As I return to the Capitol from the AASA National Conference 2019, HB 301 a voucher bill has been dropped and had its first hearing in the Ways and Means subcommittee Public Policy and Finance this 17th day of the session. This bill is full of concerns:
1) Expands the special needs voucher
2) Introduces “a documented case of (student) having been bullied and currently enrolled in a public school in this state”….
3) A Parent Review Committee hears appeals of a denied a school or service provider,(committee appointed by GOSA)
4) Quarterly reporting by local school systems of participating student which resides in district…
5) the office (GOSA) shall adopt rules and establish regulations for administration of the program….
6) The five mill share is not deducted from the state QBE money like it is from every system in the state…
This bill is very messy and will use public monies for private purposes which some of our legislators think is a better way to do business. This language has been used in previous voucher bills and certain members continue their assault on public education in a variety of forms. We will hawk this bill as it moves through the committee process. Please be alert because we may ask you to weigh in with your local House representative member soon. Some of the committee members became very combative with one of our colleagues over this bill. Not quite the spirit of the legislative process I would have predicted from our elected officials.
Tip of the cap: Dr. Curtis Jones superintendent of Bibb County Schools was named the 2019 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA last week at the National Conference in Los Angeles. What a great honor! Also, Dr. Michael Duncan superintendent of Pike County Schools was spotlighted by AASA along with Dr. Jones in a Georgia spotlight from our national association. Congratulations to both Dr. Jones and Dr. Duncan both great ambassadors for our profession. Go to aasacentral.org to access the e news AASA publishes about #Leadersmatter. Both these gentlemen demonstrate that leadership matters for the children in their local communities. Thank you to the both of you for what you do each day to lead your districts!
HB 109 the TRS bill had its second hearing in the Retirement Committee meeting today. A few changes were announced. I will review the small changes when the substitute bill is printed.