Day 18 brings a flurry of activity from Senate Education and Youth Committee.  Here are the bills that were heard before the committee this afternoon.

SB 32 Alyssa’s Law  – Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R) – The bill requires all school settings to install mobile panic alert systems. The Governor’s proposed $50,000 per school can be used for this purpose. If a school already has a system like this in place will not have to duplicate the service. (The House recommended version of AFY23 budget has a proposed $60,000 per school allocation) This bill passed out of committee.

SB 50 Lifeguard and aquatic education can be offered at schools/system. Sen. Max Burns (R)-The partnerships with YMCA, local recreation departments, etc. can be leveraged.  It is not required but the opportunity should be offered with the chance to receive 1/2 credit for the course. GADOE will promulgate details. The bill passed the committee.

SB 88 Parents and Children Protection Act of 2023Sen Carden Summers (R)- This bill received a hearing only at the request of the sponsor. This bill attempts to address concerns over gender identity and many other types of conversation that are being had by teachers and/or as caregivers (loco parentis) with students. It was stressed by the authors of the bill that educators should not be discussing these (gender dysphoria) and similar issues without parent involvement or notification.The authors agreed to work with PAGE, GSSA, GAEL etc. to address language concerns. Specific lines were questioned including provocative teacher dress in lines 50-54. There are many issues with the language and could be very problematic.  We will continue to work through the concerns with our colleagues and authors of the bill to offer more reasonable verbiage.  The room was full and many signed up to offer testimony. There was no vote taken.

SB 123 Educational Programs to offer a state funded administration of a nationally recognized Career and College Readiness Assessment. Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R) The author would like this to lead to a workforce credentialing.  Many questions centered around the funding of offering the SAT and ACT at no cost to the students. There is a clause that this is subject to appropriations. Passed out of the committee but some notable “no” votes from the majority party.

I want to thank Dr. Jody Barrow for his contribution to this report.

Have a good evening.

Please note that most of the GSSA staff will be attending the National Conference sponsored by AASA to celebrate with Georgia’s Superintendent of the Year and National Finalist Trent North superintendent of Douglas County for the remainder of the week. There will likely be a delay on the next two days of the legislative report but I will catch everyone up as soon as possible.

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