We are now half-way through the session.  Day 20 saw the Senate and Youth Education Committee move several bills out of committee. Here are the series of bills passed out of this committee:

SB 88 –  Senator Summers – Parent and Children Protection Act 2023 – A parent must be present when a student discusses any related gender topic. Or if the curriculum references/teaches gender dysphoria and it applies to public and private schools. It requires local districts to develop policies to guide this issue.  It passed in committee 6-3 along party lines.

SB 440 – Senator Brass (rules chairman) – Accelerated Career Diploma Program – Provides for an additional diploma track when student is enrolled in dual enrollment and accesses the ACE grant for pilot program. A lot of work to be done to iron out details of this effort.  Passed and moves to Senate Rules Committee.

SB 351 – Senator Anavitarte –  Protecting Georgia’s Children Social Media Act 2024 – It requires local districts to develop, implement, and enforce policies on use of social media policies. It also directs the GADOE to consult with local districts on this issue and provide assistance in policy development.  It will also place requirements on Social Media companies to provide information upon request from parents. This passed easily out of committee.  The devil is in the details.

SB 147 – Senator Still –  This bill originally provided the use of Equalization funds to follow students across district lines.  This provision has been removed and now proposes that just QBE follow students to other public school districts.  This was a huge improvement but still could be a problem since funding is lagging and if the student goes back and forth between the two districts a funding issue may occur. Clearly, unintended but yet could be an issue in the current funding world we live in.  The bill was held for Senator Parent and Senator Still to continue their discussion. We will continue to watch this one get further attention.

We are seeing each chamber banter about how many bills they have passed in chamber and in committees.  This begins a typical session competition and can be advantageous for those of us who truly hold out hope of the legislative damage will be minimal to K-12 education. Tons of bills being thrown against the wall and we are hoping most do not stick.

GSSA will be traveling to AASA’s National Conference on Education in San Diego to cheer on Dr. Fred Williams, superintendent of Dublin City Schools and celebrate him as one of four National Finalist for the 2024 Superintendent of the Year as he continues to be in the running for the single prize of National Superintendent of the Year.

The daily GSSA Capitol reports will return Monday, February 19, 2024.  Dr. Rob Brown will represent GSSA at the Capitol during this time period.

The week’s remaining legislative schedule:

Wednesday, February 14, committee meetings only.

Thursday, February 15, legislative day 21

Friday, February 16, legislative day 22

Have a good night!

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