Crossover Day Wrap Up
The legislative pace has slowed since the dash to pass bills by the end of Crossover Day, the date by which legislation must pass one chamber to continue moving forward and become law. The was no education-related action under the Gold Dome today. A review of education bills that passed by Crossover Day, and those that did not, is available below.
The only bill required to pass each year is the state budget. The House gave the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, reflected in HB 81, a “Do Pass,” and Senate appropriations subcommittees have started their work on it.
Most bills that do not pass by Crossover Day die in the reject pile. However, lawmakers can revive them by attaching them to other bills that were approved. This ploy can be used to keep controversial bills alive, such as the private school voucher bill HB 60. PAGE will continue tracking all developments under the Gold Dome, including any efforts like this.
Education Bills that Passed
The following education bills passed the House and Senate prior to the Crossover Day deadline:
HB 32 by Rep. Dave Belton (R-Buckhead) is a PAGE-supported bill that would award a $3,000 tax credit for teachers who are newly hired by certain rural schools or schools performing in the lowest 5 percent, based on Georgia's College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) school accountability system.
HB 146 by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) grants up to 120 hours of paid parental leave for the birth of a child to full-time educators and state employees if they have been employed by a school district or state agency for six months.
HB 287 by Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) would include tobacco and vapor products in alcohol and drug courses required each year for all students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
HB 606 by Rep. Randy Nix (R-LaGrange) adds the Georgia Independent Schools Association to the list of approved accrediting agencies for schools.
HB 681 by Rep. Bill Yearta (R-Sylvester) requires local school boards to provide personal financial literacy courses for students in 10th or 11th grade.
SB 20 by Sen. Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) seeks to expand Georgia’s Child Advocate Advisory Committee by three members, including a foster parent, a former foster child, and a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
SB 42 by Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) would remove school discipline data from Georgia’s School Climate Star Rating system. Discipline data would be reported separately.
SB 47 by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) is a PAGE-opposed bill that would expand Georgia’s current special needs scholarship program, which is currently open to students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), to include students with 504 accommodations. More information is available here.
SB 51 by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White) the “Dexter Mosely Act” (also referred to as the “Tim Tebow Act”) allows home school students to participate in extracurricular activities at the public schools for which they are zoned as long as the students enroll in one course at their local public schools.
SB 59 by Sen. John Albers. (R-Roswell) provides supplemental funding to local charter schools, allows educators employed by charter schools to participate in the State Health Benefit Plan, and requires local boards of education to make educational facilities available to local charters or provide them a facility stipend.
SB 66 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) proposes the merger of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education and the Public Education Innovation Fund Foundation. More information on SB 66 is available here.
SB 106 by Sen. Gail Davenport (D-Jonesboro) seeks to provide wraparound services to students in Pre-K through 3rd grade before issuing students out-of-school suspensions for five or more days.
SB 153 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) would create a category of charter schools—known as Graduation Opportunities and Advanced Learning (GOAL) academies—designed to support students at risk for dropping out and clarify funding for them.
SB 204 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins aims to create a pilot program to help individuals who left high school before graduating, or who want to do so, earn a high school diploma from a technical college. More information is available here.
SB 220 by Sen. Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) would create a commission to oversee Georgia civics education.
SB 226 Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) requires local boards of education to adopt policies providing for a complaint resolution process to address school media material including books and movies that objecting parents find obscene. More information is available here.
SB 246 by Sen. Matt Brass (R-Newnan) limits state requirements on student learning pods, which the legislation describes as parents voluntarily grouping children together to participate in or enhance their primary educational program. More information is available here.
Education Bills that Did Not Pass
HB 142 by Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton) is a PAGE-opposed bill that would boost the cap on the tax credit voucher program to $150 million annually, an addition of $50 million from the current level. More information on HB 142 is available here.
HB 276 by Rep. Phillip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg) would make it unlawful for public or private schools, both K-12 and postsecondary, whose students compete against public schools, to allow transgender female athletes to participate in athletic programs designated for females. More information on HB 276 is available here.
HB 517 by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), would allow home school students to participate in extracurricular activities at the public school for which they are zoned, if they enroll in at least one course at that school. More information is available here.
HB 589 by Rep. Matthew Gambill (R-Cartersville), named “The Georgia Civics Renewal Act,” would create a commission to review and make recommendations on civics education in the state.
SB 3 by Sen. Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) would raise the compulsory attendance age for students from 16 to 17. More information is available here.
SB 240 by Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta) would create a new, voluntary instructional program on elections for 11th- and 12th-grade students.
HB 385 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) is a PAGE-supported bill that would allow retired educators to return to work full-time after a 12-month waiting period following retirement and continue to draw full Teacher Retirement System (TRS) benefits. This bill is also part of Gov. Kemp’s teacher pipeline package. More information is available here.
The bill was approved for actuarial study to determine the bill’s fiscal impact. As a fiscal retirement bill, HB 385 is required to follow a two-year legislative process. After successfully moving to actuarial review, the legislation will be eligible to pass the 2022 legislature and become effective thereafter.