House Ed Passes Senate Literacy Bill, School Accreditation Compromise, & More
The House Education Committee met and passed four bills, all of which now move to the Rules Committee, which is expected to schedule them for a floor vote.
SB 211, by Sen. Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro), which seeks to establish the Georgia Council on Literacy to set new school district improvement requirements and oversight mechanisms. The council would undertake activities in multiple areas including reviewing best practices in literacy instruction from other states.
The council would work in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the State Board of Education (SBOE) to implement requirements of early literacy requirements, as well as research and make recommendations for improving literacy rates among low-income students, minority students, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) students, and students with characteristics of dyslexia. The council would also:
Review and set annual literacy goals for students in grades three, five, and eight
Review and make recommendations to align teacher certification with evidence-based literacy instruction and education degree program requirements
Review and make recommendations for professional development for teachers in Pre-K – 3rd grade classrooms
Hickman introduced some bill changes on behalf of the Governor’s Office which he characterized as consolidating the governor’s existing literacy council into the council created by SB 211, thus expanding the number of appointees. He also announced the council would not be responsible for setting the state literacy metric.
Sen. Greg Dolezal returned with a new version of SB 204, regarding school accreditation agencies. At a recent House subcommittee meeting, members voted to strip Dolezal’s bill and substitute provisions from a related House bill which did not make the Crossover Day deadline. Dolezal introduced a substitute to that subcommittee substitute. He described the newest iteration as having the components of his original bill plus the addition of the appeals process outlined in the House bill.
SB 204 establishes specific criteria for agencies that accredit public schools, including measurements of student learning and financial efficiency.
SB 32, "Alyssa's Law," by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), would require school systems to implement a mobile panic alert system that can connect in real-time to local law enforcement.
SB 45, “A.J.’s Law,” by Sen. Anavitarte, would require the creation and implementation of seizure action plans for students with epilepsy.
Thursday, March 16 – Legislative Day 35
Monday, March 20 – Legislative Day 36
Tuesday, March 21 – Legislative Day 37
Wednesday, March 22 – Legislative Committee Workday
Thursday, March 23 – Legislative Day 38