The amendment was defeated, but I was not.  I am going to continue to talk about the bad aspects of this bill.  Remember the other day when Senator Dierks made a motion to reconsider, and that amendment that he moved to reconsider on had lost, not as badly as the one that I'm offering, but it




could not have bothered him any more to get that vote than the last vote that was given should have bothered me.  But I'll tell you why it didn't bother me, because I know what I'm dealing with.  And I'm prepared to deal with it, and I will continue to deal with it, as I stated, not only on this bill, but other bills, too.  And I hope that we let today be the first test of how much endurance that we have.  I have been working on other bills today.  This morning before we recessed, I was very actively involved in what we're doing.  I've been involved all this afternoon.  So we need to see whether these last 25 days I can be worn out.  Personally, I don't think I can, but who knows?  But in the process of that effort, I'm going to talk about some things for the record that I think are very, very crucial, and the dishonesty that is driving this bill should be made crystal clear, and when I say dishonesty, I'm talking not about people lying and misrepresenting in the sense of trickery, but the inability to say what it is that is being, done here.  This bill is not about education.  This bill is about getting hold of some money and finding a way to implicate enough districts in this scheme to get enough votes to pass this bill into law.  It is very poorly considered legislation, and it is self-contradictory.  Senator Elmer was talking to me about some youngster in his district whom he believes should be given some kind of consideration in the school program because of what appears to be advanced ability to handle academic work.  But what I reminded Senator Elmer of is the fact that this bill, the way it's drafted, would allow a school district in his area to get money without having a program to help that child.  So why should money be given which is designed to provide education and it's given even if no program exists?  That's how things are done in this society.  That's what I mean by the dishonesty, and when this bill is written about, what the reporters will write, because they don't understand things either or don't follow, that this bill provides for money to those districts that provide gifted programs.  But I am sure it would be much more meaningful to the public to know that the same opportunity to get the money goes to districts that don't have a program, that don't ever have to have a program.  All they have to do is say that they have a policy which says that if and when they identify a gifted child there will be some place for that child to go in that system to get these benefits, whatever they turn out to be.  It takes some effort to construct a program of




education.  If, as some people allege, there is much laziness to be found in the education establishment, what makes anybody believe that people who have shown laziness to date are going to suddenly lose that laziness and become very energetic when they're given an incentive to be lazy?  Now without this bill, there can be an argument given that there are certain standards expected of the schools, certain activities of an educational nature required of teachers.  This bill is an acknowledgement that the schools are not doing their job, that the teachers are not measuring up.  And the only way that you can try to get them to do what they're supposed to do is offer more money to the system which in not doing its job already.  But you have to go a step beyond that.  You don't say that you get this money, if you put a program in place, to remedy the deficiencies that exist in your system.  All you have to do is put on a piece of paper a statement that at some point you may do this; but there is no penalty if you don't.  And the one who goes out and bears the heat of the day working is rewarded to no greater extent than 'the one who lounges in the shade all day- That is what this bill provides for.  I have not asked the question of Senator Bohlke, and I won't, when she has ever seen a situation in the real world where two people are paid, one for doing something and the other for doing nothing, and the one doing something continued to do something and feel good about it, when he or she knew that the one doing nothing got the same consideration; and when that one doing nothing somehow was shamed by watching the one doing something and say, well, I'm going to work harder.  That doesn't happen.  There are jobs and there are workplaces today where some people pull their weight and others do not.  Those who pull their weight and observe others who don't are not happy people, they are not contented.  They grumble and fuss all the time.  And they say, why should I have to work this hard and so and so doesn't?  And you don't require them to work that hard.  At least in those settings, the boss, the employer, is not so brazen, even if there is nepotism involved and a family member is the one being allowed to slough by, the employer is not so brazen as to write on the bulletin board, A is my son or my brother's son, therefore he's going to get paid as much as B, but A doesn't have to do anything.  All A has to do is say when he feels like he'll work, but he'll be paid until he feels like it.  And if he doesn't feel like It, he's going to get paid anyway.  So B asks, why then should I do all of this work if I'm




going to get no more than A, and A, who is not working, will get as much as I?  The boss tells you, well don't you worry about that; that's not for you to be concerned with.  Well, if the boss is spending his own money, maybe he's entitled to do that, if you cannot show that there's some kind of discrimination which is prohibited by law.  But here, Senator Cudaback, is where we have a difference.  This money does not belong to those who are sponsoring this bill.  That money, even though it comes from a tainted source, goes into a fund that you could say belongs to the people.  So this is not a situation where the ones pushing this bill, or where the school people have said we're going to put money in a common pot so those that don't work will get as much as those who do, this is money which is to go for some good purpose.  I don't remember what they call this lottery fund, but it has something to do with education.  And this bill is called the Quality Education Accountability Act.  Usually when we see the word "quality", we think about worth...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  or value.  But in this instance, how can you discuss quality when those who do nothing are on the same footing as those who do something?  Where is the work ethic?  Where is the equity?  And where is the quality education when there doesn't have to be any educating at all?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, yours is the next light on.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, I'm wondering, if the standard we're using to enact this bill were used in the classroom, if there'd be any outcry.  Why are you talking about these so-called gifted students?  Why are you suggesting that some students achieve at a higher level than others?  If you know that a student is gifted, as you call it, why doesn't that student just get an A even if he or she doesn't do anything?  You know they could, if they would.  Well you'd say, no, they've got to do the work to get the grade.  Even if we all can see that they could do it easily, they have to demonstrate it when we put them to the test and run them through their paces.  They cannot get the grade if they don't do the work.  But then we pass a bill that says any school district




