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SB 0246 - "The Learning Pod Protection Act"; exemptions applicable to learning pods, student attendance, administrative and judicial proceedings; provide

Tracking Level: Watch
Sponsor: Matt Brass
Last Action: 4/7/2021 - Senate - Senate Sent to Governor
Senate Committee: Education and Youth
House Committee: Education

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

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SUMMARY:  SB 246/FA LC 49 0522S

This is "The Learning Pod Protection Act."  The bill's purpose is "to ensure that parents in this state who choose to voluntarily associate to advance the primary education of their children shall not be subject to additional restrictions or regulations." To date, there are no known cases in Georgia of this happening or being attempted.

A learning pod is defined in the bill as a voluntary association of parents choosing to group their children in grades K-12 together at various times, to include traditional before and after school hours, or places to participate in or enhance a remote learning option offered by their primary educational program.  Payment for services by the parents does not alter the definition.

Operation of a learning pod is defined as the parents of the children participating and any other individuals assisting them while engaged in any actions to organize, facilitate, or operate the learning pod and any facility, home, or other structure utilized by the learning pod.

Primary education in the bill is any learning mode or system recognized by the state for a student to participate in K-12 education. 

Participation in a learning pod to facilitate a remote learning option offered by the student's primary education provider shall satisfy all mandatory attendance requirements.

The bill exempts learning pods from most state, local, or school district statutes, rules, regulations, guidelines, and any other regulatory provisions. This includes regulatory provisions related to a day-care or child care center or an at-home day care directly related to the operation of a learning pod.  Exceptions include:

  • provisions relating to civil rights
  • insurance
  • protection of physical health and safety of school students, employees, and visitors
  • conflicting interest transactions
  • prevention of unlawful conduct
  • unlawful conduct in or near a public school

No state, local, or school district could initiate or conduct any site inspection, site visit, or other investigation that would not have been initiated or made except for the operation of a learning pod. 

No school district shall take any action or discriminate against or otherwise distinguish any student or parent based on their participation in a learning pod.

No state agency, local government, or school district shall require that any learning pods be required to register or otherwise report its existence or anything related to its operation.

If any part of the act is found unconstitutional, the remaining portions of the bill stand. 

 

EFFECTIVE DATE:

July 1, 2021 


Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text