Legislative Daily Reports

06/29 - 2020 Session Wrap Up

2020 Session Wrap Up
by Scott Bierman on 6/29/2020

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It was an unseasonably warm January morning, with the weather resembling Sine Die rather than the opening day of session. No one could forsee what lay ahead for the General Assembly when the session kicked off that day. Yet here we are, early July and the session just finishing up. 

No topic displayed that more than the budget. The debate around the budget for the vast majority of the session revolved around whether or not the remainder of Governor Kemp's teacher pay raise would be included, or if the General Assembly's desired tax cut would get priority. Right before the suspension of session a deal to add both to the budget was reached, and it seemed like a compromise was at hand. However by the time session resumed, it had become clear that not only would there be no tax cut or teacher pay raise, but a sizable cut was ahead. Ultimately, a 10% cut to most state agencies and programs, including QBE, was settled upon. Our analysis of the final budget can be found here in our Day 39 report. Governor Kemp signed this budget on June 30, one day before the start of the new fiscal year.

The post-suspension final stretch of session offered some action, but seemed scaled back compared to years past. There were only a handful of committee meetings, with both chambers only taking one day off over a two week stretch to make sure they got their work done by the end of the fiscal year. 

The following bills passed the General Assembly and have moved to Governor Kemp for his consideration:

  • HB 86 - Provides a review and appeal process for teacher evaulations
  • SB 68 – Education omnibus. Includes financial training, teacher evaluation (HB 86), elimination of the CTO (HB 32), public comment requirement at school board meetings (HB 464)
  • HB 855 – Ensures screening of foster children for the potential negative impact of trauma
  • HB 755 – Requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet to local charter schools in their distric
  • SB 367 – Governor Kemp's assessments bill. Reduces the number of state wide assesments and shifted the testing window to the final 5 weeks of school
  • SB 430 – Allows local districts the option to let Home and private school students enroll at college and career academies
  • SB 431 – Defines on time graduation rate
  • HB 957 – Clean up bill for the section on charter schools
  • SB 294 – Gives TRS the ability to invest in alternative investments
  • HB 779 - Makes adjustments to TAVT distributions for cities and city school districts 
  • HB 444 - Makes changes to dual enrollment program.  

Of the bills that made it pass Crossover, the following were not passed:

  • HB 1094 – Paid parental leave
  • HB 1026 – Revises the number of REACH Scholars by system
  • HB 349 - Requires local districts to provide feminine hygene products in schools
  • HB 336 - Allows retired teachers the opportunity to return to work
  • HB 736 -  Gives a $3,000 tax credit to teachers in rural or "turnaround" districts
  • SB 40 - Extends the employee prohibition on sexual contact with students
  • HR 962/HB 829 - Allows local boards to call for a local vote that would set the property tax assessment at 20% for homeowners 65 and older

All the legislation that was passed will now go to Governor Kemp for his signature. Last session, his first as governor, he vetoed several bills so it would not be a surprise to see him do so again. 

Several major pieces of legislation, that did not make it past crossover are still lingering and could very well make an appearance when the new session starts next January. Each year for the past several years, we have seen at least one voucher bill. Likewise with Tim Tebow legislation. Those pieces of legislation did not pass this year, but keep an eye out because there is a very good chance we could see both again next year.

 

06/26 - Day 40: End of a Marathon

Day 40: End of a Marathon
by Scott Bierman on 6/26/2020

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Each session has its own personality. Some may be sleepy, others may be action packed. You really don't know what session will bring until after it is all over and you can look back and assess. This session does not need that level of retrospection to acknowledge the oddity of it all, and the fact that we may never have another session like it. We wrapped up the 2020 session Friday night, it what can accurately be described as a marathon of a session. While they are usually hurrying to get session done to be home in time for spring break, or to Augusta for The Masters, this year the rush was to finish before the end of the fiscal year and the 4th of July. Here's hoping next session is back to normal.

Despite the unusual nature of the close to this session, some things never truly change. The day started with the annual rumor that this Sine Die would be different, and it would be finished early. Yet true to form, session dragged on late into the evening as the House and Senate wrapped up the week with a flurry of bills. 

Most of the eyes were on the House, as they had several major bills to take up before the close of the session. The budget was the most important bill of the evening, but HB 167, which provides COVID-19 liability protections for state and local governments as well as many businesses and individuals, had the potential to be called as well. A disagreement over the bill led to negotiations in the afternoon, but eventually a new bill was agreed upon and passed by both chambers later in the evening. The text of that bill, HB 359, can be found HERE.