that doesn't do the work gets the money anyway.  We don't say, you've got to do it.  All they have to do is say, well, we think it's good and we may do it.  So let's do the same thing with the student that we're doing with these school districts as we spend this public money.  Don't require them to do it.  Give them a free pass.  I cannot think of another time, and that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but I cannot think of another time when we were providing incentives and said that the ones who don't perform get is just like those who do.  Senator Cudaback, I'm not going to ask you this question to answer on the mike, but it's something for you to consider.  When we pass these bills that are dealing with what are called incentives for economic development, Senator Brown, Senator Maurstad, and others who support this kind of legislation always tell us that the companies have to do what they're supposed to do, they have to perform before they get the benefit of these incentives.  That's what they Always tell us.  And they tell us none of these companies get those benefits until they have held up their side of the bargain and produced the jobs and invested the amount of money.  Here we come now in the realm of education, which deals with developing the mind, ennobling the spirit, all of these .things, and we say that if you have a school district that does nothing, it gets as much as the one that does something.  We don't do that when we're giving away the store to these businesses.  And we say the reason we need to pay these school districts to do what they're being paid for already, the reason we have to bribe them now is to make them do it.  But they can get the bribe money without doing the job, without doing the job.  I don't know what we're teaching the young people who watch this Legislature in action, either by sitting in here day after day, or who might happen to stumble across it being shown on television and they look at it for awhile.  We put a higher standard on them than we do on the schools.  We put a higher standard on them to be rational and logical than we put on ourselves when we're passing bills.  I see my good friend Senator...  I probably shouldn't call him by name because it might ruin his reputation.  I think he can stand it.  Senator Vrtiska, who's going to ask us to give some money to help renovate Peru buildings.  And I'm going to support the money.  I don't believe buildings should fall into disrepair and I don't think a whole campus should be moved on a pipe dream.  Maybe my mind can be changed though, who knows.  But right now that's where I am.




And when that money is paid out to somebody, we expect them to have done a job on that building.  Senator Vrtiska, if you were to tell me that you have two architectural firms who are going to draw up the design for renovating these buildings, and you're going to pay both of them the exact...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  same amount, and one is going to do the work and the other one isn't, am I supposed to support that?  Of course not.  But when it comes to these school districts, that's what we're saying.  You don't have to do this and you'll get just as much as this one who is doing it.  That makes no sense, and it's why I'm going to keep on talking on this bill until the cows come home.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, your light's next.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature.  I'm starting to feel at home again in the Legislature.  It feels like happy days are here again.  And this is a worth ...  this is a worthwhile issue.  And you know why I keep repeating it?  Sometimes repetition brings about realization.  But let me read this language that I'm trying to strike, and my motion is a reconsideration.  And I want this in the record, so when I distribute the transcript, it'll be clear exactly what language I'm talking about.  This is a direct quote, and this is the language I want to strike.  "Each district in the local system has an approved program for learners with high ability pursuant to sections 79-1106 to 79-1108 available to students identified as learners with high ability or, for districts that do not have any identified learners with high ability, an adopted school board policy to have an approved program for learners with high ability pursuant to sections 79-1106 to 79-1108 if any learners with high ability are identified".  Who's going to identify them and how?  Don't identify them and you get the money.  I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question, and this is about something that is separate...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  from what I'm trying to do.  Senator Bohlke, I had put this language in that other version of my amendment, which would have stricken some of the language, and I felt it was necessary to do it.  But this would apply only to those schools that have a program available.  If you look in line 16 on page 2, remember they've got the program available.  After the word "to" I would put "and being used by", which means that, if the program is actually available and these students have been identified, the program would be used by these students, otherwise you could have a situation where no school has any program and they still get the money.  We're presuming, and I'm trying to be as generous as I can, that if a school has a program available it's going to have children in it.  But I would ask you, what would you feel about language like that?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, what I ...  what I'm trying to take into consideration is the parent who may have 7 a- child who would qualify but does not.  want the child to qualify ...  does not...I mean, excuse me, does not want the child to participate.  And I'm, I'm thinking...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I understand what you're saying.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  that the parent has the right, I think that the parent has the right, currently, to pull the child from any program that they do not wish their child to participate in, but I'm just checking for one moment, if you'll ...  that, that would be my concern.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I see you r rationale.  That's why we ought to strike this whole section.  And if you all are going to do something with this so-called gifted area, do it in (LB) 1229.  That should be where you're going to do it.  Don't muck up this bill by putting this pipe dream in, when Senator Bohlke has already indicated maybe even if the program's available...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  no student will attend.  So if no student is going to be in the program, why make it one of these qualifiers for the money, and why make it mandatory that you have such a program or a school board policy if there is not




