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

Share this:
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 - Day 25
Archive of Past Legislative Alerts 

GAE President Lisa Morgan speaks to the Senate Education Committee today on SB 233


The Senate Education and Youth Committee gave its approval this afternoon to legislation that would give any student in Georgia a $6,000 state-funded voucher to be used at a private school of their choice.

The bill could be on the Senate floor for a vote as early as Thursday.

For more on the bill and to contact your Senator, click here.  Use GAE's "two-click" process to tell them vouchers are bad for Georgia's school children.

If just 10% of the 1.75 million school children in our state take advantage of the handout, the bill would cost a billion dollars each year in taxpayer subsidies mostly for the Atlanta-area's private schools ... money that would be better used for some of the pressing needs of our schools and students.

The committee also heard SB 211 to create the Georgia Literacy Council, which passed unanimously.

Bills to improve retirement benefits for ESPs clear Senate Retirement Committee today

Great news from the Senate Retirement Committee today.  SB 204, a bill to require the identification of school districts in Georgia that do not contribute to Social Security for members of the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), was be heard in the Senate Retirement Committee today.  PSERS is a system that is specifically for school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and maintenance personnel.  An amendment was accepted to extend the deadline for a report to September of 2024.  The amended bill passed committee unanimously.

The committee also unanimously voted today to send SB 105 for an actuarial study.  SB 105, priority legislation for GAE, removes the statutory cap on retiree benefits for ESPs in the PSERS.  This the first step in final approval before the bill can be adopted next session.

Gender identity bill to be heard tomorrow

SB 88
would 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.

SB 88 will be heard in the Senate Education Committee tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in Room 307 of the Coverdell Building.  The hearing will broadcast at:
The bill also appears to conflict with mandatory reporting requirements of educators by prohibiting conversations with students on matters of a "sensitive nature."  For example, if a student wanted to discuss abuse by a parent or guardian with an educator or counselor, he or she would need the permission of the abusing parent.

The legislation also attempts to create a statewide dress code for educators, by banning dress in a "sexually provocative manner," without definition of that phrase.

SB 88 also includes new statutory definitions of terms like "biological sex" and "gender identity."

Changes to the bill are expected to be presented.
Duty-free lunch/teacher planning time bill passes
The Curriculum Subcommittee of the House Education Committee met today to consider
HB 340 to protect duty-free lunch in grades K-5 and ensure planning time for teachers in grades 6-12.  The bill has bi-partisan support and passed the committee unanimously.  Excerpts from the bill:
"Every teacher who is employed in grades six through 12 for a period of time of more than one-half of the class periods of the regular school day shall be provided a daily planning period of not less than 30 consecutive minutes, and such employee shall not be assigned any responsibilities during such planning period ...

... This duty-free planning period shall not be calculated under any circumstances as a part of any daily lunch period or other noninstructional time."

The bill does includes exceptions in the case of "extreme economic conditions or an unforeseen and unavoidable personnel shortage."  The bill as introduced does not include a clause that would prevent school systems from waiving it.
State Rep. Doreen Carter asked the sponsor to include language so that the bill could not be waived by school districts.  Her request was not incorporated into an amendment to the bill.

HB 538, the Georgia Early Literacy Act, was also heard.  The sponsor of the bill is Houston County Republican Bethany Ballard.  HB 538 unanimously passed committee by a substitute.  GAE's member and president of the Cobb County Association of Educators (CCAE) was present to testify for the bill.  The committee also heard HB 537, another literacy bill, which states: Beginning July 1, 2025, "at least 20 percent of annual training requirements for all new and existing child care learning centers and family child care learning home providers shall be focused on age-appropriate evidence based literacy instruction."  HB 537 also passed out of committee.

The Education Policy Subcommittee of the House Education Committee will meet Wednesday, March 1, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 506 of the Coverdell Building.  There is no agenda posted as of this writing.

Next Update will be Wednesday, March 1

Follow us on: facebook twitter
100 Crescent Center Pkwy, Suite 500 | Tucker, GA 30084 US
This email was sent to stuff828@bellsouth.net. 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