Day 38, of the legislative session, saw education bills continue to move.  The House Floor and the Senate Floor voted to pass some of these education bills not all we embrace.

The first thing is to look at the FY25 budget that has gone through the Senate Appropriations process and what has changed:

Big change: Pushed the classified SHBP cost to $1760 per employee per month to 2025 instead of the recommended 2027 by the Governor at the rate of $1445 pm/per employee. (very devastating to local school systems’ budgets.) We continue to hear the rhetoric from legislators about how local districts are flushed with cash. They fail to cover more than half of your reserve balance has already been encumbered. Click here for the FY25 Budget after the Senate sprinkled on it. Go to pages 94-110 for the education pages.

The Senate continues with its aggressive position on school systems having the reserves to cover this cost. They are just not interested in hearing the reality of the funding dilemma this change will place in all school districts.

The slightly better part of the budget recommendations:

  • The Senate would like for you to use your massive reserves to fund computer science professional development and a mentorship program for teacher retention. They recommend the state pay $500,000 and $250,000 respectively for these programs. (What a joke)
  • $6.1 million to provide regional literacy coaches for the bottom 25 percent of schools ($1,989,650); to provide required training for regional literacy coaches ($32,000), local literacy coaches in the bottom 25 percent of elementary schools ($245,000), and Kindergarten through Grade 3 teachers in the bottom 25 percent of schools ($1,720,000); to provide English as a Second Language literacy training to Kindergarten through Grade 3 teachers in the bottom 25 percent of schools with more than 5 percent of students in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) ($135,000).
  • $205 million increase for pupil transportation as the Governor and House agreed.
  • $104 million increase for school safety grants as the Governor and House agreed.
  • A $5 million increase in funding for safety training for teachers and the ability of local school systems to develop school safety plans. (watch for the electronic mapping requirement)
  • $3.2 million for the cost of breakfast and lunch for those paying a reduced fee, The Senate cut in half the amount the House approved. (Not a good look for the Senate but reveals their values.)
  • A $1.4 million increase for funds to annualized the $2,000 salary increase in FY2024 and increase funds to adjust the state base salary schedule to increase salaries for certified teachers and certified employees by $2,500 effective September 1, 2024. 
  • $2 million increase in funds for construction certification.
  • Reduce the formula for school nurses by $609,505 (the Senate cut a greater amount than the Gov. and House recommended) but they do realize a raise. (again, not a good look since are adding requirements to school districts with diabetes responsibilities along with recent epilepsy and AED training.)

More to come on the budget as the House and Senate will likely go to a conference committee in the areas of disagreement.

Senate and House education-related bills that passed the floor:



HB 880 Professions and businesses; military spouses to use an existing license in good standing from another state will be allowed (House agrees with Senate’s amendment) Passes (158-0) This could potentially help with staff recruitment.

SB 112  “Workforce EXCELeration Act”   (accepts the committee sub) A Higher Ed bill that will establish a 5-year pilot program to help those over 21 to secure their high school diploma. Passes (143-23)


HB 440 House – Deals with the Accelerated Career Diploma Program, adds Pell Grants = 47-1

HB 1149 – Requires local public officers to report discretionary spending of funds to the state = 45-5

HB 1189 – Requires schools to provide information to parents about diabetes = 45-2

SB 464 House Sub – Deals with teacher supplies, adds universal screeners, and forms a 5-member Executive Committee for the Georgia Council on Literacy = 47-0

HB 51 – Allows schools to use 5-8 passenger, school-owned vehicles, also allows GISA participating schools to compete without GHSA permission = 50-1

HB 874 – Requires schools in K-12 to have AEDs, training, and response plans = 48-0

Thank you to Drs. Jody Barrow and Rob Brown for their contribution to this missive.

Have a great weekend! We fight on!

Quote: The unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. Martin Luther King


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