The House also passed the conference committee report to SB 68, which the Senate passed the night before. This bill was a combination of four education bills:

  • SB 68 original version included language addressing financial governance issues of local boards   
  • HB 32, moving the position of chief turnaround officer to a Department of Education staff position. The funding for this office had already been moved over to the DOE in the budget.
  • HB 86, the teacher evaluation bill.
  • HB 464, relating to public comments at local board of education meetings

A peculiar thing happened following the vote on SB 68. Despite the fact that the House (and Senate) already approved the conference committee report for SB 68 which included the teacher evaluation bill HB 86, the House brought up and voted on HB 86 on its own. I guess the legislature really wanted to make sure it is known that they support HB 86.

HB 855, which ensures foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them, also passed the House Friday afternoon. 

Due to space restrictions caused by COVID-19, the House utilized a roll call voting system during the return to session. Over the past two weeks this has made each vote taken by the House take around 5-10 minutes, depending on the vote. While that does not sound like a long time, on days like Thursday and Friday when so many votes are taken, a backlog can occur. That was most prevalent this evening as the Senate had to go into several recesses to allow the House to pass enough bills for the Senate to agree on.  

However at the end of the night it was the Senate that we all ended up waiting on. It took some arm wrestling to get everyone on board with the House version of HB 359, postponing a long awaited sine die. 

Along with HB 359, the Senate took up a handful of bills on the day, but none dealing directly with education. 

We will have a full wrap-up of all the bills that passed, and all that did not early next week. 

From Angela and I, thank you all for following along with us this adventurous session.

06/25 - Day 39: Budget Arrives

Day 39: Budget Arrives
by Scott Bierman on 6/25/2020

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The long awaited FY2021 budget agreement finally made its debut this afternoon during a meeting of the Joint House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee. Faced with a difficult task of navigating through a budget agreement during a pandemic and uncertain revenue projections. Chairman Blake Tillery was given the extra hurdle of learning on the job after taking over as Senate Appropriations Chairman during the session's suspension after the passing of the late Senator Jack Hill. Will all of that in mind, all involved did a great job navigating the rocky terrain and coming through with a budget agreement that attempts to minimize damage done by COVID-19. 

We will be putting out a detailed look at the budget in the near future. In the interim, here are a few highlights of the budget according to House Appropriations Chairman Terry England:

  • 10% cut to QBE
  • Enrollment growth, equalization, sparsity grants are all fully funded
  • No cuts to transportation 

Be on the lookout for more from GSBA on the FY2021 budget.

Following the committee meeting, the Senate took up, and after brief presentations from Chairman Tillery and Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, passed it by a vote of 40-13. 

As for the rest of the day, both chambers kicked it into high gear. Opening session shortly after 10am, the House and Senate started a stream of voting that lasted into the evening. The Senate focused their day on voting on House legislation that had yet to receive a vote in the Senate, the House took the opposite route and focused mainly on agree/disagree votes on House bills that had come back over from the Senate. 

The Senate took up the following education bills:

  • HB 855, which ensure foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them
  • HB 755 which requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charters within a certain time period.
  • HB 86 which provides a review and appeal process for teacher evaluations 

HB 855 and HB 86 were amended and now must go back to the House for further action. HB 755 goes to the Governor for his signature. 

The Senate also approved the House's changes to SB 367, the assessment bill. This too goes to Governor Kemp for his signature. Seeing as he had input on the bill and held a press conference in his office when it was introduced, I believe it had a good shot of being signed. 

Finally, the Senate closed out the education portion of their day's work by approving the conference committee report to SB 68. This bill was around toward the end of last session, and a conference committee was appointed earlier this session. If you recall  

SB 68 started out addressing financial governance issues of local boards but eventual it included three other bills.  

  • HB 32, moving the position of chief turnaround officer to a Department of Education staff position. The funding for this office had already been moved over to the DOE in the budget.
  • HB 86, the teacher evaluation bill. The exact same language was voted on by the Senate earlier in the day.
  • HB 464, relating to public comments at local board of education meetings

If you've been reading along over the past two weeks, you have noticed a fight brewing between the House and Senate over which bill would be stripped and replaced with language that would cut the salaries of the members of the General Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor. We received our answer. The Senate agreed to the House's changes to SB 416, a bill that would have made administrative changes to the college and career academies office, but will now carry the pay cut language. That leaves HB 1094, the paid parental leave bill, in a state of limbo. The Senate can either take the bill back up and agree with the House's language, or take no action and kill the bill.

