GLMA Legislative Update: Friday, March 19

Legislative day 30, also known as “crossover day,” is scheduled for Thursday, March 25th.  As day 30 approaches, legislators work quickly to pass their bills from one chamber to the other in order for the legislation to have a chance for passage this session.

Flexibility Legislation

HB 908 is pending a vote on the Senate floor.  If the Senate passes the bill, the House will have to agree to the Senate changes and then it will be sent to the Governor’s office for his signature.  The bill, as amended by the Senate Education & Youth Committee, now gives local systems the flexibility to:

  1. Waive expenditure controls
  2. Increase class sizes for grades K-8 and changes class size averaging
  3. Decrease the school year by up to 10 days, with “…any combination of planning days and up to five instructional days…”
  4. Waive funding for additional days of instruction

HB 1130 is pending a vote on the House floor.  If HB 1130 passes the House, it will then go to the Senate Education & Youth Committee for a hearing.  HB 1130 was amended in the House Education Committee and now allows systems to:

  1. Waive expenditure controls
  2. Increase class sizes in grades K-5 by one (1) student and in grades 6-12 by two (2) students
  3. Allows the State Board of Education to approve an additional one student per class in all grades
  4. Waives funding for additional days of instruction
HB 1130 is pending a vote on the House floor.  If HB 1130 passes the House, it will then go to the Senate Education & Youth Committee for a hearing.  HB 1130 was amended in the House Education Committee and now allows systems to:
  1. Waive expenditure controls
  2. Increase class sizes for grades K-8 and changes class size averaging
  3. Decrease the school year by up to 10 days, with “…any combination of planning days and up to five instructional days…”
  4. Waive funding for additional days of instruction
Both HB 908 and HB 1130 sunset in July 2013.  HB 1130 requires local systems to hold a public hearing and meet certain accountability measures if they plan on utilizing the class size waiver.  There are no systemwide transparency or accountability measures in HB 908.
Teacher Contract Deadline Extension Signed Into Law
This week, the Governor signed HB 906, legislation that extends the teacher contracting date from April 15 to May 15 through the 2012-2013 school year.
Pay for Performance Legislature Stalled
It appears that SB 386 will no longer be up for consideration this session.  Instead, Sen. Don Balfour (R – Snellville; sponsor of SB 386) has introduced a Senate Resolution (SR 1290) that creates a study committee to review the issue of merit based pay and teacher compensation.  If the study committee makes a report and recommendations, those will be made available by December 31, 2010.
  • HB 281 – Georgia Virtual School Opportunity and Enrichment Act
  • HB 927 – Expands the definition of “bullying”
  • HB 1103 – Relating to PSC requirements for employee (teacher, admin, etc) background checks
  • HB 1121 – Creates a misdemeanor charge for altering state assessments
  • HB 1307 – Temporarily suspends learning requirements for certificated employees
  • SB 299 – Changes provisions for juvenile proceedings regarding zero tolerance policies on weapons in schools
  • SB 319 – Changes the definition of “textbook”
  • SB 320 – Teacher Bill of Rights
  • SB 332 – Regarding expulsion/disciplinary actions for students bringing weapons to school
  • SB 521 – Relating to enrollment counts in dual enrollment programs

What’s Next?

Now is the time to stay engaged.  Expect a lot of legislative movement next week.  If you have concerns or questions about any legislation, now’s the time to speak up!  It’s easy to reach us…just respond to our email!

Until next week, stay tuned…

Lasa Joiner
Michelle Crider

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About Buffy J. Hamilton

I am a writing and Language Arts teacher who loves learning, literacy, stories, learning, dogs, poetry, fabulous shoes, and good lip gloss. I began my career as a high school English teacher in 1992 and then became a high school librarian and 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker before returning to the classroom in August 2016.

Posted on March 19, 2010, in legislation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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