News from the State Board of Education and the Capitol
News from the State Board of Education and the Capitol
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Friday, November 5, 2021

State School Board meeting and special legislative session highlight busy week


SCHOOL BOARD POSTS NEW RULES FOR 30-DAY
COMMENT
, DEFERS ACTION ON ONE, ADOPTS ANOTHER 


SCHOOL COUNSELORS.
The state Board of Education deferred action on a proposed rule (160-4-8-.05) that the Georgia Department of Education says will reflect expanding duties of counselors since the last rule on this subject was adopted 21 years ago.  The proposed rule would replace the existing rule and would support the implementation of Comprehensive School Counseling programs.  The proposed rule can be viewed here but changes are expected at the December Board meeting before it will be posted for 30-day public comment.  GAE members and counselors are asked to review the suggested rule language and share any concerns you may have with us at gr@gae.org.

ALTERNATIVE STUDENT TRANSPORTATION.


SB 159, which passed the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year and which was also signed into law by the governor, allows school districts to use lower-capacity (less than 8 passengers) vehicles for the transportation of special education students.  The Board of Education has put a new rule to implement the new law out for public comment (160-5-3-.17.) 

GAE will be providing comments on each of these proposed rules.  We ask that members who would like to provide input into our statement please email your comments and suggestions to gr@gae.org no later than Friday, November 19th.  You can also submit comments directly to the Department of Education.  Learn more about public comments and the hearings to be held December 9, 2021 here: https://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/State-Board-of-Education/Pages/Proposed-Rulemakings.aspx

PERSONAL FINANCE STANDARDS

The Board posted for 30-day comment the new, proposed, and required personal finance and economic standards that will replace existing economic standards.

These new revisions were in response to proposed legislation to require a personal finance course for graduation and a previous proposal to allow students to choose to take personal finance in place of economics.  Twenty-six percent of the current course is personal finance.  The new course standards are 51 percent personal finance concepts, including understanding personal finance, including instruction of understanding a pay stub, investments, balancing and reconciling bank accounts, credit scores, understanding tax forms, identity theft and protection, etc.

GAE will be providing comments on these new standards and encourages our members, especially those who teach social studies, to submit comments and share your feedback with GAE at gr@gae.org.

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS.

The State School Board also approved a new rule (160-4-2-.12,) new Health and Physical Education requirement to conform to HB 287, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor earlier this year.  HB 287 includes new content regarding the dangers of vaping along with existing content requirements pertaining to alcohol and tobacco.  New content on human trafficking will also now be incorporated into the middle and high school courses.

GAE IN FULL FORCE AT THE CAPITOL


The General Assembly has convened for its special legislative to re-draw congressional and state legislative boundaries, as required by the 2020 census.

GAE President Lisa Morgan was at the Capitol presenting GAE legislative awards to our friends of education.

Above, GAE President Lisa Morgan presents the Legislator of the Year award to State Rep. Chris Erwin outside of the state Capitol.  Erwin, a Republican who represents Banks, Habersham and Stephens counties in the House of Representatives, is a former teacher, principal, and school superintendent.  He is also vice-chairman of the House Education Committee.

The Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee today passed a Republican-drawn map of new state Senate districts, the first vote in this special session on any new map.  Additional votes are anticipated next week.

A meeting of the House Education Committee is expected next week.

The Senate Study Committee on the Age of Compulsory Education has recommended that the state raise the age from 16 to 17 that a student must remain in school.  SB 3, to do just that, will be heard in the Senate Education Committee when the regular session begins in January.

GAE 2021 Legislative Honor Roll

GAE’s Legislative Contact Team Aims to Amplify Educators’ Voices at the Capitol 

GAE is committed to becoming the most effective, respected advocacy group in the state.  By amplifying the voices of educators across the state, GAE can influence legislation that helps build the highest quality public education system we can and to ensure the needs of our schools, educators, students, and communities are met.

The GAE Legislative Contact Team (LCT) promotes a coordinated, clear message to represent our legislative agenda, by building and maintaining relationships with legislators in each of the 180 local House and 56 Senate districts in our state.

The Legislative Contact Team connects hometown voices with hometown legislators.

Legislative lobbyists at the Capitol can accomplish a lot but it’s the viewpoints of educators in legislators’ district that means the most.

You are a constituent, voter, and educator whose opinion is important to your representative and critical to the legislative process.  Your views can’t be considered by your representative if you don’t step forward and speak up.

The LCT pairs our members with lawmakers to establish relationships and foster ongoing dialogue.  You will be asked to use GAE talking points to convey educators’ view on issues and legislation during the legislative session.  The time commitment is minimal but the return is huge.

We’ll arm you with the information you need to cultivate your relationships with your legislator to set you up as the local expert on public education.

Never has this been as important as it is now with redistricting set to re-draw legislative lines and state and congressional elections that will result in dozens of new open legislative seats.

Will you join GAE’s Legislative Contact Team?
Join LCT!

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