The House did little in the way of education related legislation, but thats not to say they were not busy. Over the course of the day, the House approved the Senate version of over 20 bills, while handling several bills they were taking up for the first time.

Friday June 26

The House and Senate will kick things off tomorrow morning at 9am for what is expected to be a long day.  The House still have to approve the committee report for they FY2021 budget, while also dealing with the Senate changes to HB 86 and HB 855, among other items. The Senate will have the opportunity to take up the parental leave bill, if they so choose. There are many non-education bills to be dealt with tomorrow and there is always the chance for a surprise or two.

06/25 - Day 39: FY '21 Budget

Day 39: FY '21 Budget
by Angela Palm on 6/25/2020

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With a change in the revenue estimate (the good kind) and an infusion from the reserves, the FY '21 budget turned out better than it looked like for a while.  There are more cuts than additions in much of the budget, but the Conference Committee clearly had priorities and made strategic decisions.  At the state level, all furloughs were eliminated. House Appropriations Chair Terry England defended Senate Chair Blake Tillery.  He said he did not like a lot of the comments he saw and heard about the Senate budget which was based on 14% cuts across the board, then reduced to 11%. They had a hard job and did the best they could with what they had.

There is a 10% cut to QBE -- $950 million.  That's a lot, and it will be impactful one way or the other.  Enrollment growth, training and experience, equalization, and sparsity are all funded.  The proposed cut to transportation was eliminated.  As the Conference Committee reviewed the budget, it was clear they had prepared for criticism around the education cuts.  

  • The CARES funding was mentioned as helping fill in this hole. School districts received about $450 million.  It was distributed under the Title I formula, so how much the federal funding helps will vary by district. But thank goodness we got that money, however much it was for your district. 
  • Second, they have been looking at the reserves held by districts.  Obviously, the amount in reserves varies greatly across the state also.  From their comments it was not clear whether they were looking at the total reserves or the unrestricted amount.  There is of course a big difference.  
  • Between CARES and reserves, they expect most districts to function well enough that students won't know the difference. 

Here's your annual reminder about the importance of communicating with your staff and your community about your budget.  What percentage of your funding comes from the state?  How much local?  What is the QBE cut?  How much did you get from CARES?  How much do you have in reserve?  What factors do you take into consideration when deciding how much to dip into those reserves?  Expectations for the economy would be one of them.  Also talk about the additional costs you will have this year -- all the costs associated with COVID-19, preparing for various instructional scenarios etc.  What are your options for implementing the cuts?

By the Numbers 

Department of Education

  • $141.7 million was added for enrollment growth and training and experience
  • $32 million was added for equalization
  • $32 million was added for the state charter supplement
  • Sparsity grants were increased by $1 million 
  • $927,142 was added to Pupil Transportation for enrollment growth
  • $304,000 added for one AP exam for free or reduced eligible students and one STEM exam for all students 
  • $229,000 was added for charter system grants
  • $20 million in bonds for school buses
  • $7.8 million in bonds to purchase career and technical equipment
  • $3 million in bonds for facility improvements and repairs 
  • $1.25 million in bonds for alternative fuel school buses
  • $1.1 million in bonds for agriculture education equipment
  • $950 million was temporarily cut from QBE due to revenue decline
  • GNETS lost $3.8 million due to an enrollment decline and $6.1 million for grant
  • $5 million was removed from the testing budget to recognize credits for unadministered Milestones 
  • The Chief Turnaround Office has been eliminated.  That work will be taking place through the School Improvement Division
  • CTAE film/audio grant program was eliminated to save $2 million
  • $1.5 million was cut from RESAs for consulting services and grants
  • $1.3 million was taken out of the testing budget to recognize renegotiated contracts 
  • $1.1 million was reduced for Extended Day/Year, Vocational Supervisors, Industry Certification, and Youth Apprenticeship programs 
  • $904,000 was reduced from the differential pay for new math and science teachers
  • $700,000 was cut from the funding for feminine hygiene products.  They are to prioritize the remaining funds for districts with a high free and reduced lunch eligibility
  • $400,000 was cut from Testing for training and outreach on formative instructional practices 
  • $352,000 was cut from School Improvement to eliminate three vacant specialists positions
  • $93,500 was cut from the grants for computer science professional development, a phased-in requirement from last year
  • Local five mill share was reduced by $71 million

Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) is about half the size it was budget-wise.  

  • $2.3 million was moved to fund the early language and literacy pilot at the Department of Early Learning and Care
  • $12.6 million was transferred to the Department of Education for student support (that's how equalization was saved from a cut)
  • $1.6 million in other cuts

The programs remaining listed under GOSA are the Master Teacher Leadership Academy, Governor's Honor's Program, GA Awards, and Research and academic audits.  

Dual enrollment, which falls under the Student Finance Commission, was cut $11 million.  With the changes in the program, the total funding for it this year will be almost $90 million. 

State Health Benefit Plan had $14 million in existing technology contracts redirected to statewide prevention and well-being activities.  A report is due to the General Assembly by December 1, 2020, to evaluate the results and the return on investment.

06/24 - Day 38: Waiting on a Budget

Day 38: Waiting on a Budget
by Scott Bierman on 6/24/2020

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After the coming to an agreement on the hate crimes bill, the focus again shifted to the budget. From our perch in the Capitol, we could see Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery heading down to the 2nd floor where Governor Brian Kemp and House Appropriations Chairman Terry England have offices. We are getting down to the wire, so an agreement on the budget is expected soon. On the House floor, we did see a preview of what could be a tense floor debate of the budget agreement.

SB 416, which originally renamed the Office within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) that deals with the college and career academies, and authorizes the Commissioner of TCSG to appoint a Director of that Office, came up for a vote late in the afternoon. However, like HB 1094 last week, the bill was gutted and replaced with language that cut the salaries of the members of the General Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor. Some members saw this move as "leading by example" others saw it as a meaningless gesture. There was mention of the larger budget issues, with each party having an opinion on what should be done, using the salary cuts as the vehicle to express their frustrations. 

Speaking of HB 1094, the House voted to disagree to the Senate's version of the bill. This effectively means the House would like to keep the parental leave text in the bill, and use SB 416 as the pay cut vehicle instead. With SB 416 being Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis' bill, a showdown over these pieces of legislation is upon us. 

In the education world, SB 367 was heard on the floor and passed by a vote of 151-0. As you recall, this legislation was introduced by Senate Education P.K. Martin, with great input from Governor Brian Kemp and Superintendent Richard Woods. The main provisions of the bill:

  •  Removes 5 of the 7 exams that are above the federal requirement
  •  Changes the testing window to the last 5 weeks/25 days of the school year
  •  Requires the DOE to publish a report of aggregated data from local school and school systems to compare their performance to that of other states'

SB 367 now moves on to the Senate where they can either agree or disagree to the House's changes. 

Thursday June 25

The House and Senate will meet at 10am to start the 2nd to last day of session. 

The following education bills are on the Senate Rules calendar for consideration on the floor over the next two days:

  • HB 855, which ensure foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them
  • HB 755 which requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charters within a certain time period.
  • HB 86 which provides a review and appeal process for teacher evaluations 

06/23 - Day 37: Hate Crimes Bill Takes Center Stage

Day 37: Hate Crimes Bill Takes Center Stage
by Scott Bierman on 6/23/2020

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Education took a back seat during today's session, as all eyes were squarely focused on the hate crimes bill. Both the House and Senate were wrapped up in its proceedings, with both chambers taking periodic pauses throughout the day to see what exactly was going to happen. After a length floor debate in the Senate chamber, mainly filled with impassioned speeches from both sides of the aisle, the bill was passed and moved over to the House, where they quickly took it up and passed it. The bill now goes to Governor Kemp, who has already announced that he will sign it.

One education bill of note was voted in the Senate today, as HB 167 was debated and ultimately passed. This bill provides for COVID-19 related protections for state and local governments, as well as many businesses and individuals. It was a tense debate but ultimately passed.

Senate Education and Youth

Originally scheduled for 1pm, the Senate Education and Youth committee met later Tuesday afternoon for its final meeting of they year. The committee took up the following bills. 

  • HB 855, which ensure foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them
  • HB 755 which requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charters within a certain time period.
  • HB 86 which provides a review and appeal process for teacher evaluations 

A substitute was provided for HB 86, that gives districts flexibility to develop their own policy surrounding evaluation appeals. The effective date was also changed from August 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021 to give districts time to develop a plan and to avoid any problems that arise due to COVID-19..  

