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Day 32: 2024 Session Four Fifths Complete, Action on Major Education Legislation Expected in Remaining Days

Floor & Committee Action  

The House and the Senate met briefly for Day 32 but did not consider education-related legislation. Though several committees met before policymakers adjourned for the weekend, education bills were not on their agendas.  


Education Proposals Await Action During Final Days of Legislative Session 

While only a few legislative days remain in the 2024 Session, a significant amount of work will happen throughout March. With Crossover Day come and gone, bills that made it over the deadline are continuing through the committee hearing process in the opposite chamber. Several of these are high-profile education bills. These proposals will likely be further modified, and measures that failed to cross over can still be amended onto surviving legislation. Below is some of the most notable education legislation awaiting final passage: 


Creation of Georgia’s Third Private School Voucher Program  

SB 233 was first introduced by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) in 2023 and titled the “Georgia Promise Scholarship Act. This bill seeks to create a new private school voucher program called an education savings account (ESA). ESAs would send $6,500 to each participating students’ family every year. The program would join the state’s two existing voucher programs. 


SB 233 passed the Senate last year but failed in the House when 16 primarily rural Republicans joined all but one Democrat in voting down the measure. Since then, SB 233 supporters in both chambers have continued to exert political pressure to push the bill through.   


CLICK HERE for PAGE’s detailed summary of SB 233. PAGE legislative staff will remain vigilant on this proposal, as it could move forward quickly in coming days.  


Expansion of Existing Tuition Tax Credit Voucher Program 

Georgia has two private school voucher programs, which currently cost about $165 million. There are two bills that would expand the more expensive voucher program, which has an annual price tag of $120 million and is funded through tax credits.  


HB 54 aims to expand the tax credit voucher program, raising its annual cost to $200 million. HB 101 seeks to increase funding for the tax credit voucher to $130 million. 


HB 54 is in the House Ways & Means Committee. It has not yet been voted on by the committee, but it could be attached to moving legislation. HB 101 was approved by the House and has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. It could move forward at any time.  


Learn more about HB 54 in the PAGE resource, Operating in the Dark 


Single Statewide Literacy Screener 

As part of 2023’s passage of the Georgia Early Literacy Act, schools are required to implement early literacy screeners. Currently, schools are able to select from an array of screeners, but an amendment to SB 464 would mandate that all schools use a single, free universal screener. Amendment sponsor Sen. Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro) claims that having a single screener is necessary for comparability between schools.  


Education Budget Items--Pay Raises, Pupil Transportation, & School Safety   

The FY25 Budget continues to move toward final passage. After obtaining approval by the House yesterday, the budget will soon be considered by the Senate. The final version of the budget is expected to pass during the final days of the session.   


Education highlights of the FY 25 budget are funds to increase salaries for certified teachers and staff by $2,500, increasing the employer contribution to State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP), $205 million for pupil transportation, and $103 million for school safety grants.  


You can find a full report on the proposed House version of the FY25 Budget in our Day 30 Report HERE.


Upcoming Schedule 


Monday, March 11 – Legislative Day 33 

  • 9:30 a.m. Senate Appropriations Education/Higher Education Subcommittee, 307 CLOB

  • 3 p.m. House Education Committee, 506 CLOB 


Tuesday, March 12 – Committee Workday 

  • 2:30 p.m. Senate Education & Youth Committee, 450 CAP 


Wednesday, March 13 – Legislative Day 34 


Thursday, March 14 – Legislative Day 35 

 

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