Education Curriculum Subcommittee Passes Football Video Review Mandate
HB 32 by Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) mandates that video review be made available in high school football championship games. The subcommittee passed the legislation but House Education Chair Chris Erwin (R-Homer) requested that Douglas amend his bill to clarify that it pertains to video review, not instant replay.
The bill is expected to next be heard in the full House Education Committee.
House Education Policy Subcommittee Considers Student Alternative Transport & Suicide Screening Bills
A subcommittee of House Education considered - but did not vote on - two pieces of legislation:
HB 51, sponsored by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), allows school districts to transport students in vehicles other than school buses. Currently this transportation option is only open to students experiencing homelessness and special education students. Pirkle described the legislation as providing school districts with added flexibility to transport students to school and school-related activities. The State Board of Education would be responsible for setting the minimum standards for vehicles and drivers. Committee discussion centered on notice to parents and whether smaller vehicles would have cameras.
HB 141, by Rep. Mesha Mainor (D-Atlanta), seeks to require schools to conduct suicide screenings on all students, ages 8 through 18.
Bill sponsors were encouraged to consider subcommittee member feedback before discussion resumes at a later meeting.
Education Appropriations Subcommittee Reviews Gov. Kemp’s FY 2024 Budget Proposals
Leaders of education-related agencies walked members of the education subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee through Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget, which is available here. Lawmakers showed particular interest in agency staffing, asking each agency representative their total number of employees, turnover rate, current vacancies, and whether the proposed FY 2024 budget provided sufficient funding to provide the $2,000 cost of living adjustment to all eligible employees. Several cited strains in selected areas. Committee members also asked if agencies had any unmet capital needs, and all reported they did not.
Agencies presenting their budgets were:
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement
Georgia Professional Standards Commission
Employee Retirement System
Teachers Retirement System
Department of Early Care and Learning
Department of Education
Agency presentations followed up on previous ones agency leaders made at the joint House and Senate appropriations committee in January, giving lawmakers a chance to ask additional questions and delve into more detail. One item that caught the attention of several lawmakers was the proposed elimination of funding for three alternative high schools. Chair Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville) stated the aim of lawmakers is to continue funding the schools and wanted additional information about plans for doing for so.
Buster Evans, executive director of the Teachers Retirement System, noted that 212 retired teachers returned to the classroom full-time after the passage of the Return-to-Work bill in 2022, putting experienced, certified teachers in special education, math, and science classrooms.
Lawmakers will continue reviewing the proposed FY 2024 budget and make revisions to it before sending it to the full Appropriations Committee.
Tuesday, Feb. 14 – Legislative Day 18
House Motor Vehicles, 8 a.m., 606 CLOB
Senate Education & Youth, 2:30 p.m., 450 CAP
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Legislative Day 19
House Public Safety & Homeland Security, 1 p.m., 506 CLOB
Senate Education & Youth and Senate Higher Education Joint Committee, 2 p.m., 307 CLOB
Thursday, Feb. 16 – Legislative Day 20
Senate Retirement, 1 p.m., Mezz 1 CAP
Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Legislative Day 21/PAGE Day on Capitol Hill