Wednesday June 24

The House and Senate will both start their session at 10am as we reach the final 3 days of the 2020 session.

House Government Affairs will meet at 8am in room 506 CLOB 

06/22 - Day 36: The Final Week Begins

Day 36: The Final Week Begins
by Scott Bierman on 6/22/2020

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The final week of the 2020 General Assembly session started off with a long Monday session for the Senate, as they hung around the Capitol until well after dinner, while the House finished their activity by mid-afternoon. Of note for the education community:

The Senate passed out HB 779, legislation that makes adjustments to the distribution of TAVT revenue where there is a city school district.  

The House passed SB 294, a bill that allows TRS to invest in alternative investments 

FY2021 Budget Conference Committee

Members of the FY2021 budget conference committee met Monday morning to "begin" the process of finding a budget compromise between the House and Senate, and while this was the first official meeting of the group, it is a near certainty they have at least already held conversations on what the final budget will look like. The meeting itself was merely an introductory one, with everyone in the room acknowledging the challenge ahead, as well as the unusual circumstances that put us in this situation. 

Early in the evening, Governor Kemp released a new revenue estimate, adding back around $300 million in funds that were previously scheduled to be cut. Most importantly, he is recommending the General Assembly add back around $53 million into QBE. We will find out shortly if the General Assembly will agree with the Governor.

House Government Affairs

Chairman Shaw Blackmon held a Government Affairs committee meeting Monday to take up two bills which were not previously on the committee's agenda. Of note to school boards was SB 413. While at first glance this bill does not impact school boards, the underlying language was stripped and replaced with something that has a great impact. The new version of the bill amends the Open Meetings law to allow for public hearings to be held by teleconference during an emergency, very much like the pandemic we are currently facing. The bill passed out of the committee and now moves to rules.

Senate Education and Youth

A casualty of the long Senate session was the Senate Education meeting. Originally scheduled for 2:15pm Monday, the meeting was moved back, and eventually rescheduled for Tuesday at 1pm. Three bills are on the agenda, 

  • HB 855, which ensure foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them
  • HB 755 which requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charters within a certain time period.
  • HB 86 which provides a review and appeal process for teacher evaluations 

Tuesday June 23 

The House and Senate will gavel in a 10am.

As mentioned above, the Senate Education and Youth Committee will meet Tuesday at 1pm in 450 CAP

06/20 - Day 35: Live from Atlanta it's Saturday Session

Day 35: Live from Atlanta it's Saturday Session
by Scott Bierman on 6/20/2020

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Early in each session, people are happy to be back at the Capitol. Conversations are light and jovial, personal stories are shared, and everyone is generally in a good mood. Flash forward to days like today, and that sense of camaraderie is long gone. Everyone is on edge and eager to fight one another. Saturday was a prime example of that just in the fact that they were in session on a Saturday, mainly they could not come to an agreement on a calendar. 

Action on the floor was relatively light for the Senate, most of the action came during the Points of Personal privilege as members of both parties game passionate and fiery speeches on the pending hate crimes legislation, sometimes taking direct aim at members of Senate leadership. Once voting started, the Senate took up five bills, one of which related to education. SB 957, which had some code cleanup related to charter schools, passed the Senate in a 47-0 vote. Following the vote on the 5th bill, the Senate broke for a Rules meeting to set the schedule for Monday. Despite the back and forth and the threats of a Sunday session, both chambers agreed to an adjournment resolution that ends this odd session on Friday June 26. 

The House got a later start than the Senate this morning, as they were scheduled to come in an hour later but then had that start time pushed back an additional 15 minutes. With a lengthy calendar and a Rules Committee meeting prior to the start of the day's session, the House was set up to be in for a long day. However, many bills that were held over from Friday were held over again to Monday. Included in the day's action was the House's instance on their position in regards to the FY2021 budget. This was merely a procedural measure as the two chambers then appointed members of the conference committee where they will work out their differences. The House eventually voted on one education bill, which passed by a vote of 140-0.

  • SB 430 which authorizes local boards to allow home school and private school students to take classes at a college and career academy if there is space available.

Monday June 22

The House will come in at 11am, while the Senate will follow at 12pm.