even a realistic expectation that children are going to be in these programs even when available?  What is the purpose of it?  If you can do it in another bill, do it there.  I know that my motion to reconsider is not going to go anywhere, but since I have offered that motion, it cannot be withdrawn, except by a vote or by unanimous consent, and I could not give my consent to it, so I guess, I'll just have to take a vote, but I will take a machine vote of whoever is here at the time.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time, Senator.  You're now recognized to close, if you choose.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Here's what I'm trying to get at with all that I'm doing.  If you have a bill and the aim is to encourage and nudge these schools to do more for these children, and you're going to do it by giving them some extra money, pay only for what you get.  If you're not going to get anything, don't pay for it.  And certainly don't tell these' districts in advance you don't have to do it and you'll still get the money.  When have we ever done anything like that?  I'm looking at Senator Jensen over there just smiling.  I can understand why.  He's in good company.  Senator Hudkins, I'm sorry, I can't say the same thing for you.  (Laugh.) But nevertheless, it's one of those situations where ordinarily Senator Jensen would be one of the very ones saying, this is not the kind of thing we can do with this money, it's not wise to say you're going to give money where nothing is required to be done in order to receive it.  This is extra money, above and beyond.  And the purpose is what has been stated many times.  But you don't have to achieve that purpose to get the money.  There are others on this floor who call themselves fiscal conservatives.  They don't believe in just throwing money around.  Well maybe because it's lottery money that they're willing to just throw it away.  But wherever the source of the money would be, I am interested in seeing that when these school districts get money, extra money, they do something to get that money, and they cannot get it unless they perform.  This doesn't say that they have to perform well.  I'm not saying they have to perform well.  They've acknowledged to us they can't cut the mustard, that's why we're bribing them.  But at least say you've got to put forth the effort and do as poorly In this program as you're doing in everything else that you're doing.  But in this one they're saying you don't even




have to do that, just get your school board to say, yeah, we'll do it.  And that's it.  Why should they do any more?  I'm sure that Senator Jensen, he's an investor, and he makes a lot of money on his investments.  But I know that Senator Jensen is aware that when he buys a stock or buys into one of these mutual funds, there is no guarantee that he's going to even get his money back, no guarantee.  And I'm sure Senator Jensen would much rather play the stock market by being told, Senator Jensen, you don't have to put any money.  You just mention a stock and when it pays off you'll get what that money would pay as if YOU invested, but we're going to go a step further, you don't even have to pick a stock.  If any stocks pay dividends, you're going to get that.  And there's Senator Hillman, but she's got to invest her money and she loses all of hers.  But you're going to get yours, even without investing money, without choosing a stock.  I can give all these examples and people quickly see that you understand that.  You can't even have a chance to win lottery money if You don't buy a ticket.  You even have to buy a ticket for that.  In craps you got to roll the dice to win.  You got to have some cards dealt to you in black Jack.  But in this game that the Legislature's putting together, best game in town for these school districts, you don't have to do anything and you get the money.  Just as would those districts that conscientiously are trying to do something- Is that how you give incentive to those who are sloughing off to pull their weight?  Is that how you do it?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  You tell them, I'm going to reward you where you are.  And that's going to make them work harder?  Why do you think there are supervisors, there are forepersons, they used to call them foremen, forepersons, to watch to see that people do the work they're paid to do.  And they say they'll fire you if you don't do the work.  But all of that goes out the window here and you don't have to do the work, and yet, you get the money.  It makes no fiscal sense.  It certainly is very bad legislating, and therefore I'm opposed to its being done and I will have to use the instrumentalities at my disposal to make my opposition known.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  You've heard the closing.  The question




before the body is the reconsideration of the Chambers' amendment to the first division of the committee amendments.  All those in favor ...  Senator Chambers, I ...  you had made a request earlier, you made reference to a machine vote.  All those in favor vote aye, all those opposed vote nay, for reconsideration.  Have you all voted?  We're voting on reconsideration, have you all voted?  Record.


CLERK:  2 ayes, 10 nays, Mr. President, on the motion to reconsider.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The amendment is not reconsidered items for the record, Mr. Clerk?


CLERK:  I do, Mr. President, thank you.  Senator Witek, amendments to (LB) 1070 to be printed; Senator Wickersham, (LB) 1174A.  Notice of hearing, Business and Labor.  The Governor, letters to the Clerk (re LB 497, LB 33, LB 109, LB 299, LB 376, LB 629, LB 834, LB 777, LB 822, LB 822A, and LB 369).  Senator Preister, amendments to (LB) 1075.  And LB 988 is reported to Select File.  (See pages 887-93 of the Legislative Journal.)


Mr. President, the next amendment I have is to the committee amendments by Senator Bromm.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bromm, you are recognized to open on your amendment.


SENATOR BROMM:  Mr. Speaker, I'd like to withdraw that amendment.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The amendment is withdrawn.


CLERK:  Senator Chambers, I believe you have the next amendment, Senator.  (See FA55S on page 893 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAM13ERS:  This would be the one that says page 3, line 8?




CLERK:  Yes, sir.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Members of the Legislature, a copy of this is being passed around to you, but I'm going to read it into the record, and it would be an amendment to AM3320.  Earlier, an amendment offered by Senator Bohlke was adopted.  I put in my amendment so that you can locate the exact wording of that language where it's found in the Journal, which would be at page 857.  This is another of those types of provisions where a school district is going to be given the same credit for not having a program in operation as one which is.  If I don't strike the Bohlke amendment, then what I'm trying to do cannot be achieved.  If her amendment had not been adopted, I would just strike the language in lines 10 through 13 that talk about the school district having adopted a policy relative to these mentoring teachers, or mentors, whether they are teachers or not.  Senator Bohlke's language was added, as she pointed out, to allow schools ...  well, you all heard the reasoning that she gave.  But that would have to be stricken to achieve what it is that I'm after.  And maybe she will tell me that it's not necessary to strike her language, but what I want to do, and I would not object to having this in the bill, starting in line 7, "Each district in the local system participates in the mentor teacher program pursuant to section 5 of this act", you add Senator Bohlke's language, "and provides a mentor for each first-year teacher employed by the district".  This is the language now which I would strike, "or, for districts that do not employ any first-year teachers, has an adopted school board policy to participate in the program and provide a mentor for each first-year teacher employed by the district if the district hires any first-year teachers".  I would like to ask Senator Bohlke a question.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, I understand and I'm going to go up to some language higher up.  I understand why you say in line 3, starting, "the local system has at least one teacher certified".  Is that because some school districts only have one teacher?  Is that why that language is there?






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So would this district having one teacher be allowed to participate in the mentor program by having their school board ...  would they be given the status by having their school board, which might consist of the husband and wife, adopt a policy saying that if they hire a first-year teacher, then they will join-the mentoring program.  That one-teacher school district would be allowed to take the benefit of this mentoring provision, isn't that true?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And if they never hired a first-year school teacher, that would not interfere with their ability to take advantage of this provision, is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's true.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Would you be willing to say that there must be more than one teacher before this mentoring provision can apply?  I'm trying to cut away as much of this, this gravy, this fat, this boondoggle as I can.  And I'm not saying I'm going to offer that as an amendment.  Let me ask the question a different way.  What is the logic of allowing a one-teacher school district to take advantage of this provision?  If they'd have to have a certified teacher as the mentor, then they got to hire two for' one, so why would they ever do that?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, it's actually the local system that has to qualify in this ...  the situation that you are talking about could be a district within that system.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  What do we mean by...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Remember last year, last...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  What do we mean by a system then?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  A system is a number of districts that create a system.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Then you mean to tell me that you could have a system that has only one teacher in it?  If you have a number of districts, how can there only be one teacher?  And if there is a district with several ...  if there is a system with several districts, do they have uncertified teachers?  There is something here that's not hanging together.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, are you at the top of page 3?




SENATOR BOHLKE:  That's on the factor of the nationally certified teacher,...




SENATOR BOHLKE:  ...  not on the mentor.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Right.  But here's...


SENATOR BOHLKE:  I thought you were talking about the mentoring program.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  No, but here's what I want to ask you.  The system has to have at least one teacher who is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.  Which teachers are required to have that kind of certification?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  None, presently.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Why do you want to have at least one with that certification?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Senator Chambers, that is a national certification that's very ...  that we talked about a little earlier, that's very rigorous and...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  I understand that.  But why require it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, I think that that is a demonstration of improving the quality, what we've been saying in every one of




the other factors, that eventually that could be one of the things.  I've said that would ...  may be the most difficult to attain.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And how many of these premier quality factors are mandatory?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Well, none are mandatory.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So, none of these need be utilized by any system.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  If they don't want the money.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, that's the same with these on the other page too, isn't it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Right.  So ...  and I had said that.  None of this is mandatory.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well, here's what I mean by mandatory.  I mean they must be complied with if you want the money, that's what I'm referring to always.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So are you telling me that they can discount all of these premier quality factors and still get the money?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Now we're back at the same place.  So when I say mandatory, I mean in order to get the money.  Because you made it crystal clear that all of this is voluntary, if they want to or not, but they can't get the money unless.  Which of these must a system comply with, all of these ...  there are four of them, in order to get the money under this premier quality part? 


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Any two in the third year.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  At no point do they have to meet all four,




though, is that true?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  In the seventh year.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So this one-teacher district could never ...  again, you say you're dealing with systems and not districts.  Tell me this then, how do you determine within a system how many students are going to be the basis for giving $50 per student?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  The money...the money goes to the system and then they distribute it to the schools in the district.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But I meant there has to be some basis for giving that system a certain amount of money.  SO is it based on the number of students connected with something, or the number of students in the entire system?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Students in the entire system.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So then they can get this money, if they look...  if we look at subsection (c), by just saying that if they ever employ a first-year teacher, then they get the money.  So they can go on for a period of time without ever employing a first-year teacher, but they'll get all that money anyway.  How many years can they go without hiring a first-year teacher and still be qualified for the money, if they have this policy in place?


