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LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP. 2009 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. Budget Lowlights and Highlights- FY 2009 Amended Budget. DOE cuts Academic coach program $900K Math/science mentor vacancies left unfilled $660K Testing $545K Technical/Career Education cuts $630K

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Legislative wrap up


2009 Session of the Georgia General Assembly

Budget lowlights and highlights fy 2009 amended budget

Budget Lowlights and Highlights- FY 2009 Amended Budget

  • DOE cuts

    • Academic coach program $900K

    • Math/science mentor vacancies left unfilled $660K

    • Testing $545K

  • Technical/Career Education cuts $630K

  • Charter Schools program cuts (planning/implementation grants, Charter Commission personnel) $650K

  • Virtual world cuts (eliminate GA Virtual Academy foreign language) $384K

Paper cuts
“Paper cuts”

  • Ag Ed $280K

  • Eliminate teacher liability insurance program as of 2/1 $137K

  • Governor’s Honors Program $75K

  • Migrant education and sparsity grants $265K

  • Special needs scholarship $113K

  • Classroom gift cards $285K

Austerity cuts
Austerity cuts

$93 million (initial, “base” cut)


$50 million (amount General Assembly restored, but now cut again)


$136 million (2% cut due to declining revenues)


$95 million (associated with decision to fund HTRG)


$375 million


$145 million (ARRA funds)


$229 million


  • Enrollment growth (.23%) $77 million

  • Equalization/LFMS $9 million

  • Virtual school (add 1,500 slots) $930K

Doe cuts
DOE cuts

  • Personnel and contracts $4.6 million

  • School improvement $2 million

  • Technical/Career Education operations $503K

Paper cuts1
“Paper cuts”

  • Elementary foreign language program $384K

  • Food processing plants $100K

  • Teacher liability insurance program $300K

  • Charter school implementation grants $500K

Austerity cuts1
Austerity cuts

$93 million (initial, “base” cut)


$147 million (due to lowered revenue estimate)


$50 million (amount General Assembly attempted to restore in FY09, but now cut again)


$413 million in new austerity cuts


$703 million


$413 million in ARRA funds


$290 million (General Assembly wants the $49 million in graduation coach money, which was rolled into the QBE formula, to count against the austerity line, so their total remaining austerity cuts may be stated as $241 million.)

Other cuts
Other cuts

  • $112 million to the equalization grant program (does not include the $80 million by which the program should have grown in FY2010)

  • $2.5 million to the pupil transportation program

  • Note: LFMS increased by only $6 million (rather than the $175 million by which it should have increased)

Adds and odds
Adds and “odds”

  • School nurse funding $29.1 million (3% less than in previous years)

  • Regular and exceptional growth capital outlay 80% funding level

  • Vocational equipment $7 million (bond funding)

  • RESA’s (3% cut), ETTC’s, Georgia Virtual School ($1.1 million added for more courses) all remain as separate line items

  • Graduation coaches ($49 million) eliminated as line item and funds added to QBE

  • NBCT supplements funded at 10% of base salary for beginning, T-4 teacher

Sb114 educational placement of children of military families
SB114 – Educational placement of children of military families

  • Applies to children of parents on active military duty (a few exceptions)

  • Requires that children’s school placement be based on “unofficial” records and that “official” records be requested immediately

  • Mandates that a student’s age not be a part of placement decision if “prerequisite” requirements have been met in another state

  • Requires receiving systems to honor placement determined by sending schools (nothing prohibits schools from conducting additional assessments once student enrolls)

  • Permits schools to grant additional unexcused absences for students to visit parents on leave

  • Schools are required to accept special power of attorney for enrollment purposes, may not charge tuition to these students, and must “facilitate” their participation in extracurricular activities as well as their on-time graduation.

  • HB 484 families – Dependent children of military parents on active duty and stationed in Georgia meet residency requirement for HOPE

  • HB 313 – Changes requirements for calculating for HOPE scholarship eligibility so as to use a 4.0 scale for all students

Hb 149 move on when ready act
HB 149 – Move on When Ready Act families

  • Allows 11th and 12th grade students in public schools to “move on” to postsecondary schools (if accepted)

  • Students must have been public school students for the school year prior to “moving on”

  • Students who take DOE-approved courses at postsecondary institutions receive HS credit for those courses

  • DOE develops and provides forms and counseling guidelines to be used by local systems

  • State Board rule will require that systems issue a HS diploma to the student (if college coursework matches and meets grad requirements)

  • Postsecondary institutions receive, after $200 administrative fee for local system, the lesser of (1) cost of tuition, fees, materials, or (2) QBE earnings

  • None of this counts against student’s future HOPE eligibility

Hb 229 student health and physical education act
HB 229 – Student Health and Physical Education Act families

  • Replaces last year’s unsuccessful SHAPE Act

  • Requires schools, beginning in 2011-12 school year, to conduct once per year a DOE-designed “fitness assessment” of students enrolled in PE

