Let’s start with the supplemental budget. The tracking sheet shows the Governor’s recommendations , House recommendations and now the senate is working through the document to add their fingerprints.  This is the typical process that allows each chamber to add, subtract, and adjust the categories and Senate Education Appropriations met today to ask questions about the budget and get some clarification on requests.  GADOE was on the hot seat to answer the majority of the questions.  The GADOE was asked to bring back information concerning charter school funding as a result of the passing of HB787 at the 11th hour last session. 2019 supplemental budget

Senate Ed and Youth Committee heard two bills.   SB 21 focusing on cyber security which would add this to the current curriculum in Information Technology according to the author Senator Donzella James (D).  The committee asked the Senator to work with GADOE and bring back some information on the cost, how it would be integrated into the curriculum, and other information that would impact the implementation.

 SB 68 was also heard and it was brought forward by Senator Freddie Sims (D).  The bill brings out the issues of school systems audit and financial training for board members and superintendents.  Three categories are identified within the audit process ratings for school systems and they are  Low Risk, Moderate Risk, and High Risk when it comes to recent audit results. There are specific training requirements for board members on their fiduciary responsibilities included in the language of the bill.

Public Safety Committee Heard SB 15 authored  by Senator Albers (R).   Although there is a substitute which is a small improvement from the ordinal, there is unclear language about safety coaches that could be compensated or volunteer and a Homestead Exemption is suggested that could be used as an incentive for a volunteer to become a coach.  Yes- tax relief for the individual to be a safety coach.  Other reporting requirements such as site threat assessments every 4 years, review and update of each schools safety plan annually, and a few other minor related issues.  GSSA has submitted some language to hopefully streamline the bill.  We shall see if any is included.

 HB 43 was heard in a Subcommittee Non Civil-Judiciary.  Addresses sexual contact between a student and school personnel. This is a bill has been around for a few years.  We shall see if it gets adjusted enough to pass both chambers this year.

SB 25 addresses the concern of vehicles stopping for a school bus that is stopped loading/unloading students.  This was heard in a House subcommittee and I expect this to move along fairly quickly.  Do pass moves to full committee.

Two other bills receved a do pass HB 69 a special needs voucher bill to waive the one year requirement to attend public school before receving the voucher. HB 130 GADOE bill providing for clarification of the GADOE foundation for tax exempt status.  Both given a do pass.  Both were heard in an education subcommittee now moving to the full committee.

No votes were taken on most of the bills except where noted.  Most bills were given hearings only.

Tomorrow will be Legislative day 13 convening at 10am.

ALERT: HB 109 the TRS bill will be given a hearing Tuesday afternoon at 2pm

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