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Committee Workday: House Committees Consider Teacher Leave, Pregnancy Health, & Drivers Ed Bills

While the General Assembly remained in recess, both chambers held committee meetings to meet the Feb. 29 Crossover Day deadline. An outline of high-profile House and Senate education bills PAGE is tracking is available HERE.


House Education Approves Bills on Personal Leave Days & Pregnancy Health Education; Bill on Drivers Education Held 

The House Education Policy Subcommittee passed HB 1384 by Rep. Brent Cox (R-Dawsonville) which increases the number of accrued sick leave days teachers and other school personnel can use for personal leave from three to five. It was noted during subcommittee discussion that the bill does not increase the amount of leave available but provides more flexibility for use of accrued leave.


Rep. Rick Townsend (R-Brunswick) stated he supported the bill but noted that schools are not fully reimbursed for the cost of substitutes and suggested that the state may need to expand financial support for substitutes in the future. Increasing substitute pay is a 2024 PAGE Legislative Priority. For more information on substitute pay, check out our graphic explainer.


The Curriculum Subcommittee passed HB 1036 by Rep. Lauren Daniel (R-Locust Grove), which directs the State Board of Education (SBOE) and Department of Public Health (DPH) to prescribe a course of study on pregnancy, health, and human development for grades nine through 12. It would include information on gestational development as well as information on the possible complications of pregnancy and causes of maternal mortality. This course of study would be included in the health curriculum, not sex education, and information on sexual intercourse could not be included in this course of study. 


The subcommittee also heard HB 914, the Safe Teens Act, sponsored by Rep. Imani Barnes (D-Tucker), which allows school districts to offer elective driver education training courses approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). The course would provide a half-unit of elective credit for high school students. When a driver education training course is offered, the course cost will be paid by one or more of the following: local funds; student fees (subject to economic hardship waiver); or, state funds subject to General Assembly appropriation. A substitute version of the bill clarifies language about economic hardship. Rep. Barnes stated that students eligible for free or reduced lunch would also be eligible for the fee waivers.


Subcommittee members voiced concern that the bill allows students not to pay fees and still receive credit, regardless of waiver status. Rep. Mesha Mainor (R-Atlanta) stated that Atlanta Public Schools does not support funding the program through local funds. While subcommittee members expressed general support for the bill, funding concerns led the committee to table the bill.


A fiscal note for HB 914 can be reviewed HERE.


Full Education Committee Quickly Passes Personal Leave Bill, Debates Bill on Pregnancy Education

HB 1384 and HB 1036 were subsequently approved by the full House Education Committee when it convened following the subcommittees.


HB 1036 was amended to provide an effective date of July 1, 2025. Following significant debate over the exclusion of sex education in this bill’s proposed course of study, two other amendments were offered. Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs) offered an amendment to strip language regarding human development. Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-Fairburn) offered an amendment to prohibit the course of study from including conception and sexual intercourse. Both amendments failed on a party-line vote, and the bill passed with opposition. 

HB 1384 and HB 1036 now move to House Rules.


Upcoming Schedule  

Thursday, Feb. 29, Legislative Day 28/Crossover Day 


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