Day 26: Calm before the storm?
by Jim Puckett on 3/17/2010

On this 26th day of the 2010 Legislative Session, only a couple of education-related bills were considered by the House and Senate.  Most of the action continues in committees as bills are being pushed for consideration prior to the 30th day, the last day (with certain exceptions) that a bill can "cross over" from one chamber to another.

Educators will interested to learn that the Governor has signed into law HB 906 which extends the date to May 15 by which professional educators must be notified if a contract will be offered by the school district.  The extension is effective through the 2012-13 school year.

Today, the Senate passed SB 427 which establishes the Georgia Foundation for Public Education for the purpose of soliciting and accepting contributions for the state schools for vision and hearing impaired students.

The House passed HB 1082 which expands ad valorem tax exemptions related to freeport exemptions, another bill reducing the amount of local revenue available to school districts.

Readers may be interested to know of these recently introduced bills:

  • SB 496 creates needs-based scholarships utilizing HOPE funds.  The amounts would be determined on a sliding scale based on income.
  • SB 515 prohibits local boards of education from furloughing system personnel if the system has an unencumbered fund balance equal to or greater than 6% of that year's total operating budget.
  • HR 567 has been resurrected and is back on the radar screen.  The resolution calls for a Constitutional amendment removing prohibitions against using state funds to support faith-based organizations that provide social services, including education.
  • HB 1397 declares that "no state funds appropriated and allotted for salaries for school system personnel shall be transferred by any local board of education to any other purposes.  In the event of budgetary shortfall, salaries for school system personnel shall not be subject to proration and school system personnel shall not be subject to furloughs."

(Editor's note:  Readers are encouraged to review SB 515 and HB 1397 to consider the impact on your local district should these bills pass.)

Upcoming meetings:

  • Thursday, March 18
    • 8:00 a.m. Senate Education and Youth Committee, 310 CLOB
      SB 320 Bill of rights for teachers:  mandates how teachers of the year are chosen; allows third party to be present during administrator/teacher conferences.
      SB 426 prohibits payment of per diem to board members if board member is named as as a contributing cause of loss of accreditation
      SB 451 establishes procedures to be following if a death occurs in a family day care facility
    • 9:00 a.m.  House Academic Support Subcommittee, 506 CLOB     Agenda TBA
    • 10:00 a.m.  House Education Committee, 506 CLOB
      HB 215 the multiple diploma bill
      HB 966 portable classrooms shall not be used in calculating available classroom space for student transfers
  • Monday, March 22
    • 10:00 Senate Education and Youth Committee, Location TBA
      SB 515 see above