Technology Protection Act & Other Notable Education Bills Pass House and Senate
The House and Senate approved several high-profile education bills as lawmakers crossed Legislative Day 20, the halfway mark of the 2022 legislative session. The House passed HB 1217, the “Student Technology Protection Act," by Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer), and the Senate signed off on SB 435 by Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone), the “Save Girls Sports Act.”
The House passed the following bills, which move on to the Senate:
HB 1217 by Rep. Erwin, the “Student Technology Protection Act,” would update definitions of child pornography, content harmful to minors, obscene materials, and technology protection measures. It applies to school internet networks and devices. The bill requires local districts to update internet acceptable use policies, including setting measures for violation of the policies as well as creation of parent complaint processes for alleged violation of the policies. Click HERE to review PAGE’s summary of the bill.
HB 1215 by Rep. Brad Thomas (R-Holly Springs) proposes updates to several provisions in state law related to charter schools.
HB 1276 by Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), would require the Georgia Department of Community Health to provide statistical information related to the membership, providers, care utilization, and cost for state-administered health plans including the State Health Benefit Plan. If passed into law, the department would post these data on its website biannually.
The Senate passed the following bills, which move on to the House:
SB 435 by Sen. Harbin, the “Save Girls Sports Act,” seeks to prohibit public schools and participating private schools from allowing students to participate in interscholastic or intramural athletics designated for students of the other sex, unless there is not an equivalent athletic program. Determination of gender would be based on the biological sex reported on students' official birth certificate, which is assumed to be accurate if it was completed at or near the time of their birth. More on the bill is available HERE.
SB 397 by Sen. Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell) seeks to update terminology referring to general education development (GED) diplomas by changing it to high school equivalency (HSE) diplomas.
Senate Committee Passes Public Employee Vaccine Requirement Legislation
Wednesday, Feb. 23, the Senate Health & Human Services Committee passed SB 345, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga), which prohibits public employers, including school districts, from requiring that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The prohibition would sunset on June 30, 2023, and now moves to Senate Rules, which may schedule it for a floor vote.
Monday, Feb. 28: Legislative Day 21
Senate Appropriations Committee, 8 a.m., 341 CAP
Tuesday, March 1: Legislative Day 22