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Monday, March 11, 2024 - Day 33
Prior Legislative Updates for this Year

3 bills heard in House Education Committee

The House Education Committee took up three bills this afternoon.

SB 169, which would limit the extension of hearing dates for student discipline tribunals, passed the committee today.
  The bill also requires that schools furnish instructional material to students while suspended.

SB 395, a bill to require opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, in public schools to block the effects of other overdoses such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone.  The legislation was passed by the committee.

SB 440, by Sen. Matt Brass, R-Newnan, would create the Accelerated Career Diploma Program through courses in the Technical College System of Georgia included in the "High-demand Career List" published by the State Workforce Development Board.  Grants for the program would be funded by the state Georgia Student Finance Commission. The bill also changes some definitions in the "Georgia Dual Enrollment Act."  For example, traditional dual enrollment students are limited to 30 semester hours paid by the state.  Under SB 440, the limit on semester hours may be waived for students participating in the Accelerated Career Diploma Program.  The bill also passed out of committee.

The two subcommittees of the House Education Committee will meet tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m.  SB 464 is a bill to create a web site where teachers can buy school supplies, presumably at a discount or with state funding.  There is no funding provided for the program.

SB 32 would require each public school district to implement a mobile panic alert system capable of connecting emergency services in real-time between schools and local and state law enforcement and first responders.
A Senate Education Committee scheduled for tomorrow has been rescheduled for Wednesday.  No agenda has been published.
The House Retirement Committee has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, March 13.  No agenda has been posted.
The House passed SB 50, which provides for instruction in lifeguarding and aquatic safety.
The House Higher Education Committee will hear SB 386, a bill that legalizes betting on sporting events, through the Georgia Lottery, with proceeds to benefit pre-K and HOPE.
At the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Education, Sen. Billy Hickman, R-Statesboro, expressed concern over the low starting salaries teachers make.

"I'm really concerned that the base salary that we are starting teachers at is so low we're gonna hit a cliff," he said.

Hickman said the Chick-Fil-A in Statesboro offers starting salaries of $19-an-hour, which working 40-hour weeks, could be as high as $39,520.  Hickman said that starting teachers in Georgia are beginning at $38,000-a-year.

He reported on a survey he conducted of teachers in his district, asking why are people not going into education.  According to Hickman, the reasons given were:
low income, unrealistic expectations, having to hold more than one job, a lack of lack of advancement/opportunity, little support from administration, and not enough classroom support.
Tomorrow is Presidential Primary Day in Georgia.  Polls are open 7 am until 7 pm.
Next Legislative Update will be Wednesday, March 13 for Day 34
There are just 6 days left in this session, spread out
over the course of the next two weeks and two days.

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