Legislative Session Comes Into Focus

Posted March 1, 2017 06:00 AM by Jimmy Stokes    

Crossover Day is Friday, March 3, and that is the day that bills must exit their originating chamber to continue for this session.  Here are some of the things that are now clear:

  1. The prime education legislation of 2017 focuses on the Governor’s “Failing Schools” bill, HB 338.While much was originally proposed, the bill has basically come down to what was passed in the 2000 General Assembly.The difference is that a specific office under the State Board of Education is proposed that would enforce the turnaround/takeover provisions of the law.That continues to be the sticking point—would the CTO report to the State Schools Superintendent or directly to the State Board.The Governor very much wants the CTO to be independent of the State School Superintendent. Late last week the Governor made a commitment to fund the operation of the Chief Turnaround Officer and staff through the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.The bill was adopted by the House yesterday and now goes to the Senate.
  2. An effort to establish a foundation to support underperforming schools via a tax credit contribution system will probably go to the Governor.
  3. The recommendations of the Governor’s Education Reform Commission, specifically reforming QBE is dead for this session and probably forever.
  4. There will be several bills designed to support dependents of active military personnel that make it through the legislature.The bills are offered to avoid military base closings in Georgia.
  5. Move on When Ready tweaking legislation continues to support the very popular program.
  6. Several minor education bills remain alive including allowing students to carry and use sunscreen, testing water for lead, and a continuation of the annual physical fitness screening.

 


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