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Day 30: House Appropriations Approves FY25 Budget, Senate Ed Passes AED, Diabetes, & Charter School Bill with Single Statewide Score Attached


House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2025 Budget Proposal

Members of the House Appropriations Committee made changes to some items within Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget but supported his plan to increase salaries for certified teachers and staff by $2,500. The House also agreed to increase the employer contribution in the per member per month cost for the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) to $1,760. Kemp’s proposals to add $205 million for pupil transportation and $103 million for school safety grants were also approved. Lawmakers gave their version of the FY 2025 budget a “do pass” at their early morning meeting.


Some of the changes made by lawmakers result from having updated information, while others reflect issues that emerged as priorities for House members. House revisions to the FY 2025 budget proposed for the Georgia Department of Education include:


  • $28,056 in agricultural education for an increase in the employer contribution rate for the Teacher Retirement System (TRS)

  • $523,795 to cover salary increases in FY 2024 and FY 2025 for certified teachers and certified staff in agricultural education

  • $368,946  in agricultural education to reflect the increase in the employer share of the per member per month cost for the SHBP, which rises to $1,760 effective, July 1, 2024

  • $88,000 for eight extended day/year programs in agricultural education

  • $192,000 for two young farmer positions in Barrow and Peach counties

  • $1.5 million for three heavy equipment simulators at 10 schools

  • $200,000 for an adaptive sports program

  • $2.7 million reduction in funds for facilities grants for locally approved charter schools

  • $1.6 million for Communities in Schools to leverage matching grant funds for program expansion

  • $177,000 for life sciences industry certification

  • $319,000 to provide one International Baccalaureate (IB) exam to all students, and one IB exam to free-and-reduced lunch students

  • $1 million for computer science professional development

  • $4.3 million reduction in funds for a decline in training and experience for the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic (GNETS) support

  • $389,615 reduction in formula funds for Residential Treatment Centers, based on enrollment

  • $750,000 for a mentorship program to increase teacher retention rates

  • $362,000 for one-time grant funds for CPR training and equipment for student health and safety

  • $6.3 million to cover the cost of breakfast and lunch for reduced-paying students

  • $42.8 million for differentiated pay for newly certified math and science teachers

  • $1.4 million to cover the salary increases in FY 2024 and FY 2025 for certified teachers and certified staff in Technology/Career education


House lawmakers also recommend shifting $4.9 million for Advanced Placement (AP) and PSAT exams from the Testing program to the Curriculum program. Committee members included a $2 million increase in funds for the APEX program to increase mental health services in five elementary schools. In the Pre-K Program, nearly $9 million is included to expand the Summer Transition Program, and $383,311 is included for three administrative positions.


The bill heads to the Rules Committee, which will likely send it to the full House for a floor vote this week.


Senate Ed Passes AED, Diabetes Education, & Charter School Bills

The Senate Education & Youth Committee passed three bills which now move to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.


HB 874 by Rep. Lee Hawkins would require K-12 public schools to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) accessible during school hours and at any school-related function. The legislation directs schools to develop a written emergency action plan with specific steps to take during a cardiac emergency. The bill also requires creation of an AED internal response team at each school to maintain the AEDs and manage the emergency action plan. Finally, the bill requires two practice drills each school year. Hawkins indicated that the House version of the FY 2025 budget contains $362,000 for purchase AED’s for the Georgia schools which do not currently have one.


HB 1183 by Rep. Katie Dempsey (R-Rome) requires all local school systems that provide information on immunizations, infectious diseases, medications, or other school health issues to parents and guardians of students in grades six through 12 also to provide information on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.


HB 1122 by Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners) updates the conflict-of-interest governance board policies regarding state charter schools. The bill authorizes charter schools to earn more funding for more school leaders. State charter schools would also receive funding for a school superintendent under the bill. The version of HB 1122 considered by the committee includes language from HB 1186, mandating a single statewide school accountability score.  HB 1186 did meet last week’s Crossover Day deadline.


Upcoming Schedule 


Wednesday, March 6 – Committee Workday  

  • 9 a.m. House Education Curriculum Subcommittee, 406 CLOB

  • 10 a.m. House Education Committee, 406 CLOB

  • 11 a.m. Senate Public Safety Committee, Mezz 1 Cap

  • 1 p.m. Senate Higher Education Committee, 606 CLOB

Thursday, March 7 - Legislative Day 31 

  • 7 a.m. Senate Appropriations, 341 Cap

  • 5 p.m. Senate Veterans, Military & Homeland Security, 307 CLOB

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