Research / Education

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2019 legislative cycle begins, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to research and identify current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by SLC policy analysts Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore as a snapshot of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2019 legislative term.

This report previews current and emerging trends that have been identified under the purview of the SLC’s six standing committees, which are relevant to poli­cymakers across the South. The Agriculture and Rural Development preview discusses industrial hemp cultivation and the struggles of rural hospitals, while the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs preview considers occupational licensing regulations and the funding of transportation and state infrastructure. In Education policy, teacher pay legislation and school counseling are trends to watch for the 2019 legislative term, while the management of coal combustion residuals — commonly referred to as coal ash — is an important emerging issue in the Energy and Environment arena. The Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations preview compares online sales tax legislation in the wake of the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, and the Human Services and Public Safety preview examines balance billing policy at both the state and federal level.

Policy Analysis | August 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Due to a lack of training and education among prospective employees, many businesses often have difficulty finding enough skilled workers to remain competitive in the global economy. This is particularly the case for positions that require moderate to high levels of technical knowledge, which are critical for sustained success in today’s job market.

Successful apprenticeship programs, which have proven valuable for both businesses and students, can help state and local leaders address the skills gap that exists in many industries. For businesses, apprenticeships can nurture student interest in careers related to their industry, potentially increasing the number of applicants in the future and improving employee retention and productivity. They also facilitate robust partnerships with schools, thereby ensuring that education standards include the skills and training necessary to succeed in growing industries. For students, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to apply content learned in the classroom to the workplace, allowing them to explore career options by gaining critical work experience. Apprentices also can interact with mentors who can assist them later when they are seeking career opportunities.

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Comparative Data Report | July 2018


Hank Hager, Counsel, Senate Education Committee, West Virginia

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)

2018-2019 Chair

Joyce Elliott


Representative Kathryn Swan
2018-2019 Vice Chair

Kathryn Swan


Immediate Past Chair

Dolores Gresham


Cody Allen
Committee Liaison

Cody Allen
Policy Analyst

In most states, education is the single largest expenditure and often the top priority for lawmakers and their constituents. The Education Committee focuses on educational systems at all levels and investigates ways in which states are ensuring that Southern students receive the best possible education. Recent issues examined by the Committee include student achievement, workforce development, college and career-readiness, educational technology, and implications of neuroscience on education policy.

Other issues in which the Committee has long-standing interest include early childhood education; reinventing high schools; school accountability; educational assessment; recruiting, training and retaining teachers; and school safety. The Committee also has addressed ways states can slow the increase in administrative spending for education programs without sacrificing quality. The international implications for building a world-class education system in the United States to assure the nation’s competitiveness with a quality, well-equipped workforce for the future routinely has been addressed.

More SLC Research into Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2017


SLC Regional Resource | June 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing

Comparative Data Report | June 2016


Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Comparative Data Report | August 2015


SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Comparative Data Report | July 2014


Comparative Data Report | July 2013


Policy Analysis | May 2013

The Higher Education Disconnect

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Webinar | October 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Policy Analysis | June 2012

The Stafford Loan Crisis in Perspective

Policy Analysis | April 2012

Tuition Deregulation in Higher Education

Policy Analysis | February 2012

NCLB Waivers, Part Three

Policy Analysis | October 2011

NCLB Waivers, Part Two

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Higher Education Performance and Accountability

Policy Analysis | August 2011

Summer Heat and Fall Sports

Comparative Data Report | July 2011


Policy Analysis | June 2011

Race to the Top Round 3

SLC Issue Alert | June 2011

NCLB Update: The Waiver Option

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Post-secondary Access and Affordability

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Schools and Natural Disasters

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Changes in Teaching as a Profession

Policy Analysis | April 2011

School Choice and Charter Schools

Policy Analysis | March 2011

School Budgets Feeling the Pinch

Policy Analysis | March 2011

Changes to HOPE Scholarships

SLC Regional Resource | March 2011

State Section 529 Plans

Comparative Data Report | July 2010


SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

Comparative Data Report | November 2009


SLC Issue Alert | December 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

Comparative Data Report | November 2008


SLC Regional Resource | January 2008

Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

Comparative Data Report | November 2007


Comparative Data Report | November 2006


SLC Regional Resource | April 2006

Farm to School

Comparative Data Report | November 2005


Comparative Data Report | November 2004


SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2003


SLC Special Series Report | April 2003

Filling In the Gaps: Solving Teacher Shortages

Comparative Data Report | November 2002


SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

Comparative Data Report | November 2001


SLC Special Series Report | January 1999

Language Diversity in Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge