Day 26 was full of education bills on the floor of the House. Here are the following key bills that passed the House today:
HB 51 – Rep. Clay Pirkle – Local Boards of Education can opt in to use alternative student transportation to school events. Intended to provide flexibility to districts to use an alternative transport instead of using a large bus for small numbers of students. Passed the House and now moves over to the Senate.
HB 318 – Rep. Scott Hilton – Re-establishment of charter schools from the GADOE to the Charter School Commission. INcluding the personnel moving to the commission. I am not a fan of this bill. (my opinion) This is a small move to setup a statutory future move to gain a stronger grip on the charter school approvals. Passed the House 145-17. Moves to the Senate.
HB 338 – Rep. Chris Erwin – Student Technology Protection Act – Setting up filters and supports to fend off obscene and/or age appropriate/inappropriate material and information. Passed unanimously in the House. On to the Senate.
HB 402 – Rep. Scott Hilton – Water safety information to parents using the local schools as the conduit. Under/over 18 years of age to provide. Passed the House. On to the Senate.
The Senate Education and Youth Committee passed several bills out of their committee and stalled on one bill:
SB 208 Sen. Greg Dolezal – Impact fees for high growth school systems. There are details on what systems will qualify. This seems aimed at larger systems like Forsyth County. Some verbiage in the bill could be adjusted to cast a wider net and take into account high growth in smaller more rural districts like Bryan, Effingham, Bulloch and some other surrounding counties that will be impacted by the massive growth due to the construction of the new battery and EV manufacturing plants under construction in east and SE Georgia. Well intended legislation. Passed Senate Ed Committee.
SB 147 – Sen. Still – Allow students to attend public schools/systems outside of where they reside. Permits Equalization dollars to follow the child to the next system. This is much more complicated than what was discussed by the author in committee. School systems already cooperate with each other with MOUs and other agreements while QBE follows the child. A true lack of understanding of the funding formula and Equalization funding. We all know not all systems receive Equalization funding. Some systems will not benefit from this legislation. It passed the Senate Committee.
SB 88 – Sen Summers – The gender identity bill. To place restrictions on conversations about gender identity between students and teachers. This bill was tabled after much discussion and some confusion.
New bill explanation – This calculation will be different for different regions and school districts.
HB 504 – Chairman of Appropriations Matt Hatchett – The purpose of this bill is to be advantageous to local school districts by less the amount of level 1 Freeport exemptions in code section 48-5-48.2. The intent is for school systems to get relief from the exemptions. The bill passed the House subcommittee. We will track this bill.