GLMA Call to Action

** GLMA Call to Action **

Education legislation is on the move – and some of the bills are not all they’re cracked up to be.  We need your help!
HB 157– Teacher Retirement/Return to Work Bill

Sponsors: Brooks Coleman – (R) Duluth; Ben Bridges – (R) Cleveland; Rich Golick – (R) Smyrna; Tyrone Brooks – (D) Douglas/Fulton; Tommy Benton – (R) Jefferson; John Meadows – (Calhoun). 
HB 157 has passed the House and is now in the Senate Retirement Committee.  There has been growing controversy over the House committee substitute that strikes Media Specialists (“librarian”), counselors, and improvement specialists from the legislation.  Earlier this week, we learned that counselors had been added back into the legislation.  However, at this point we must assume this is a rumor (since no additional language has been presented), and continue to fight for inclusion of Media Specialists in this important piece of legislation.
To create the biggest impact, all Media Specialists who live and teach in Rep. Coleman’s district must contact him today.  Senators on the Senate Retirement Committee also need to be contacted.  Voice your concerns and relay information as to why you need to be included in this bill.  
HB 1209 – Investing in Educational Excellence (IE2) Task Force
School System Flexibility and Accountability Legislation

Sponsors: Brooks Coleman –  (R) Duluth; Rich Golick – (R) Smyrna; Vance Smith – (R) Pine Mountain; Jim Cole – (R) Forsyth; Howard Maxwell –  (R) Dallas; Bill Hembree – (R) Winston.
HB 1209, the Governor’s bill stemming from more than three years of work by the IE2 Task Force, was heard by the full House Education Committee Thursday afternoon.  Chairman Coleman and IE2 Task Force Chair, Dean Alford, presented a substitute to the original bill.  Believed by most in the audience to be far worse than the original piece of legislation presented earlier this week, HB 1209 (in it’s substitute form) would allow school systems to enter into a contract with the State Board of Education providing local systems the opportunity to request more flexibility while adhering to stricter accountability rules and consequences should a school within a system become noncompliant with the details outlined in the strategic plan and contract. 
The scary part: School systems could request flexibility in the following areas:
  1. Class size requirements
  2. Expenditure Controls and categorical allotment requirements
  3. Certification requirements
  4. Salary schedule requirements
  5. State curriculum requirements
Unsure at this time how exactly this might impact Media Center budgets, it is critical we begin asking the questions.
If you live or teach in Rep. Coleman’s district, contact him today.  It is imperative to express concerns about funding and how, if passed, this legislation could be detrimental to the funding of media centers around the state.
Mr. Alford stated that additional legislation is pending that would include a new funding cost model, but until that legislation is introduced it will not be clear how “flexible” school systems will be with the expenditure controls.
Do not delay, this legislation could have severe, negative effects on your students, your school and your media center.  Contact your Representative and Senator today – say “No” to HB 1209 in its current form.
FY 09 Budget
The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee continues to work on the 2009 budget.  During discussions this week, Reps. Amerson, Jones, Maxwell and Neal were supportive of taking guidelines off the spending of foreign language funds for foreign language media materials in elementary schools and putting the funds into the general QBE formula, as well as restoring media center funds for K-12 when they make their move to restore the austerity cuts. 
Chairman Jones pointed out to the committee that, even with expenditure controls, media centers may not get the funds as the committee appropriates them. 

Key Point: Your funding stories are working!  Continue sharing them with your legislators! 
Reminder: The 2009 budget has a long way to go before it becomes “the budget”.  Even if the House restores austerity cuts and is able to restore Media Center funding, the Senate may change things completely. 
Continue to contact your Representative and Senator regarding the budget, Media Center funding, and how media funds are allocated once your system is in control.  It’s not over yet, and it’s not too late…but the clock is ticking!
To Contact Representatives and Senators
Find email addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers to all of the Representatives listed above – click here.
To find contact information for Senators – click here.

Know YOUR Legislators
To locate your Representative and Senator, click here.  Enter your zip code in the top, left corner.  When the next page opens, enter your address in the center of the page – your local Rep. and Senator will be appear.
Have any questions?  Want to share a story or funding nightmare?
Contact us at:
Stay tuned…

Lasa Joiner & Michelle Holcomb Crider


Posted on February 22, 2008, in Communications. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Do we have any updates about ms and counselors being added back in?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: