Day 13: More on Calendars and Grading Schools
by Angela Palm on 2/5/2010

It took little time for the House and Senate to conduct business today.  The House passed HB 910 which removes the requirement for districts to report extracurricular expenditures and participation by gender.  It now goes to the Senate.  There were no other education bills considered today.

The biggest news around today was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story that the Governor will propose a Constitutional amendment to allow the Governor to appoint the State Superintendent and Commissioners of Agriculture, Labor, and Insurance.  If passed by the legislature, it would be on the ballot this November and go into effect in 2014.  The best part of the story, though, was this from House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and Sen. Bill Heath:  

"Heath and Keen also said that the most qualified candidate for the job is not always the candidate who gets elected.  'Those offices are offices that require or deserve expertise,' Heath said. 'In the election process it’s not always the most qualified person who wins the election.' 

They might want to find a different sound bite for this endeavor.  

New Bills

Another calendar bill was dropped today.  HB 1097 would require boards to adopt a calendar that has the first day of instruction begin in the third full week of August.

SB 352 came out earlier this week.  Among other things it creates a complex system of grading schools.  Today the same bill was dropped in the House as HB 1100.  These bills require a growth model be the primary factor in calculating AYP.  Annual school ratings of A, B, C, D, and F would be given to schools with grades 4-12. The end of course tests would replace the high school graduation tests.  

Giving K-12 A Piece of the Lottery Pie

Rep. Chuck Sims discussed his bills to tax lottery tickets and dedicate the revenue to K-12 today in the Tax Reform Subcommittee of House Ways and Means.  The Lottery Corporation's Vice President of Corporate Affairs predicted sales and profits would drop if the tickets are taxed.  Some of the committee members were clearly uneasy about doing something that would negatively impact the success of the lottery.  No vote was taken.  Sen. Greg Goggans is working on a similar proposal.


The GSBA/GSSA legislative site visits begin next week on Tuesday, February 9th at 9 AM in 123 CAP.  Board members and superintendents may come on any date convenient for them.  The other dates are February 16, 23, and March 2.  See below for education committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Monday, February 8

The General Assembly will be in session.

Tuesday, February 9

Academic Support Subcommittee of House Education will meet at 1 PM in 515 CLOB to hear the following:

  • HB 936 allowing bus replacement funds to be used to refurbish buses
  • HB 977 requiring local boards to follow certain procedures if giving administrators a raise in a school year that staff were furloughed
  • HB 966 defining permanent classroom space to exclude portables, trailers, and temporary classrooms
  • HB 925 changing the requirement that parental notices of unexcused absences be sent by certified mail to regular mail
  • HB 937 amending the nepotism provision to grandfather in current board members

Senate Education and Youth Committee will meet at 3 PM in 307 CLOB to hear SB 352, the grading bill discussed above, and SB 298 requiring first aid to be part of a health course.