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Day 27: Literacy & Teacher Planning Time Bills Progress, Along with Other Education Legislation

House Education Committee Moves Literacy & Teacher Planning Time Bills Forward

The House Education Committee met in a bifurcated meeting when it ran short of time in the morning and convened again in the early evening. All of the following legislation passed and moves to the Rules Committee, which is likely to schedule it for a floor vote Monday.


HB 538, the Georgia Early Literacy Act, is sponsored by Bethany Ballard (R-Warner Robins), a former teacher. Ballard’s stated goal is to help more Georgia students read on grade level by the end of third grade. To reach that goal, the legislation would employ multiple strategies including use of universal screeners in K-3 classrooms, more training for early elementary teachers on the science of reading and structured literacy, and student reading intervention plans. Check out the PAGE Day 25 Capitol Report for more specifics on the bill.


Ballard introduced an amendment to push back implementation dates outlined in the bill by one year. The amendment passed after committee discussion, which, though generally supportive of the legislation, revealed member concern about lack of state funding for the legislation.


HB 537, by Rep. Becky Evans (D-Atlanta), which Evans describes as a “companion bill” to HB 538, directs the GaPSC to require that teacher education programs include mandatory coursework in age-appropriate evidence-based literacy instruction and requires GaPSC to revise teacher certification standards to include age-appropriate evidence-based literacy instruction. Evans introduced several amendments to her bill, the most significant of which requires DECAL teachers to receive annual training on developmentally appropriate evidence based literacy instruction by July 1, 2025.


HB 340, by John Corbett (R-Lake Park), provides for daily planning periods for K-12 teachers. Teachers entitled to planning periods could be required to supervise students during planning no more than once a week, except when necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff.


HB 506, by Ginny Ehrhart (R-Marietta), regarding education accreditation agencies, mandates that accreditation assessments are based 65 percent on student achievement and 65 percent on financial efficiency. Read more about Ehrhart’s bill in the PAGE Day 25 Capitol Report.


HB 469, by Rep. Penny Houston (R-Nashville), which encourages schools to implement and share detailed and accurate school building plans, school property site plans, and crisis response mapping data with local law enforcement and first responders to aid in navigating schools during crisis situations.


HB 504, by Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), which would exclude freeport exemptions for purposes of calculating local five mill share.


House Committee Signs Off on Bill to Foster Career Readiness for Students

The House Industry and Labor Committee approved HB 282 from Rep. Mesha Mainor (D-Atlanta), which would expand the career education course approved by the State Board of Education to include employability and career readiness skills. The Georgia Department of Education would be required to make instructional resources and materials related to employability and career readiness available to districts by July 1, 2023.


House Approves School Zone Speeding Bill


The House approved HB 348 by Rep. J Collins (R-Villa Rica), which seeks to change some regulations related to speeding in school zones.


Senate Approves Panic Button and Dual Enrollment Study Committee Legislation on March 1


The Senate approved the following education bills Wednesday, March 1, both of which move to the House. There were no education bills considered on the Senate floor Thursday, March 2.


SB 32 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), “Alyssa’s Law,” would require school systems to implement a mobile panic alert system that can connect in real-time to local law enforcement.


SR 175 by Sen. Matt Brass (R-Newnan) creates the Joint Study Committee on Dual Enrollment for Highly Skilled Talent at Younger Ages.


Upcoming Schedule


Monday, March 6 – Legislative Day 28/Crossover Day

Tuesday, March 7 – Legislative Day 29

Wednesday, March 8 – Legislative Day 30

Thursday, March 9 – Legislative Day 31


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