Day 19: Voucher Bill Looms
by Jim Puckett on 2/17/2010

Please note:  SB 361 which provides vouchers for private school attendance will be heard in the Senate Education and Youth Committee on Thursday (see below).  If you have concerns about the legislation contact members of the committee through this link.

One education bill was on today's legislative action calendars.  The Senate passed SB 341 requiring that a person shall be legal Georgia resident to be eligible for a HOPE GED voucher.

In committee action:

  • The House Ad Valorem Subcommittee of Ways and Means heard a presentation on HR 1 calling for a Constitutional amendment leading to a three-year limitation on the rate of increase of property tax assessments.  The bill would limit available revenue for school districts as well as cities and counties.
  • The Senate Finance Committee reviewed SB 346 which substantially revamps property tax assessments and appeals of assessments.

Thursday's schedule

  • 10:00 a.m. House Education Committee, 506 CLOB
    • HB 215 Establishes three diploma options for high school students.
    • HB 1079 Allows certification fees to be paid to the Professional Standards Commission by credit or debit card. 
    • HB 1086 Provides that certain personal information relating to teachers and employees of public and nonpublic schools shall be exempt from disclosure under the public records act.
    • HB 1103 Requires professional educators to obtain a 'clearance certificate' issued by the Professional Standards Commission that verifies that an educator has completed fingerprint and criminal background check requirements and that the individual does not have a certificate that is currently revoked or suspended in Georgia or any other state.
  • Immediately following the House Education Committee meeting, the Academic Achievement Subcommittee of the House Education will hear the controversial HB 1100 which would create a A-F grading system for Georgia schools based upon a complex formula derived from student achievement test scores.  Readers are urged to read this legislation and share your concerns with members of your local legislative delegation.
  • 1:00 House Calendar
    • HB 977 Prohibits the use of state funds to provide a salary increase for the local school superintendent or administrators during a school year in which a local board of education furloughs teachers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, support staff, or other nonadministrative positions; requires the local board to provide notice and a hearing if local or private funds are intended to be used for such salary increases.
  • 1:00 p.m. Senate Education and Youth Committee, 307 CLOB
    • HB 908 Provides for enforcement of certain expenditure controls to be postponed during these budget crunch times
    • SB 361 Expands school vouchers for use at private schools to include students with 504 plans, students of military personnel, and foster children

In other news, Henry County and Griffin-Spalding County school systems have initiated lawsuits against the state challenging the constitutionality of the Charter Schools Commission.  Atlanta, Bulloch, Candler, DeKalb and Gwinnett have similar cases pending.