Senate Education and Youth Committee will meet Monday afternoon (originally scheduled for 2:15pm, but will be moved). The committee will take up two bills HB 855, which ensure foster children are immediately assessed for any negative impact trauma has had on them, and HB 755 which requires local districts to provide an allotment sheet for its charters within a certain time period.

06/19 - Day 34: Wild Day Under the Gold Dome

Day 34: Wild Day Under the Gold Dome
by Scott Bierman on 6/19/2020

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It started as a relatively nondescript Friday at the Capitol. The Senate was scheduled to take up the FY2021 budget along with a handful of other bills, the House had a few bills on their calendar, and the afternoon looked light outside of a smattering of committee meetings. However, things did not turn out that easy, as chaos reigned Friday. 

Committee meetings were canceled, then added back at the last moment. The House took a long break in the afternoon only to come back with a 20 bill supplemental calendar that took their business to early evening. The Senate finished their last bill on the floor at 1:15, then recessed until later in the evening. During this recess, Senate rules met and put together a 6 bill rules calendar for consideration on Saturday. All the while rumors were swirling that not only would the General Assembly meet on Saturday, but would hold session on Father's Day too. 

Why? Well... that is the million dollar question. Could it have something to do with the hate crimes bill? Perhaps the budget? Were members concerned about a positive COVID-19 tests? Or is it as simple as the fact that they could not agree to an adjournment resolution. Allow me to editorialize for a moment and say that the tension from all of the above probably played a part in the madness. 

As mentioned above, the Senate took up and passed out, along a party line vote, the FY2021 budget. For a detailed look at the budget proposal, be sure to check out Part 1 of Day 32's Capitol Watch HERE. In all, the Senate voted and passed out four bills during their floor session.

The House outpaced the Senate by taking up and passing 10 bills on the day. Of note to the education community was SB 431, legislation which defines "on-time graduation rate" as counting only those students who are continuously enrolled in a school for four years from October 1 of the first year until the end of year four.

House Education Committee

If you recall from yesterday's Capitol Watch, we were scheduled to have a House Education meeting today at 2:30pm. However, presumably due to the long floor session, the meeting was canceled and rescheduled for Monday afternoon. BUT... at 3:51pm it was announced that the meeting was back on for 4pm. Quite the roller coaster.

Chairman Rick Jasperse introduced his version of SB 367, Governor Kemp's assessment bill. Key differences in the bill include:

  • Language that strongly encourages local districts to implement reading and mathematics for grades K-5 to ensure students are on grade level by 6th grade. This language was previously removed in the Senate version.
  • A provision was added to require the DOE to publish a report of aggregated data from local school and school systems to compare their performance to that of other states'.

Most of the key provisions of the original bill stayed the same. The bill was passed out of committee and now moves on to Rules.

Saturday June 20

The Senate will kick things off at 9am, while the House will follow at 10am.

There are no Education committee meetings scheduled but that could change. 

06/18 - Day 33: Watching and Waiting

Day 33: Watching and Waiting
by Scott Bierman on 6/18/2020

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Day 33 ended up being a pretty slow day for education at the Capitol. While we doubled up on House and Senate education committee meetings yesterday, we had no such problem today, as even the Senate Higher Education meeting was canceled. Ultimately, it ended up being a day of waiting. Waiting on the schedule, for the FY2021 budget to make it to the Senate floor, and on the conclusion of education committee meetings for the session.

The House was the brisk chamber this morning, as they quickly moved through their calendar, while the Senate took a little while longer, causing all afternoon Senate committee meetings to be pushed back one hour. No education specific bills were on either calendar today.

Senate Insurance and Labor Committee

HB 1094 was on the agenda for the Senate Insurance and Labor committee for consideration Thursday afternoon. If you recall, this legislation would provide paid parental leave for up to 120 hours. While it initially did not include teachers, it was later amended to add them in. However, it was amened again, this time by Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis. The language regarding paid parental leave was removed, and a pay cut for members of the General Assembly and Lieutenant Governor was added in its place. This move was necessary to match the pay cut proposed in the Senate's FY2021 budget.  

Friday June 19 

The House and Senate will both meet at 10am. The Senate is expected to vote on their FY2021 budget.

The House Education Committee will meet at 2:30pm in CLOB 406 where they will hear SB 367, Chairman P.K. Martin and Governor Brian Kemp's assessment bill. Changes are expected to this bill.

It remains to be seen if Friday will be the last session day of the week, as rumors have swirled about a Saturday session day.