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KNOW Summer 2014

www.gae.org | 9 SR 875 | Creates a Joint Study Committee to Review the Impact of Property Tax Digest on Education Funding. GAE Position: Support One of the smartest pieces of legislation for this session was brought forward by Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill. We know that local property tax digests have seen a serious contraction as a result of the financial and housing downturn. Along with decreased state revenues, the impact on public education has been comprehensive. The study will include evaluation of equalization and the five mill share. The result of this study committee can shed light on the systemic results and possibly a plan of action. House Action: Passed unanimously. Senate Action: Passed unanimously. Governor’s Action: Signed 4/22/14 HB 964 | Create Charter schools in the workplace and in municipalities. GAE Position: Oppose This bill would have opened the door for businesses and municipalities to create their own charter schools with employees of the businesses and residents of the municipalities having priority attendance to those schools. Charter petitioners would submit applications to local school board for information only – NOT APPROVAL. Additionally, the legislation made changes to the enrollment provisions of the state charter schools. The modified enrollment provisions called for: any student in the state charter attendance zone to be enrolled; if the state chartered school was at its attendance capacity – then all applicants would have an equal opportunity through a random selection process with enrollment preference given to siblings already enrolled; children of governing board members; and children of school employees. House Action: Passed Ed Subcommittee. No further action. HB 239 | Private School Voucher Expansion GAE Position: Oppose HB 239 was an attempt to expand private school vouchers. This bill would have created a taxpayer funded scholarship for ‘low income students’ to attend private schools. Rep. Brockway did a constituent poll asking: Would you support a law that creates a taxpayer funded scholarship for low income students to attend private schools? Results: 27% Yes 47% No 27% undecided. Despite the majority of citizens opposing such an idea, Rep. Brockway still attempted to move forward with legislation. House Action: Read and referred to House Ways and Means. No action. HB 405 | Require Charter School Governance Board Training & (SB 372 – GPA Calculation for HOPE Eligibility) GAE Position: Support Both Bills Requires the governing board of nonprofit organizations that are charter school petitioners and charter schools, to participate in governance training required to be provided by the State Charter Commission and State Board of Education. This law applies to charter schools approved at both the state and local levels. Attached to this was SB 372 requiring schools to provide 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students their Georgia Student Finance Commission calculated grade-point-average for HOPE eligibility. House Action: Passed Senate Action: Passed Governor’s Action: Signed 4/15/14 HR 550 | Creates a House Study Committee to review the role of the Federal Government in Georgia’s Education. GAE Position: Neutral On the last day of the legislative session during a House recess, the House Education Committee was briefly convened to pass HR 550. The bill is a result of the defeat of SB 167. The committee will be composed of legislators, grandparents and parents and they will complete their work November 30, 2014. The committee took a hasty vote that passed on party lines. House Action: Passed Senate Action: No Senate action needed. Governor’s Action: No need for Governor’s signature. SR 782 | TRS Study Committee GAE Position: Support This bill would have created the Joint Study Committee on the Design of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS). The proposed 17-member committee would have been charged with review of TRS—its formulation and methodology. The committee would have included a GAE member, and the TRS Executive Director would have served as the content provider. This bill was an opportunity to be included and have a seat at the table in the review of TRS. Without it, the legislature can take action without our input. The bill did not get a hearing. HB766 | Work Based Learning Act GAE Position: Neutral This bill amends the Youth Apprenticeship Act with the goal of making the options for students more engaging and for businesses targeting a specific set of skills. The program would be open to students as early as 16 years old and over. School systems would work with the Georgia Department of Education in establishing the work based learning program structure and rules. The law eliminates the requirement that students be paid. House Action: Passed Senate Action: Passed Governor’s Action: Signed 4/21/14 SB 301 | Disallow prohibitions on wood construction in public school facilities if in compliance with state minimum standard codes GAE Position: Oppose Changes the school building code to allow public school buildings to be built from wood. The bill offered by Senator Fran Millar was an effort to ‘support Georgia’s Forestry Industry.’ GAE’s opposition was based on the fact that school buildings serve as emergency shelters throughout the state and should be less susceptible to natural disaster consequences. House Action: Passed Senate Action: Passed Governor’s Action: Signed 4/29/14 A REView of the Bils


KNOW Summer 2014
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