1st Quarter Legislative Update

This legislative update comes from a public report posted online by Stan Jester, DeKalb County Board Representative (District 1).

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GA-CapitolThe first quarter of the 2015 legislative session is now behind us. Where do we stand?  The House Education Committee passed three bills which will move on to the House Rules Committee before moving to the House action items.

HB 0091 – Eliminate Georgia High School Graduation Test

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GSBA Summary – Removes criterion-referenced competency tests and the Georgia High School Graduation Test from the list of approved student achievement measures leading to a high school diploma and adds end-of-grade assessments to the list. The bill also retroactively removes the Test requirement for students who have met all other graduation requirements and allows a diploma to be awarded.

Bill Summary from the State Site – A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the elementary and secondary education, so as to eliminate the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for purposes of graduation; to provide procedures for former students who did not pass one or more portions of the Georgia High School Graduation Test to petition to obtain a high school diploma; to provide for notice of such petition option; to provide for changes for purposes of conformity; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

HB 0062 – Special needs students with active military parent

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GSBA Summary – The special needs voucher program currently requires a special needs student’s parent to have been a Georgia resident for at least one year and the student to have been in attendance at a Georgia public school the year prior to be eligible. This bill would amend that for military families. If the parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year, then the special needs student would be eligible.

Bill Summary from the State Site – A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 20-2-2114 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to qualifications for the scholarship program for special needs students, so as to waive certain qualifications for students whose parent is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

HB 0065 – Public meetings on proposed operating budgets

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GSBA Summary – LC 33 5725 Requires boards of education and certain charter schools not part of a local education agency to hold at least two meetings to allow public input on the proposed annual operating budget. Charter schools with a statewide attendance zone shall hold one such meeting in the county where its primary business office is located and one meeting in metro Atlanta.

Bill Summary from the State Site – A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so as to require local boards of education and certain charter schools to hold at least two public meetings on the proposed annual operating budget; to require that a summary of the proposed and adopted annual operating budget be posted on the Internet; to require that the detailed annual operating budget be made available upon request; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

2nd Quarter Expectations
The second quarter is filled with education bills waiting for committee action.

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