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Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - Bill signing and elections
After the adjournment of the 2023-2024 legislative session on March 28, Gov. Brian Kemp had 40 days to either sign bills into law or veto them.  Here is an updated list of notable education bills from this session that the governor has signed into law.

SB 105 is legislation to eliminate a cap in state law on retirement benefits for school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, food service staff, and maintenance personnel.

Effective July 1 of this year, the bill will result in a small increase of .50 cents for these education support personnel (ESPs) whose state pension benefits are through the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).

More importantly, however, with the enactment of this law, future increases can be realized now that the law that prohibited future increases will be repealed.

Other public education-related bills that the governor signed include:

HB 51 - A bill which authorizes local boards of education to use vehicles, such as mini-vans or SUVs, for the transportation of eight or fewer students.  GAE will be working with the Georgia Department of Education as they develop rules implementing the law, including who can operate such vehicles and what training or experience they need.

HB 874 - A bill which expands a state law requiring automated external defibrillators in all public schools.  It also requires "a written emergency action plan that establishes specific steps to take during a cardiac emergency in a school setting.”

HB 995 - A bill which requires each public school and local school system to make available for students in 11th and 12th grades a "nationally recognized multiple-aptitude battery assessment that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military."

SB 169 - A bill which provides for limits to the extension of hearing dates for student disciplinary tribunals.

HB 1122 - A bill which increases funding for administrators in charter schools. This bill also assigns numerical grades to schools, and allows children of educators (certified and non-certified) who work at least 20 hours a week to attend the schools which employ their parents.

SB 233 - A private school voucher bill which gives out a $6,500 voucher, paid for by tax dollars, to families that send their children to private school.

SB 351 - The "Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act of 2024," a bill which establishes a curriculum requirement for teaching students about responsible digital citizenship, safe use of the internet and social media, and the effects of social media on the mental health of young users.  The bill also requires school districts to establish a policy preventing students from accessing social media on school technology and school internet networks.

SB 395 - A bill which authorizes the possession of opioid antagonists in schools.

SB 464 - A bill which establishes a program that may provide eligible teachers with financial assistance to purchase school supplies online, if the program is funded.

SB 50 - A bill which authorizes public high schools to provide courses in lifeguarding and aquatic safety if they choose.


With the May 21 primary elections quickly approaching in Georgia, the window for voting early, in-person is now open through Friday, May 17.

There are several important races on the ballot this election, including primaries for state House and Senate seats.  You can visit this link to check your registration, check your polling place, get a sample ballot, and view the early, in-person voting hours and locations in your home county.

GAE is not recommending voting absentee by mail in this election if possible. North Georgia, including the Atlanta metro area, is experiencing unprecedented delays in the processing and delivery of mail.  There was a recent hearing in the U.S. Senate in which it was revealed that in April only 36% of mail was delivered on time in the region.  As a result, it is our recommendation that you vote in-person, either early from up and until May 17, or on Election Day on Tuesday, May 21.



The Georgia Association of Educators Friends of Public Education (GAE-FPE) has announced its candidate endorsements for the 2024 contested legislative primary elections taking place on May 21. The committee has endorsed the following candidates:

Senate District 20 - Republican Primary: Larry Walker
Senate District 28 - Democratic Primary: Donzella James
Senate District 33 - Democratic Primary: Michael "Doc" Rhett
Senate District 36 - Democratic Primary: Nan Orrock

Senate District 40 - Democratic Primary: Sally Harrell
Senate District 44 - Democratic Primary: Elena Parent
Senate District 53 - Republican Primary: Angela Pence

House District 38 - Democratic Primary: David Wilkerson
House District 41 - Democratic Primary: Teri Anulewicz
House District 47 - Democratic Primary: Debra Shigley
House District 75 - Democratic Primary: Eric Bell
House District 84 - Democratic Primary: Mary Margaret Oliver
House District 90 - Democratic Primary: Becky Evans AND Saira Draper
House District 91 - Democratic Primary: Dee Dawkins-Haigler
House District 98 - Democratic Primary: Marvin Lim
House District 129 - Democratic Primary: Karlton Howard
House District 137 - Democratic Primary: Teddy Reese
House District 168 - Democratic Primary: Al Williams


Georgia received over $4 billion in school rescue funds from the American Rescue Plan, or the COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

These funds can be used by school districts to improve infrastructure, purchase supplies, replace furniture or carpeting, HVAC and plumbing upgrades, and fund programming to help students and staff recover from the impacts of the pandemic, including bonuses and salary increases.

Now, with the deadline to spend these funds quickly approaching at the end of September, many school districts still have millions of dollars left unspent.  It is important that school districts make use of this money to the fullest extent.

If you  want to know how much money your system has left unspent, visit this dashboard, where you can filter by district and by funding source.  For more information about school rescue funds, how this money can be used, and how to encourage school districts to use it, please contact GAE’s American Rescue Plan Coordinator, Wyck Kinkade, at wyck.kinkade@gae.org.
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