SENATOR BOHLKE: long as you would have the policy in place, you would not ...  you would...  it would not prevent you from qualifying.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Does every system, as you use the term in this bill, have more than one school district...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  in it?


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Oh, no, no.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  So it is possible to have one school district in a system?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  And it's possible to have one school, one school district which has one teacher.  I ...  they were running some articles on that when they were talking about distributing this money, and they showed where the family comprised the makeup of the school district.  And the administrators, the school board members, were members of this family.  Maybe you weren't aware of.  that, but I'll try to find that article.  Do you concede that there could be a school district that has one teacher?  One classroom.  One teacher.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  There's a-district, there's a district that could have one, one teacher.  A system would have to have a certified teacher...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Senator Bohlke, your light's on next.  She waives off.  Senator Wickersham.  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members of the Legislature.  Senator Chambers, I'm going to have to oppose your amendment, only because you're striking the Bohlke amendment, 3445, that was adopted.  And what that does for my district that has a mentoring program in place is make...  if this bill does get through, and I know you said that it'll have a problem, but if it does get through,.  the Millard district will have to ...  we already have a mentoring program in the Millard district, and we already do that in district, as far as training and doing everything else for our mentoring program.  If ...  that is why Senator Bohlke's original amendment to allow those in-district programs that have already been set up to go ahead and be allowable under this piece of legislation, that's why I voted for it.  Now if you strike that amendment, 3445, and take that language out, Millard's going to have to go, even though we already have a mentoring program, and go through some kind of a state training program for the mentoring program.  For one thing it's a duplicate for the taxpayers in Millard.  We're going to have to pay for a program that we don't need, want, or that may be different and not even ...  not even with the approval of our




board or anybody else want ...  we don't even want this.  We want, in our area, what we've got, and that's, that's some of the objections I have to some of the things in this bill.  But I'm assuming that if they do want to try to be eligible for some of this money, that they don't want to have to go to the state for their training for their mentoring program.  So the first part of your amendment that strikes the Bohlke amendment is not going to be acceptable to my district, so I will be opposing your amendment.  And if you look at it from a taxpayer point of view, there's no reason why, we've already got something set up in the district, we've already got a program that's functioning, training that's functioning, why should we have to go to some type of a state training program for the same ...  for the same reasons.  So you're just duplicating what we've got.  I mean I know they could drop ours in Millard, but they're already up and running and they've already got this going .  I So I'm going to oppose it and I suppose the other larger districts would too.  Thank you.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature, I'd like to ask Senator Bohlke a question in view of what Senator Witek said.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Bohlke, would you respond?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Bohlke, the first version of this amendment that I was going to offer did not include striking the amendment that you, the language that you had adopted, because I heard that ...  the exchange between you and Senator Witek.  And am I to understand that the way this language reads, it is not putting in that upper portion of the amendment this idea that all you have to do is say that you're going to have this program.  The language you adopted means that there is a program -operational right now.  And your amendment, that language that we adopted in your earlier amendment, relates only to those programs that actually are operating?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Then what I'm going to do is correct my




amendment, whether it goes or not, I at least ...  what I'm looking at is the part of this language on page 3 which is found in line 10 after the word "district" where you allow merely having a policy as a basis to qualify for this money.  So what I'm going to have to do is withdraw that amendment and offer another one.  And I'm not going to...  I don't think anybody else has an amendment up there, so that's what I'm going to do.  Mr. President,...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  I want to withdraw that amendment that I have up there.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  It is withdrawn.  Next item on the bill, Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  I have nothing further to this...  at this time I have nothing further to this component.  Senator Chambers would move to amend, Mr. President.  (See FA556 on page 893 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and member s of the Legislature, Senator Witek whipped me down, but not really.  She explained what Senator Bohlke's amendment did, that it refers only to those mentoring programs which actually are operational now.  That is precisely what I'm saying the money should go to if it goes to anything at all.  What my amendment now would do is to start on page 3 in line 10, 1 would put a semicolon after the word "district".  Then I would strike all of the language that follows it through the word "teachers" in line 13.  So all of this language that talks about merely having a policy would be stricken, and the only time a system would qualify for this money is if they have a mentoring program in operation.  If they don't have it in operation, what do they need the money for?  Since Senator Witek has been so instructive and I've accepted her instruction, I'm going to ask her a question, because she may be able to help me further.  Senator Witek, would you yield for a question?




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Witek, would you yield to a question?  Senator Witek.


SENATOR WITEK:  Oh, I'm sorry.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Would you yield to a question, Senator Witek?


