Day 19 was lite on the legislative process side. The House Education Committee met today to hear HB 68 which prohibits any entity from becoming a SSO when it provides the education service of accreditation.  Reminder that SSO is STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP ORGANIZATION managing entity that collects corporate contributions that earn tax credits for that corporation then provides student scholarships to private schools. For many,  a very controversial method to fund tuition to private schools at the expense of state tax collections. Although, the SSO’s would have a differing view of that conclusion.  There are approximately 25 operating certified SSO’s currently.  Must not be a bad business.

HB 32 which is known as the CTO bill which was scheduled to be heard today in House Ed but was pulled from the schedule for unknown reasons.

Instead the committee attendees got a brief overview from Dr. Garry McGiboney from GADOE on FTE (full time equivalent).  Maybe this can be a start of something good when it comes to members of the education committee seeking to understand before making key policy decisions.

The 2019 supplemental budget passed the Senate and is now back to the House for “agrees” and “disagrees”.  There are some differences and they will have to work through but know they are getting close to completing this supplemental budget very soon.

Three bills on deck to watch. 

HB 108 This bill is about offering computer science in high schools and an exploratory computer science course in all middle schools.  There is a phase in requirement to offer the computer science course at one high school in 2021-22. Then 50% of HS in 2022-23, then 100% in 2023-24.  There is also a professional development component to bring teachers up to speed on the whole coding and writing programs which is the focus of the course.  The Board of Regents (college board) is in support of this bill and I had a brief conversation with their representative about a few parts of the bill. The author of the bill is the chairman of the Senate Education and Youth committee PK Martin.  This fits well with STEM strand of the curriculum.  Not a bad bill but some of the requirements GSSA would want some clarity and possibly more flexibility in the implementation.

HB 365 Rep. Shaw Blackmon dropped another TATV bill that reduces the tax on used vehicles from the current 7% to 6.6%.  Somehow the belief is this will bring out more tax dollars.

SB 112 Sen. Lindsey Tippins is the author of this recovery of costs bill from the construction of a nuclear plant.  This bill potentially can be a financial plus for local school districts.  We will watch.

Tomorrow is Legislative Day 20. I am hoping that tomorrow- being last legislative day of the week -will go quietly since there are no education committee meetings on the schedule. A report of the 20th day will be posted to the GSSA website along with the previous daily reports.  I will continue to send a daily report as the session increases its pace.

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