  • Results must be reported individually to parents and in the aggregate to DOE

  • May see a PE version of the Governor’s Cup

  • SB 8 families – Requires LBOE policy to permit students to carry and self-administer auto-injectable epinephrine

    • Parents/guardians must provide annually:

      • Physician’s statement with medication details

      • Parent’s statement of consent

  • SB 210 – Makes home schoolers eligible to be nominated for participation in the Governor’s Honors Program

Hb 455 extension of teacher contract issuance date
HB 455 – Extension of teacher contract issuance date families

  • April 15 deadline extended until May 15 for 2008-09 school year only

  • June 30, 2009, sunset date for state’s Master Teacher program eliminated

  • Teachers who earn leadership degrees after July 1, 2010, but who are not employed in leadership positions (as defined by DOE), will not be paid for those higher certificates/degrees

Hb 193 new definition of school year
HB 193 – New definition of “school year” families

  • Changes requirement for 180-day school year for students to an equivalent number of hours

  • Provides that schools may close on Veteran’s Day (already in law)

Hb 251 public school choice
HB 251 – Public school choice families

  • Requires that local school systems, by July 1, develop a “streamlined process” (based on a DOE-developed model) to allow students to transfer schools within a system on a space-available basis

  • Parent responsible for transportation

  • Boards must notify parents by July 1 of each year of schools with “available space”

  • Adds nepotism sections from SB 84 prohibiting persons from serving as board members or superintendents if they have “immediate family members” employed as administrators in a school system

Hb 555 use of facilities by a charter school
HB 555 – Use of facilities by a charter school families

  • Requires that a local system must “make available” unused facilities to a charter school, if requested

  • Terms of use subject to negotiated agreement between charter and system

  • Systems may not charge “rent” to charter school

  • Charter schools may not sell these properties

Sb 44 preference to purchase of georgia products
SB 44 – Preference to purchase of Georgia products families

  • Requires State Board to develop rules governing purchases on behalf of students that give preference to Georgia products when making purchases

  • Preference is based on a “when reasonable and practicable” test

  • On purchases exceeding $100,000, local district is required to consider bidder’s estimate of the multiplier effect on gross state domestic product and effect on public revenues of the state

Sb 14 eligibility for membership on local board of education
SB 14 – Eligibility for membership on local board of education

  • Persons whose names appear on the national or state sex offender registries are ineligible to serve on local boards of education

Hb 300 mandated information to parents
HB 300 – Mandated information to parents education

  • IF a local board provides information to parents about infectious diseases, immunizations, etc., then MUST include information about meningococcal meningitis

  • DOE must make information available to local systems

Fiscal issues


Hb 280 additional pay for certain employees
HB 280 – Additional pay for certain employees education

  • Beginning July 1, 2010, and subject to appropriation by the General Assembly, a secondary school math or science teacher moves to the step on the salary schedule comparable to six years of experience (unless already there or beyond)

  • After five years, subject to evidence of increased student achievement, the teacher may be advanced one additional year on the schedule

  • After five years, teachers who fail to demonstrate evidence of increased student achievement will be moved to their “actual” step on the schedule

  • Kindergarten and elementary teachers who earn a math or science endorsement may earn a $1,000 stipend

  • “Five-year evidence of student achievement” provisions apply

Sb 178 omnibus bill vetoed by governor
SB 178 – Omnibus bill education(VETOED BY GOVERNOR!!)

  • Students participating in dual enrollment courses at a charter school or at a high school pursuant to an agreement with a postsecondary institution are to receive funding at no less than 50 percent of the program weight

  • Sunset dates for school capital outlay programs are extended until June 30, 2011

  • Expenditure controls on direct instructional costs, media center costs, and staff and professional development costs are waived for 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years

Sb 178 omnibus bill continued
SB 178 – Omnibus bill, continued education

  • BRIDGE bill included, requiring:

    • Four-year graduation plans for all students, developed by the end of their 8th grade year

    • The development of “focused programs of study” by DOE

    • DOE-developed and provided training for counselors and graduation coaches

    • A DOE-developed process leading to industry certification for career and technical programs

    • A DOE-developed, evidence-based process for identifying low-performing schools, along with a process for identifying and working with students who are at potential for dropping out of school (all of this applying only to schools applying for and receiving a “reform grant”)

    • A mandated provision that a student who passes an industry certification exam be excused from applicable portions of the GHSGT

Other issues

OTHER ISSUES education

  • HR 642 education and SR 595 – Study committees to examine RESA’s

  • HB 233 – Freezes, from 1/1/2009 until 1/10/2011, the assessed value of real property for purposes of ad valorem taxation

Bills that failed but remain alive for 2010
Bills that failed, but remain “alive” for 2010 education

  • Proposed constitutional amendment to cap the annual rate of growth in the assessed value of property

  • Elimination of the “birthday tax” on vehicles

  • Proposed constitutional amendment to allow “education improvement districts”

  • SB 90, the “voucher” bill

  • SB 84, the school board governance bill