SENATOR WITEK:  I didn't hear ...  yes, I will.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Witek, what rationale would you give to the public for saying that even if you don't have a mentoring program operational, but you express your intention to have one, if the day ever comes when you hire a first-year teacher, that you nevertheless qualify for this money even without having the program operational?  What rationale would you give for allowing the money to go into a system like that where they do not have a mentoring program operational?


SENATOR WITEK:  Senator Chambers, I don't, I don't think that is a very fair concept, and I have, if you noticed, I did vote for one of your amendments that was similar, kind of leveling the playing field and having something in place.  I'm not sure if it was this one or the one for the high ability learners, but I, I agree that they should have that in place.  But there's also the unfairness that I believe is in this bill for smaller districts to be able to comply very...  it'd be very difficult for them to comply with the bill.  And I understand why senators from smaller districts would vote for those amendments, or this portion of the bill that would just say they had to have it on the books.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But what I'm asking you ...  well,, let me ask you this.  Are you opposed to the version of the amendment that I'm offering?


SENATOR WITEK:  I, actually, Senator, I have a lot of problems with this entire bill, and to tell you quite honestly, your Amendment I would not...  I would not oppose, but I would make it clear to the senators from smaller districts that your amendment does make it more difficult for them to get this money.  In the district that I represent, we already have a program that will comply.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But, Senator Witek, if the purpose of this bill is to encourage the creation of programs, whose purpose is to provide richer educational opportunities to the students, and a district does not have that program, why should they get the money which we are telling the public is designed for that purpose, when we know in advance the money is not going for that purpose?


SENATOR WITEK:  Because...


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Why should we do that?


SENATOR WITEK:  Because some districts, Senator, won't be hiring teachers on a very regular basis.  They have teachers who've been there for a longtime and their next opportunity to hire a new teacher will be quite some distance in the future, and you know, there are some circumstances here that would make At more, difficult for them.  Millard hires new teachers every year because we have such a large district.  But there are some districts that don't have to hire, and it's not like they're going to get rid of some teachers to go hire some new ones to comply with this bill.  So if they show their intention that when that occurs that they would do that, I'm not entirely opposed to that.  I can see the point.  I can see the circumstances where that would be necessary.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Senator Witek, are all districts in this state treated the same regardless of size right now?


SENATOR WITEK:  No, Senator.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But we've passed bills into law that treat these districts differently, and some of them say they might go out of business.


SENATOR WITEK:  I didn't vote for that.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  At least that's what they're saying.


SENATOR WITEK:  I didn't vote for that bill, Senator.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  No, no, but I'm saying, hasn't that been done by the Legislature?  Haven't bills of that nature been passed into law by the Legislature, that treat different districts differently?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Okay.  I can see your difficulty, so I'm not going to ask you any more questions because Senator Witek is a fiscal conservative, but she cannot follow her conservative principles on this.  It's one thing to feel sorry for these little districts and all that other.  We're talking about formulating policy.  And we're talking, in this bill with the language that we have, in making a political decision in order to get votes for this bill to say that money is going to be given to these districts as though they are participating in a program when we know in front they're not.  That, I call disloyalty to-the truth.  Somebody else more blunt would call it dishonesty.  How in the world are you going to tell people who are complaining about overspending, and I know this is lottery money, but once it takes on the nature of state funds, it's the public's money.  It's public money.  How are you going to Justify giving it to those who are not doing what supposedly is to be done to justify getting the money?  Why should they ever do it?  They would do much better never to hire a first-year teacher, because they pay that salary and they get money without having any mentoring.  But the minute they hire a new teacher, they get the $50, but now they've got to pay a mentor also.  So they got to pay the new teacher and they got to pay a mentor.  And I'm sure that even Senator Witek, as sympathetic as she is, can understand that this small district is not going to be of a mind to pay for two when right now they only pay for one, and get a bonus on top of it.  We're not even thinking along the lines that I'm always told the people in this Legislature think.  And there are some districts that have one teacher.  So you got a one-teacher district.  And that teacher, you have three children in the school.  So that's $150 that you get for those three students because you wrote on a piece of paper that we're going to have this mentoring program when we hire a first-year teacher.  So you don't hire a first-year teacher.  You pay this teacher and you get the $150 for the students that you have, $50 a head.  And if you hire a first-year teacher, you got to pay




that first-year teacher's salary and you got to pay for the mentor.  Because, an somebody pointed out later, to get somebody to volunteer eight hours a day is not likely to happen.  And you're going to get a certified teacher, somebody who's certified to teach, and they're not going to volunteer.  So you're going to pay more money.  For what?  We see these schools trying to find every way they can to get more money and spend less.  And we're putting in place these programs by offering bribes, and yet the bribe is not going to go on in perpetuity.  There's going to come an endpoint.  And when the endpoint is reached...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  what becaomes of these programs which exist only because of the bribe money?  I'm going to put my light on again.  because I.  got to continue on this.




SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  Senator Chambers, as you talk through your rationale, I guess, one thing I want to make sure that we all understand, and I'm sure you do, the money that's given out or distributed to districts isn't at all necessarily for paying for mentoring the new teacher or anything else that might be required to comply under the primary factors, the premier factors, or whatever they're called.  The ...  and I'm ...  as you look at pages 12 and 13 of the committee amendment, those are the areas that the money can be spent in.  So, I guess, if I were to try to make a case for leaving the language in there that you'd like to take out, I would simply be able to say, well, the money that's being distributed isn't for the purposes that...isn't for the purpose for which you have to have a program in place anyway, it's for other things that are on this list on pages 12, 13, and I think it even extends onto 14.  So I don't know, does that, does that make any more sense?  I would ask Senator Chambers, if he would want to respond to my...


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, would you respond?


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Senator Bromm, it doesn't make sense to me, because what I'm looking at, as the flaw in all of




this, is how the money will be brought into that district.  It's brought into the district because they supposedly have a program in place.  But they don't have that program.  That's what I'm looking at.  Not where ultimately they're going to spend that money, but what I'm getting to, why should they ever hire a first-year teacher?  Because even if they use 150 bucks for one of these other things, they're still going to have to pay the first-year teacher's salary and then pay the mentor.  So they're going to be spending more money when they hire a first-year teacher than they are now.  So don't ever hire a first-year teacher, put on a piece of paper that if, you ever hire one you'll get a mentor, but never do that, and yet the money continues to roll in and there's no end to when it will come in unless you reach that point where no more of this money is going to be available.  So it's how the money is obtained, without having the program that it's supposed to bring the program in, that troubles me.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you., Senator Chambers.  I have...  I agree with...I agree with your rationale.  The thing I have a problem with is that if we adopt your amendment, we're going to be shutting off a number of schools that should have access to the money for every other reason, except that they happen to be perhaps a school with one, two, three, or four teachers, and they aren't going to have the opportunity to have a new teacher to mentor unless, unless they, you know, cut a teacher loose to get a new one, and I don't think that's right.  So I'm struggling with that.  I think they should have to have the program to get the money, but the money doesn't go to pay for the program.  And so somehow or other I think we have to, we have to simplify this thing and pretty much make the money available to all schools.  And if we want to say that the money has to be spent for this list of things that are on pages 12 through 14,...




SENATOR BROMM:  ...  which are all laudable projects, then that's fairly simple.  And, I guess, I would, 1 would hope maybe we could work towards the simplification, and that way, I think most all schools could get some benefit out of it.  I understand what the goals are behind the bill to begin with, but it seems




like it's just...  it's just a little too complicated and a lot of hoops and the distribution formula is geared more toward the distribution of money than achieving improvement in education.  So even though I have trouble with your amendment, I'm still interested in trying to find a solution to that.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker, is this my third time on this?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Just a moment, Senator, I need to count.  No, it is not.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Senator Bromm, I understand what you're saying.  But here's what I've been angling toward from the beginning.  If we could just put together an honest bill that is designed to improve education, don't put conditions that cannot be met then lie to the public and pretend they're being met by writing it on a piece of paper.  You're going to say that in order to be in this foot race you've got to have two legs.  But we've got two people over here with one leg.  So we tell them, well, you don't have to run the race, all you have to say is if you had two legs you'd be in the race and we're going to consider you to have done like everybody else and you get the same thing.  Why create these fictions, and that's the most generous word I can use.  We know, and I've said it all along, that there are some of these things that some schools cannot do.  They cannot do it.  So why make it a condition?  And then while people are fighting off my amendment say, well, we know they can't do it.  And then Senator Stuhr, while getting them to lower the standards has to say, well, we're not lowering the standard.  But I'll tell you this, I bet if there was a requirement that you have a graduate degree to get a job and you went there to get the job and you got 30 hours of credit but no degree, they're not going to give it to you.  And they'd say, if you want us to give you this job with 30 hours but no degree, you're asking us to lower the standard.  That's what it was, but she could bring herself to admit it.  That's what people are being forced to do.  Then we have to deny that we're doing what everybody knows is being done.  Everybody knows this bill is a hoax.  Everybody on this floor knows it.  And yet we have to do




it and you want me to engage in the fiction.  Senator Schellpeper, maybe if I were a Christian I could tell all these lies and it wouldn't bother me.  But being a hell- bound, sin-cursed sinner, I have to tell the truth.  And I have to admit and acknowledge that I see what is in front of my eyes.  And what's in front of my eyes is a whole lot of smoke and mirrors, a whole lot of sham, a whole lot of dishonesty.  If I'm going to be told by Senator Witek and others that there are smaller systems and districts and schools that cannot meet these standards, then why put into the law requirements that they cannot reach and then say the, law is supposed to be for everybody?  That's what has always happened to us as black people.  This law includes everybody except black people.  That's the way it goes.  But here's the difference, when it comes to these little white districts, they say, but you can get it anyway even though you don't qualify.  We're going to give you a way to play like you qualify.  What I'm saying is we ought to just be honest and do away with all of that.  And if we're going to dip into those lottery funds for some other kind of distribution system, it ought to be different from what we're doing here.  Either acknowledge frankly that there are some school districts that are not going to be able to get this money under whatever formula is put together and determine which ones are most deserving or most needy and direct the money toward them.  If you've got all these little school districts out there and they're doing the best job they can with what they have to work with, but they need more and can genuinely show that they need it, make it available to them.  Senator Schellpeper, I think it was Jesus, in fact I know it was, who said it is the sick that have need of a physician, not they who are well.  So if there are districts that don't need this money, why find a way to say, well we've got to give it to them in order to give it to those who need it?  We got to feed the rich man who has a banquet every day in order to give the starving poor man and woman something?  To get their crust of bread we've got to give the rich man another turkey for his banquet table?  That makes no sense anywhere.  If there are poor people around here scavenging scraps, school districts doing a creditable job and doing the best they can, but because of certain provisions put into the law they don't have' the money, why don't you do something for them, if that's what you're of a mind to do?  And that's why I wonder what the...






