After remaining in recess Monday, the General Assembly returned to an extremely active Legislative Day 15.
House Rules Committee sets AFY 24 Budget for Wednesday Floor Vote
The House Appropriations Committee signed off on the Amended Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which incorporates revisions to Gov. Brian Kemp’s budget proposal. More information on Kemp’s proposal for AFY 2024 is available from PAGE here. Most of the changes made by the committee reflect updated information such as changes to QBE formula funding based on recent full-time enrollment counts. In addition, committee members have proposed adding:
$1,579,000 for Communities in Schools to leverage additional federal and philanthropic funding to expand the organization’s work
$980,924 to cover the cost of AP STEM exams due to increased participation
House Rules Committee meets to consider bills
Later in the day, the House Rules Committee placed the bill on the rules calendar for Wednesday, Feb 7.
Senate Approves Lowering Completion Schools Eligibility Age
With a vote of 45-8, the Senate passed SB 405 which lowers the age of eligibility for completion schools from 18 to 16. The bill also directs the State Board of Education (SBOE), in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), to adopt a policy for the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to publicly report cohort graduation rates in completion special schools. The bill was sponsored by Senate Education Chair Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett). Sen. Billy Hickman (R- Statesboro) also spoke in favor of the bill, citing Georgia’s need to maintain an educated workforce. Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D- Dawson) spoke in opposition stating that HB 87, which made various changes to the functioning and governance of completion schools, had only passed in 2023.
Sen. Dixon presents SB 405
House Agrees to Senate Version of Charter School Clean-Up Bill with Additional Bills Amended
The House agreed to the Senate amendments to HB 318 by Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners). The bill re-establishes the Office of Charter School Compliance within the State Charter School Commission and shifts responsibility for supporting locally approved charter schools from GaDOE to the compliance office. It would also establish the Office of District Flexibility at GaDOE to support charter systems. The approved Senate amendments add language from the following House bills:
Section 1 of HB 306 by Rep. Tim Fleming (R-Covington) would allow school districts to enter performance contracts for facility upgrades and improvements.
HB 81, from Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park), which would revise eligibility criteria for capital outlay grants to increase access for low-wealth districts.
Wednesday, Feb. 7: Legislative Day 16
1 p.m. House Education Subcommittee on Curriculum, 506 CLOB
2 p.m. House Education Subcommittee on Policy, 506 CLOB
Thursday, Feb. 8: Legislative Day 17
2 p.m. House Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education & Higher Education, 307 CLOB
Friday, Feb. 9: Legislative Day 18
8 a.m. Senate Education & Youth Committee, 450 CAP
1 p.m. Senate Joint Education & Higher Education Committees, 450 CAP