Day 15: Committees at Work (contd.)
by Jim Puckett on 2/9/2010

The House of Representatives passed HB 908 which provides much-needed flexibility to school districts on expenditures during this time of decreasing revenue.  The bill waives expenditure controls for three years related to direct instructional costs, media center costs, professional development costs, and additional days of instruction funds.  School districts are required to report to the Department of Education its budgets and expenditures of the funds as a part of its October and March FTE counts.

The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee gave a do pass recommendation to the K-12 FY2010 supplemental budget.  Generally the committee adhered to the Governor's recommendations.  The full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the overall supplemental budget.  An analysis of the proposed budget will be posted on Capitol Watch soon.

The Academic Support Subcommittee of the House Education Committee gave a do pass recommendation to these bills:

  • 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 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 who wish to run for reelection

HB 966 defining permanent classroom space to exclude portables, trailers, and temporary classrooms was discussed at length and was tabled until a future meeting.

The Senate Education and Youth Committee's agenda listed several bills, but extended discussion of SB 352 precluded action on each.  The controversial bill adds another layer to the current AYP accountability system with an A-F grading system for schools based on CRCTs and end-of-course-tests;  provides monetary rewards for A grade;allows state take over of schools with F grade.  GSBA and GSSA listed numerous concerns about the proposed legislation and further discussion is anticipated. HB 1100 introduced in the House of Representatives is an identical bill.  Readers are encouraged to read the proposed legislation and contact your local representatives if you have issues and/or concerns.