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  real purpose of this bill is?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Chambers, your light's next.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Thank you.  Mr. Speaker, I want to give Senator Witek some exercise by seeing if she will answer a question for me?


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Witek, would you respond?


SENATOR WITEK:  I need that exercise, thank you, Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  My pleasure.  Senator Witek, would 'Millard drop their mentoring program, if this bill is not enacted into law?


SENATOR WITEK:  No, Senator.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Would it stop doing anything that it's doing, if this bill were not enacted into law?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Do you think that right now there are districts which would do more things for their students, if they had the money to do it?




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Why, then, don't we forget about the Omaha school district, Millard, and others that are doing these things anyway and make the money available to those who would if they could, but they can't so they ain't?


SENATOR WITEK:  You know, I think, very shortly there will be lawsuits here in the state, as there are in other states, on some kind of equalization issue, as you saw in 411 and 412 coming up, and some of these Very things will be forced probably




by a court, this is just a prediction from what you see in other states.  And the same thing that you're talking about will occur, but it doesn't occur with this bill and it doesn't occur with past legislation.  So ...  we'll just wait.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  But here's what I'm asking you.  If we have well off schools on the left side of the spectrum and not well off schools on the right side of the spectrum, why should we put in place through legislation a system that is going to give more to the well off schools and a bit to the less well off schools, but go no real steps toward bringing about a fair distribution of this money that could be made with what we have to distribute?


SENATOR WITEK:  I don't know why this is ...  I don't know how much support this bill has, I don't know why ...  I don't know why we can't leave the lottery distribution with the, you know, the grant program we just passed, Senator Janssen's bill last year on minigrants for smaller districts.  We've got distributions' that it's pretty widely distributed across the state already.  I don't ...  I'm not necessarily a proponent of changing what we're doing with the lottery money.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Well why are you going to support this bill then?


SENATOR WITEK:  I, I am not, Senator.  I have four amendments on this bill.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Oh, well sit down, Senator Witek.  You're wasting my time.  I had gotten the impression, from what you said earlier, that you were supporting the bill.  I'm sorry.  Members of the Legislature, ever since I've been here I've been in favor of improved education.  But I don't call bills that we enact education bills, I call them school aid bills; they go to schools.  But there is precious little said and even less done that will raise the quality level of what our children receive in the schools.  That is not even a part of it.  When you listen to our discussions, if you read the transcripts, only in passing do we talk about quality of education, just because those words have to be spoken.  But the vast majority of the time and effort will be expended on where money is going, because everybody




wants to get as much money as they can, but there are not strings attached.  And as soon as you discuss setting some kind of standards that have to be met, people say that's too much state involvement, you're taking away local control, and all these other reasons why nothing of substance should be done to improve and raise the level of education that our children receive.  We can say all we want to, but compared to other...




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  schools in this country, Nebraska has good schools.  That's like saying ...  well, here's-what Groucho Marx or one of those guys said.  He was asking about this lawyer and whether he was honest, and one of the members of the firm said, well, he's as honest as the average man.  And Groucho said, well, that's not very comforting.  And that's true.  We cannot always look at something which is going along very poorly and say we are doing it less poorly than that.  The standard of comparison has to be that we are doing better.  We're not happy to stand on the shoulders of somebody who's mired in the mud and say, because we're on their shoulders, we stand taller, but we're still not reaching the level we should reach.  And that's what I see in Nebraska.  I listen to students and I'm not impressed by what I hear.  I read their student newspapers, I'm not impressed by what I see; not just typographical errors, but errors in grammar, poor syntax, the inability to have clauses placed near that which they're to modify, and nobody even cares about that.  And I think education is demonstrated by how we carry on our day-to-day affairs.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Time.  Mr. Clerk, you have items for the record?


CLERK:  Mr. President, Senator Wickersham, amendments to LR 4S; Senator Coordsen to (LB) 989; Senator Bromm to LB 1228; Senator Witek to (LB) 1228.  That's all that I had, Mr. President.  (See pages 893-9S of the Legislative Journal.) I do have a priority motion, however.  Senator Wickersham would move to adjourn.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The motion before the body is adjournment.