The Georgia General Assembly (legislature) will convene for its 157th,
two-year session on Monday, January 9
Many new faces will populate this year’s General Assembly, including a new speaker of the House and a new president of the Senate.
There will be a number of new committee chairs, including a new chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which determines how much the state will spend on public education and all other state budget priorities, including the Teachers Retirement System. Seventeen of the last 20 state budgets have seen cuts in public education funding.
A new chair will also preside over the Senate Retirement Committee. Other committee chairs and committee assignments will be announced in the next week. Even before the November general elections, we knew half of the House Education Committee were not returning to the legislature.
Ten new state Senators will be sworn in Monday and 42 new state Representatives.
Meanwhile, four special elections are underway to fill vacant legislative seats, including a runoff to fill the seat of the late David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, a Senate district and a House seat in southwest Georgia, and a seat in the Winder-Barrow area.
Key issues this session for GAE will include ensuring full funding for public education and the Teachers Retirement System. TKES reform is also a top priority. Proponents of taxpayer-funded private-school tuition (vouchers) will be back with their bills to give any and every student in Georgia free private-school subsidies.
GAE also will be focusing on improvements to benefits under the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) for school bus drivers, custodians, maintenance personnel, and cafeteria workers. The average ESP retiree under PSERS receive a paltry $250 a month in pension benefits.
GAE will also be working to advance a bill to eliminate school district waivers, which allow districts to ignore state laws and standards for schools. For example, state laws govern how many students may be in a classroom, but class size maximums are easily suspended by school systems that essentially need only to file notice with the Georgia Department of Education.
Your help in promoting GAE’s legislative agenda – and in stopping bills detrimental to public education – will win the day. Stay tuned.
About this event
Join us as we discuss the opening days of the session. We’ll preview what’s happening and review the State of the State Address by Governor Kemp. THEN, we’ll work together to introduce ourselves to our representatives and begin the conversations to ensure they support public education. This is a GAE member event!
SAVE THE DATE!
GAE District Meetings
About these events
As a GAE member, this is an opportunity to hear directly from your GAE District Directors on information from both GAE and NEA that impacts you.
District One - Thursday, January 26th, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
District Three - Thursday, January 26th, 7-8 pm
District Two - Monday January 30th, 6-7 pm
District Four - Tuesday, January 31st, 6:30 - 7: 30 pm
You will receive registration information prior to your meeting times.
GAE Election Timelines
February 1 and 15
As part of the democratic processes with our association, several elections are held throughout the year to choose our state-level leadership. Listed on the flier are the timelines and procedures for every election throughout the year. Please review carefully. While you will receive notifications of these elections as they approach, this serves as a SAVE THE DATE guide to help you prepare to run or support candidates for office.
NEA Delegate to the '23 NEA RA
GAE-Retired Delegate to the
'23 GAE Spring RA
Federal Court Sanctions School Board Attorney
Awards Attorney’s Fees, Costs
Senior Federal Court Judge Hugh Lawson ordered the Brooks County School District to pay $18,710.00 in attorney’s fees and $6,472.25 in costs associated with the filing of a motion for sanctions. In November 2020, GAE filed a lawsuit on Ms. Hilton’s behalf, alleging discrimination based on her pregnancy and her need for frequent medical leave. During a routine deposition of the school system’s human resources director, Defense counsel directed his client not to answer questions relevant to the lawsuit and engaged in other conduct that cumulatively impeded the fair examination of the human resources director. The Court found that the school board’s lawyer was intentionally obstreperous based on improper interjections and instructions to the witness, his failure to provide discoverable information, and his failure to adequately prepare the human resources director for her deposition. You can read more here lawsuit, here sanctions order, and here fees/costs]. GAE legal services is honored to represent Ms. Hilton, and we thank her for her membership. Members such as Ms. Hilton do not pay extra dues or out-of-pocket expenses. These are included as a benefit of membership. The fees and costs awarded in this case are reimbursed to GAE and placed into the member defense fund to assist other members.
If you are approaching retirement or have already taken the leap, remember that in order to maintain your valuable benefits from GAE and NEA, you must maintain your membership. You can join GAE/NEA - Retired either on an annual basis or lifetime basis for one flat fee. Please contact GAE - Retired President Toni Smith at email@example.com for more information.
GAEVoices is a monthly newsletter
providing general information of interest to members.
Have something for GAEVoices? Know of members who have received recognition or are making things happen in their schools and workplaces? Please email 50 words or less, along with no more than 2 photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. GAE Communications reserves the right to publish submissions based on space and need requirements.
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