Legislative day 37, where HB 83 known as the recess bill passed the Senate in its home stretch run to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This bill is in my opinion an overreach into the scheduling of each elementary school in our state. Its taken a few years to move through the legislative process but it finally got the support from both chambers and now we will see if the Governor agrees with this type of legislation.
The majority of GSSA’s day was spent preparing to testify on SB 163 also know as the Tim Tebow Act. This allows home school age children to access public school interscholastic activities. A differing level of requirements are expected of the home school student who choose to access public school activities. This is where GSSA has a problem with the policy of this bill. Dr. David Lewis, superintendent of Muscogee County provided testimony based on his experience with a similar bill in Florida where he was a teacher, principal, and district administrator with heavy involvement in its implementation. He discussed some of his encounters with administering this bill from a practical perspective. His stories of pitfalls were many and he advised that GSSA opposes the current form of this bill and would suggest that the legislature study other states where the purpose of this bill is functioning reasonably well. This was a hearing only so no vote was taken. Many of our educator colleagues also testified on their opposition to the current language in the bill.
The FY20 budget is still in process in the conference committee made up of the leadership from both the House and the Senate. They are close to completing and coming to an agreement on the FY20 budget. I expect both chambers to be done by the end of this week. It appears the teacher/certified staff raise has been agreed upon by the conference committee.
Next legislative day is Thursday, March 28, which is day number 38.
Wednesday, March 27, is a scheduled committee work day. SB 108 will be before the Full House Education Committee for a vote. This is the computer science bill with 1 million dollars in the budget to support the professional development component of this bill.
Voucher/ESA bill watch continues. HB 68 remains in Senate Rules Committee. Three legislative days remain.