Legislative Alert

 


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*Legislative Alert*
 

LEGISLATIVE ALERT

As Day 35 approaches – Thursday, March 27th – both the House and Senate continue to work diligently to pass the Supplemental FY 08 and FY 09 Budgets and other legislation.  The issues below are of importance to GLMA members and can have a statewide impact on students, media specialists, and media centers.

FY 2009 BUDGET

On Thursday, March 20th, the House passed the FY09 Budget which includes a restoration of $90 million in austerity cuts.  The House Appropriations Committee members worked very hard to fully restore the total $141 million in austerity cuts, but had to adjust the amount restored due to the Governor’s reduction in recommendations due to the shortfall in state revenues. The House version of the FY09 Budget includes:

  • $90,000,000 – restoration of austerity cuts
  • 2.5% pay raise for all teachers
  • $1.5 million from the Foreign Language Program – absorbed into the $90 million austerity restoration – it is unknown at this time if this money will be used to increase the media center FTE within the QBE formula
  • Funds included to offer $100 Classroom Card to each media center


The Senate subcommittees will now review the FY09 Budget, and will make changes as they see fit.  It is likely the budget will then go to Conference Committee (a committee made up of House and Senate members) where a compromise on state spending will have to be made. 
ACTION:  Contact members of the Senate Appropriations Education Subcommittee (view here) and YOUR Senator.  Ask Senators to keep the $90 million austerity restoration and the $100 Classroom Cards for Media Centers.  Describe to them what you do as a Media Specialist and why fully funding Media Center FTEs is important to the education of Georgia students.

HB 157: RETURN TO WORK

This legislation affects retirees who want to return to work full time.  It
strikes counselors, librarians and improvement specialists from current law, and strikes the language about the effective date — “December 31, 2003” — and inserts the language — “retired for at least 12 calendar months”.   This legislation does not affect teachers who want to return to work part-time at 49% after one month out.

To view HB 157 in it’s most current form, click here
HB 157 is pending action in the Senate Retirement Committee – view members here.
ACTION:  Contact members of the Senate Retirement Committee and YOUR Senator now!  A hearing has not yet been scheduled for this bill, but could happen at any time.  Don’t delay — explain why school media specialists need to be included in such an important piece of legislation.

HB 1209: IE2 SCHOOL SYSTEM FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

HB 1209 stems from the IE2 Task Force and is backed by Governor Perdue.  Though the IE2 Task Force was charged with creating a new funding formula to replace the current QBE formula, the legislation currently pending is far from a new formula.HB 1209 allows school systems to enter into a contract with the State Board of Education, requesting “…increased flexibility from certain state laws, rules, and regulations in exchange for increased accountability and defined consequences…”  Areas systems can request flexibility include:

  1. Class size requirements
  2. Expenditure Controls and categorical allotment requirements
  3. Certification requirements
  4. Salary schedule requirements
  5. State curriculum requirements

GLMA members may find that, if this legislation passes, their program funding may decrease (expenditure controls/category allotments), and certification and curriculum may change.  At this point, it is uncertain how this legislation will allow systems to operate, but these examples are possibilities.

To view HB 1209 in it’s most current form,
click here.  (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the most recent version)
HB 1209 is pending action in the Senate Education and Youth Committee – view members here.
ACTION:  Contact your Senator today!  Express your concerns with the legislation, offer suggestions for limiting the language, and ask what he or she can do to help protect your students and programs.  Contact members of the Senate Education and Youth Committee – tell them why you fear passage of this legislation would harm your students and media centers.
 

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.
 
Find email addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers for your legislators!
 
GA House of Representatives
GA Senate

 
QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK ABOUT LEGISLATION?
 
Contact us at (404) 299-7700
lasaj@jlh-consulting.com
michelle@jlh-consulting.com
 
STAY TUNED…
 
Lasa Joiner & Michelle Crider
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Posted on March 25, 2008, in Communications. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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