Although we took a very short breather yesterday, the House floor and House Education Committees were very active today. Before i get to those bills, HR 1165 was dropped today as another version of electing local school superintendents.  Representative Tyler Paul Smith from the Haralson County area is the first signer on the resolution. Just touch base with your local legislator about your thoughts on this resolution. Georgia moved to the appointed superintendent in 1997.

As far as the House floor, it saw 13 bills presented with 4 related to education or children.

HB 1124 Rep. Chuck Martin – Needs based financial aid to assist higher education students for college completion.  Passed House Floor. Moves to Senate Rules.

HB 579Rep. Carter Barrett – Special needs voucher (scholarship) where 6,000 students currently participate. Clarifying language around funding efficiencies tying it to the current IEP more succinctly. Some accountability changes for the receiving school. Passed House Floor.

HB 993–  Rep. Alan Powell – Although not an education bill it is worth mentioning.  This addresses the “grooming” of children for indecent purposes.  It makes this a felony and it describes a very detailed explanation on the path that leads to the individuals violation of this highly needed law. Passed House Floor. 174-0

HB 915Rep. Burns – The amended FY24 budget is now going to a conference committee from each chamber.  Usually House and Senate leaders represent the position of each chamber. They will hash out their differences. THe House insisted on their budget position which caused the conference committee creation. We will monitor this closely.

THe House Education Committee:

HB 1221Rep.Tyler Paul Smith – Students move to another district with the QBE funds following the student. Some systems charge tuition but this bill has language that prohibits districts from charging tuition to those students on free/reduced lunch. Passed out of committee.

HB 1186Rep. Scott Hilton – Single score for schools and districts under the newly created criteria by the GADOE. It will be also required to be posted on the schools/systems website.  Passed out of committee.

HB 1122Rep. Scott Hilton – Charter School funding for a superintendent, principal, secretary, and accountant. It is unclear if this is QBE funding and or another state funding source.  These concerns were not addressed. Passed the House committee.

HB 846Rep. Leverett – The social security awareness bill. Improves communication on whether or not this  benefit is accessed for each employee in an employing school system. Passed the House Committee.

HB 822Rep. Casey Carpenter – Addressing sex education and HIV education. Using medically age appropriate language in the instruction. Passed House Committee.

HB 1027Rep. Bethany Ballard – Requires computer science for graduation. Starts in 2027 with ninth graders. This includes in-class, virtual, and hybrid. After much discussion,  it passed the House Committee.

House bill heard in the House Committee but did not receive a vote:

HB 936 –  Rep. Josh Bonner – This is addresses the bathroom and lockeroom access limited to male for male RR/LR and female for female RR/LR. Makes sense until the gender identity issues are thrown in the mix.  This bill heard much testimony that took the meeting into overtime. The bill was not voted on. 

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