Educator Salary Supplements One Step Closer to Finish Line
The House Appropriations Committee approved the Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) 2022 budget, which proposes a one-time salary supplement of $2,000 for full-time educators and a $1,000 supplement for part-time educators, school nurses, school nutrition workers, and bus drivers. House budget writers made other changes to the AFY 2022 budget drafted by Gov. Brian Kemp including:
$8.5 million to provide school custodians a one-time $1,000 salary supplement
$4.3 million to fund equipment for the Agricultural Education program
$3.6 million to cover the full cost of the $1,000 salary supplement for school nutrition staff
$5 million to incentivize districts to purchase alternative fuel buses
$2.6 million to purchase heavy equipment simulators for Technology/Career Education
In addition, funds have been added to state agencies to ensure that all state employees will receive the one-time salary supplements, regardless of how their positions are funded—state, federal, or other funding.
The full House is expected to vote on the AFY22 budget on Friday, Feb. 11. If approved as expected, the budget will move to the Senate, which is slated to begin its review next week.
House Subcommittee Passes Student Technology Protection Act
The House Education Subcommittee on Academic Support passed HB 1217, by. Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer), the “Student Technology Protection Act.” When presenting the legislation, Erwin framed the bill as a needed update on student internet access.
For purposes of local school district internet use policies, HB 1217 updates definitions of child pornography, content harmful to minors, obscene materials, and technology protection measures. It applies to school internet networks and devices.
It requires local districts to update internet acceptable use policies, including setting appropriate measures for violation of the policies as well as creation of parent complaint processes for alleged violation of the policies. Erwin’s bill, which is also sponsored by House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton), mandates that school districts provide parents an annual opportunity and procedure for restricting their child’s internet use. HB 1217 directs local boards and superintendents to take action to implement and enforce internet acceptable use policies, including upgrading technology protection measures which meet or exceed Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) standards.
GaDOE will establish compliance standards and specifications for technology protection measures and will provide guidance and technical assistance to help districts comply with requirements. GaDOE will also develop guidelines for school personnel training to include acceptable internet use policies, basic school cyber security issues including phishing, and other related current and emerging issues.
By Oct. 1 of each year, local school boards must submit acceptable use policies to the State Board of Education, which will review the submissions and, under existing law, is authorized to withhold funds due to noncompliance.
Finally, HB 1217 incorporates promotion of safe and appropriate use of technology and responsible digital citizenship into student character education programs.
The legislation easily passed and will next be considered by the full House Education Committee.
Friday, Feb. 11 – Legislative Day 15
Monday, Feb. 14 - Legislative Day 16
Senate Education & Youth Committee, 3 p.m., 307 CLOB
House Appropriations Education Subcommittee, 8 a.m., 341 CAP
Tuesday, Feb. 15 - Legislative Day 17