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Tuesday, February 14, 2023 - Legislative Day #18
Archive of Past Legislative Alerts 
Happy Valentine's Day!
This Week at the State Capitol

Today was the 18th day of the legislative session, the General Assembly is almost halfway through its calendar.  Adjournment is set for March 29.

Today, the Senate Education Committee met to hold hearings on four bills.  The meeting was recorded and may be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/showcase/9027934?autoplay=1.  The four bills were:

SB 32
, which would create a "mobile panic alert systems" to ensure real-time coordination between local and state law enforcement and first responder agencies during a time of a school emergency.  SB 32 passed out of the committee.

SB 50 to permit school systems to offer instruction in lifeguarding and aquatic safety.  The legislation was approved by the committee.

SB 123 would establish a state-funded a "nationally recognized career and college readiness assessment in grades 11 and 12.  "The exam administration shall occur during normal school hours and shall be school wide and system wide."  All students in those grades "shall have the opportunity to participate."  SB 123 passed committee.

Most of the attention in the Senate Education Committee, however, centered around SB 88, a bill to require written parental consent for a student to change their gender identity on school records.  The bill contemplates banning drag show performances or "reading hours" in schools.

The bill appears to conflict with mandatory reporting requirements of educators by prohibiting conversations with students on matters of a "sensitive nature."  The legislation also attempts to create a statewide dress code for educators, by banning dress in a "sexually provocative manner," with no real definition for that phrase.

SB 88 also includes new statutory definitions of terms like "biological sex" and "gender identity."  The bill's sponsor presented the bill and admitted changes were needed with the bill.  There were numerous questions of the sponsor.  No vote was taken.  It is likely another hearing will be held on the matter.
Hearing on ESP Retirement Bill Thursday
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 will hold committee meetings this Wednesday and will meet in full on Thursday.  Both may be watched at the Department of Education's YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/@GeorgiaDepartmentofEducation/featured.  The agenda is here.


Next Legislative Alert will be Wednesday, February 15

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