Day 7: Education Budget Presented to House Subcommittee; Mental Health Legislation Announced

House Budget Writers Review Proposed Changes to Current Year Education Spending

Members of the House Appropriations Education Subcommittee had few questions about the changes Gov. Brian Kemp proposed to state funding for public schools for the current school year at the subcommittee's first meeting this morning. Rusk Roam, chief financial officer for the Georgia Department of Education, described the changes, which are outlined in Kemp’s proposed Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) 2022 budget. The proposed budget includes a one-time salary supplement for instructional staff. More information on salary supplements and other recommended changes is available from PAGE HERE.


The subcommittee will meet again to approve the education portion of the AFY 2022 budget, which will then move to the full appropriations committee for review and approval. The subcommittee or full committee may revise the proposed AFY 2022 budget before approving it and sending it to the Senate.


Senate Education Hears Military Student Bill and Passes High School Dropout Pilot

SB 357 by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Roswell) would allow students of military families to attend any public school of their family’s choosing, regardless of the residence of the child, within a 50 mile radius of the family’s residence. If choosing to enroll outside of their home school district, families would need to provide their own pupil transportation. After discussing the bill at length, including SB 357's impact on local school funding, committee members opted to delay action on the legislation and withdraw several clarifying amendments.


SB 231 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (D-Dallas) seeks to create a charter school pilot program for adults ages 21-35 who have dropped out of high school. Three public-private partnership programs located in Savannah, Macon, and possibly LaGrange are expected under the bill, at an estimated cost of $2.1 million each. According to Goodwill Industries, which helped present the bill in committee, more than 300,000 young adults in Georgia have no high school diploma and are likely to live in poverty.


Speaker Announces Introduction of Mental Health Legislation

Flanked by members of the Georgia Behavioral Health Reform & Innovation Commission and a bipartisan contingent of House members, Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) announced the introduction of HB 1013 (which is not yet available on the state website as of publication of this report). Among other reforms, the bill is intended to provide insurance coverage parity for mental and physical health.


Read WABE’s report on the announcement HERE.


Upcoming Schedule


Thursday, Jan. 27: Legislative Day 8


Monday, Jan. 31

  • 3 p.m., Senate Education and Youth Committee, 307 CLOB

Tuesday, Feb. 1: Legislative Day 9

PAGE Webinar on Proposed School Budget, Including Educator Pay Raises

At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the PAGE legislative team will conduct a brief webinar on proposed pay raises for Georgia educators and other highlights of the AFY2022 and Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) education budgets. Please join us by registering HERE.


PAGE Day on Capitol Hill Signup

Please make plans to join us at PAGE Day on Capitol Hill, Feb. 22, 2022 by registering HERE.