Gov. Phil Bryant's Education Works bill is going to a conference committee after all.
Yesterday, the House delivered a crushing defeat to Gov. Phil Bryant's Education Works agenda, the governor's everything-but-the-kitchen sink education-reform bill that includes charter schools, a third-grade reading improvement program, teacher merit pay and many other provisions.
Today, the House went the other way. Now details of the bill, HB 890, will be negotiated by members of the House and Senate Education Committees as well as yet-to-named legislators.
The House voted 60-58 against the governor's bill, which passed in the Senate, meaning a few Republicans broke ranks and sided with Democrats in opposing the bill. Today's vote appears to be more a rebuke of Bryant's ram-it-down-throat tactic than of any individual education idea.
It was of little consequence since most of the important provisions of Education Works, including the charter-school bill, remain alive in separate pieces of legislation.
Ironically, the vote against Bryant's agenda fell on the same day at the former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is in town pushing education reform at Mississippi College. Bush's nonprofit, the Foundation for Excellence in Education drafted much of the model legislation on which Bryant's education plan was built.