Senate Education & Youth Committee Approves Bill Protecting Planning Time
The Senate Education & Youth Committee approved HB 340 by Rep. John Corbett (R-Lake Park), a bill that 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. PAGE Director of Legislative Services Margaret Ciccarelli testified in support of the bill. The bill passed with one dissenting vote.
The committee heard HB 87 by Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer), which seeks to change school governance, academic accountability, and funding requirements for alternative high schools, including Mountain Education Charter High School, Foothills Education Charter High School, and Coastal Plains Charter High School. The schools serve non-traditional students who have dropped out or who are at risk of dropping out. Sen. Freddie Sims (D-Dawson) expressed concern that there are no alternative charter schools in southwest Georgia. Erwin said there is a lot of interest from school leaders in her district to open a school in that part of the state. The Georgia Department of Education spoke in support of the bill while encouraging senators to increase funding associated with its implementation. The committee did not take a vote on the bill.
Committee Chair Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett) mentioned the committee is likely to meet again Thursday, March 16, as well as Tuesday, March 21.
Senate Approves Diabetes Medication and Water Safety Bills
The Senate gave a “do-pass” to HB 440, from Rep. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna). The bill allows schools to stock ready-to-use glucagon, a diabetes medication, which can be administered in emergency situations. Senators also signed off on HB 402, from Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners), which requires school districts to distribute information to parents at the beginning of each school year on the importance of water safety courses and swim lessons. The information is to include locally available courses and lessons. Both bills now go to Gov. Brian Kemp for signature.
Wednesday, March 14 – Legislative Day 33
House Education, 8:30 a.m., 515 CLOB
Thursday, March 15 – Legislative Day 34
Monday, March 20 – Legislative Day 35