February 16, 2010 Legislative Update
Friday, February 12th marked legislative day 17 of the 40-day session. Education legislation is moving quickly under the Gold Dome. Be sure to follow these legislative updates and alerts to stay on top of the issues of greatest concern to your students and your profession!
HB 908, a bill that would waive expenditure controls and funding for additional instruction days through the year 2013 passed the House on Tuesday, February 9th in a vote of 137 to 34. Another attempt to shorten the duration of the legislation was made on the floor, but was unsuccessful. This bill now goes to the Senate Education & Youth Committee for a hearing, which may take place as early as this week. Your focus should now turn to the members of the Senate Education & Youth Committee. For a list of members, CLICK HERE.
HB 1130, sponsored by Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson) and Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta), would increase class sizes by one student in grades K-5, two students in grades 6-12, and would authorize the State Board of Education to approve up to one additional student in all grades. There are accountability measures in the bill local systems will have to follow in order to increase class sizes. This legislation would sunset in 2013. We anticipate a House Education Subcommittee hearing on the bill this week.
Pay for Performance
SB 386, sponsored by Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, was presented in a hearing of the Senate Education & Youth Committee on Thursday, February 11th. During the presentation of the bill Sen. Balfour, Governor’s office staff, and PSC Executive Secretary, Kelly Henson, referenced state requirements under the federal grant program “Race to the Top” for which Georgia has applied. For more information on “Race to the Top,” visit the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website HERE.
Part of the discussion revolved around the creation of a statewide teacher evaluation tool – TEM, or Teacher Effectiveness Measure. Fifty percent of the TEM would be based on student achievement; the other fifty percent would be based on other factors determined by the state board. The bill would allow for peer evaluators (i.e., master teachers) to help principals and assistant principals with teacher evaluations. The bill allows for teachers to opt in to the performance-based salary schedule and has staggered effective dates. However, once teachers opt in to the new salary schedule, they are unable to later opt out.
The group presenting the bill made several references to studies they were shown from the Gates Foundation that reflect no correlation between teachers with advanced degrees and increases in student performance.
This bill will be heard again during a Senate Education & Youth Committee meeting, most likely this week, before a vote is taken.
Other Bills on the Move
HB 906 – Extends the date for teacher contracts from April 15 to May 15 through the year 2013. Pending a hearing in the Senate Education & Youth Committee.
HB 923 – Extends the deadline for degree completion of leadership degrees from 2010 to 2013 for those already enrolled in a leadership degree program as of April 1, 2009. Pending a hearing in the Senate Education & Youth Committee.
Visit the Capitol
House and Senate Education Committees continue to hold hearings on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, so come to the capitol and spend an afternoon with us advocating for GLMA priorities and listening to the conversations! Stay tuned…
Lasa Joiner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Crider, email@example.com