If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.

Share this:
Wednesday, February 15, 2023 - Legislative Day #19
Archive of Past Legislative Alerts 
Education-related bills moving
through the legislative process

The House of Representatives today passed HB 87, a bill entitled the "Non-Traditional Special Schools Act," by a 170-0 vote.  The bill proposes changes to the charters of Coastal Plains Education Charter High School, Foothills Education Charter High School, and Mountain Education Charter High School.  These schools offer individualized, self-paced, accredited evening high school for students who would have otherwise dropped out of school and for students who have previously dropped out of high school.  In remarks before the subcommittee earlier, representatives of each of these schools expressed support for the legislation, which awaits a vote of the full House.  SB 58, by Sen. Billy Hickman, R-Statesboro, is similar legislation and is in the Senate Education and Youth Committee.

The Senate Higher Education Committee heard two bills this afternoon.  No vote was taken on either.  A vote on the bills will occur next week.  The bills are:

SB 52, by Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, which would require the Georgia Student Finance Commission to issue regular reports to the General Assembly and to establish participation and performance targets, including, but not limited to, targets to increase participation and success among under-represented groups of students in the state's Dual Enrollment program, and

SB 86, by Sen. Matt Brass, R-Newnan, which allows eligible students participating in the Dual Enrollment program to access HOPE career grant funds for certain CTAE courses, irrespective of whether they have reached maximum credit hour caps.

The House Higher Education Committee heard a number of bills today, including HB 276, a bill that seems designed to benefit one private school, South College in Chamblee, Georgia.  The bill proposes to give them state funding for their nursing program.  The committee also heard a similar bill, HB 228, for the benefit of Chamberlain University nursing program in Sandy Springs.

Gov. Brian Kemp's "Safe Schools Act" legislation, HB 147, passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee this afternoon.  The bill requires the Professional Standards Commission (PSC) to offer a "school safety and anti-gang" endorsement "for promoting and preserving safe schools and for identifying and deterring youth gangs."  The endorsement is voluntary.  The legislation also requires filing existing "school safety plans" with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA).  Currently such plans are filed with local law enforcement and local emergency management agencies.  Finally, the measure also requires schools to conduct an annual "intruder alert drill," from which parents/guardians may opt their child out.

Tomorrow will be the 20th day of the 40-day legislative session.

We have learned that legislation will be introduced in the next several days that removes the negative consequences of a "needs development" TKES summative rating.  Currently, two "needs development" ratings in a five-year period prevents an educator from renewing his or her certification.  GAE believes "needs development" ratings should be constructive and not punitive.  The bill reportedly will be similar to HB 1295, which passed the House of Representatives last year 159-4.

We also understand a bill will be filed as early as tomorrow to expand the number of high-needs subject areas in which a retired teacher may return to the classroom while drawing TRS benefits and full-time salary.  The measure would expand the program created by HB 385 last year by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Houston County, to address the critical shortage of educators in certain subject areas.
Hearing on legislation to increase retirement benefits for ESPs will be before Senate committee tomorrow
Thursday, the Senate Retirement Committee holds a meeting at 1:00 p.m. in the Senate Mezzanine to hear SB 105.

SB 105 is legislation that would eliminate the cap on the multiplier used to calculate benefits for school bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, and maintenance personnel in the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).  That cap is currently at $16.50.  The current multiplier is $16, which multiplied by years of service determines the monthly pension benefit these educators receive.  The average monthly benefit is $290.

The meeting will be live-streamed at: https://vimeo.com/showcase/9076493?autoplay=1

Separately, GAE is hoping to realize funding in next year's budget to increase the multiplier to its current maximum.
Contact Your Legislators About SB 105
As educators and constituents, you can play a critical role by communicating the importance of SB 105's passage.

Take a moment using GAE's "two-click" process to let your state Senator and your state Representative know that you strongly support this bill.  Click here to begin the process.

Following that link, you'll find a sample letter that will be automatically sent to your legislators.

PLEASE TAKE JUST A SECOND TO PERSONALIZE this letter.  Tell your legislators about yourself, where you work, and how valuable ESPs are to your mission.  Tell them a story about an ESP who has helped your students and how valuable custodians, cafeteria workers, school maintenance personnel, and school bus drivers are to you and your school.  Thank you.

State Board of Education Meets This Week

The State Board of Education held committee meetings today and will meet in full tomorrow.  Thursday's meeting may be watched at the Department of Education's YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/@GeorgiaDepartmentofEducation/featured.  The agenda is here.

Committee Meetings Tomorrow

The House Education Committee will vote tomorrow on HB 32, a bill to require the use of video review in high school football state championship games.

The House Higher Education Committee will meet tomorrow discuss legislation, HB 380, that would allow betting on sport events in Georgia.  Revenue would benefit HOPE and pre-K programs funded by the Georgia Lottery.


Next Legislative Alert will be Thursday, February 16

Follow us on: facebook twitter
100 Crescent Center Pkwy, Suite 500 | Tucker, GA 30084 US
This email was sent to joe.fleming@gae.org. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.

manage your preferences | opt out using TrueRemove®.

Got this as a forward? Sign up to receive our future emails.
powered by emma