March 11, 2020

Legislative Session
Day 27 (Part 2)
Report Snapshot

Busy Day at the Capitol – Partial Report from PAGE

New Adjournment Resolution – Sine Die April 2

Senate Passes Educator Evaluation Legislation and Several Other Education Bills

House Ed Committee Passes Child Entertainer and Whole Child Bills

House Committee Hears Bill Exempting Schools from Paying Plant Vogtle Financing Costs Up Front

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, March 12 – Legislative Day 28/Crossover Day

Friday, March 13 – Legislative Day 29
Busy Day at the Capitol – Partial Report from PAGE

With action intensifying at the Capitol in advance of Crossover Day on Thursday, March 12, the House and Senate both had full calendars yesterday. Crossover Day marks the day by which all legislation must pass one chamber in order to remain viable. 

In order to update our Capitol Report readers regarding a number of high profile bills, PAGE published our Day 27 report in two parts. Part two of our Day 27 report is based on action which occurred after 5:30 p.m. on March 10. Review  Part I of our Day 27 report HERE
New Adjournment Resolution – Sine Die April 2

The House passed a new adjournment resolution for the remainder of the 2020 session and plans the  following schedule:

Friday, March 13: legislative day 29
Wednesday, March 18: legislative day 30
Thursday, March 19: legislative day 31
Friday, March 20: legislative day 32
Monday, March 23: legislative day 33
Tuesday, March 24: legislative day 34
Wednesday, March 25: legislative day 35
Thursday, March 26: legislative day 36
Friday, March 27: legislative day 37
Monday, March 30: legislative day 38
Tuesday, March 31: legislative day 39
Wednesday, April 2: legislative day 40/Sine Die

The Senate passed its own adjournment resolution that also schedules that body to wrap on April 2. However, the Senate schedule for session days does not align with the House schedule. The Senate schedule is  as follows

Friday, March 13: legislative day 29
Monday, March 16: legislative day 30
Wednesday, March 18: legislative day 31
Thursday, March 19: legislative day 32
Friday, March 20: legislative day 33
Monday, March 23: legislative day 34
Tuesday, March 24: legislative day 35
Wednesday, March 25: legislative day 36
Thursday, March 26: legislative day 37
Friday, March 27: legislative day 38
Monday, March 30: legislative day 39
Thursday, April 2: legislative day 40/Sine Die

-Margaret Ciccarelli
Senate Passes Educator Evaluation Legislation and Several Other Education Bills 

Highlights:

  • Senate passes bill that refines educator evaluation system.

  • Senate passes legislation that defines work-based learning and a bill to refine guidelines for dispensing unused food from culinary arts programs.

The Senate passed PAGE supported legislation,  SB 466 , sponsored by Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville). The bill would eliminate the “needs development” rating from the teacher evaluation ratings that can trigger loss of certification. Currently, an educator who receives two "needs development" ratings in a five-year period could lose his or her certification. The bill also creates a pilot program for up to 10 school districts to create a new evaluation system. The pilot program must provide embedded supports for educators, professional development opportunities, recognition and advancement for highly effective teachers, and the creation of a pathway for progression. The bill now moves to the House.
 
The Senate also passed two other education bills, both of which now move to the House:

SB 447  also by Sen. Martin provides general definitions for work-based learning opportunities available to students, including apprenticeships, internships, and others. The goal of the legislation is to place the definitions of work-based learning in one place in Georgia law that is easily accessible. 

SB 387  by Sen. Jennifer Jordan (D-Atlanta) authorizes the State Board of Education to provide rules for schools with a Culinary Arts program to dispense surplus food.

-Margaret Ciccarelli
House Ed Committee Passes Child Entertainer and Whole Child Bills

Highlights:

  • Committee passes bill allowing for absence of child entertainers.

  • Committee also passes bill codifying the Georgia Department of Education’s Whole Child initiative.

The House Academic Support Subcommittee met Tuesday afternoon and passed the following bills:

HB 476  by Rep. Valencia Stovall (D-Forest Park) would allow for a child entertainer student who is performing during school days not be counted present or absent.

HB 1106  by Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro) codifies the  Whole Child  work underway at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE). A similar bill,  SB 102  by Sen. Emmanuel Jones (D-Decatur), is scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Thursday, March 12.

Immediately following the subcommittee meeting, the full House Education Committee approved both bills, which now move on to the House Rules Committee.

-Josh Stephens
House Committee Hears Bill Exempting Schools from Paying Plant Vogtle Financing Costs Up Front 

Highlights:

  • Committee has a hearing on bill to exempt schools from paying Plant Vogtle financing costs up front.

  • School payment will be delayed until after construction is complete.

  • Committee does not vote on the bill.

The House Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications Committee met Wednesday morning to discuss  HB 1031 , the Save School Money Act, by Rep. Becky Evans (D-Atlanta). The bill matches the language of  SB 112 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta).

HB 1031 would prohibit Georgia Power from collecting financing costs for the Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant construction from public schools, including state charter schools, before the units begin providing power to customers. “Stretched school budgets deserve relief from this tariff,” Evans explained. She called for these funds to be spent on students and teachers. 

Several members of the committee expressed concern that delaying when schools pay the tariff could end up costing schools more in the long run on interest charges.

A representative from Georgia Watch, a consumer watchdog organization, testified in support of the bill. Representatives of Georgia Power testified in opposition.

The committee did not take a vote on the bill. Rep. Don Parsons (R-Marietta) assigned the bill to a subcommittee to allow for further conversation but stated that he did not intend to take any action on it in 2020.

-Josh Stephens
Claire Suggs
Senior Education Policy Analyst
csuggs@pageinc.org
Josh Stephens
Legislative Affairs Specialist
jstephens@pageinc.org
Margaret Ciccarelli
Director of Legislative Services
mciccarelli@pageinc.org