Report from the Capitol -- Day 34
by Margaret Ciccarelli on 3/14/2013

Sine Die Calendar Set

Though it’s subject to change, the legislature has set the following calendar for the remainder of the legislative session.

 

March 20: Day 35

March 21: Day 36

March 22: Day 37

March 25: Day 38

March 26: Day 39

March 28: Sine Die

 

This ambitious schedule means the legislature is on track to adjourn earlier than usual. It also means that bills will be flying through committee in the next two weeks, so capitol watchers must stay vigilant.  

 

Senate Ed Passes Bills

  

  • HB 337 allows a GA physician to write a prescription for an epi-pen to a school, allowing schools to stock the medicine in case of anaphylaxis.
  • HB 131 changes the way dual credit is calculated for purposes of HOPE scholarship eligibility.

Teachers Disempowered Under Parent Trigger Act?

The official name of HB 123, formerly called the “Parent and Educator Empowerment Act” has been changed in a Senate substitute version to the “Parent Empowerment Act.” HB 123 allows parents to vote to convert their school to charter status. An important portion of the bill which allows teachers to petition their school board to adopt a school turnaround model has been amended in the new substitute version to exclude teachers.

 

Since the bill has yet to be heard in subcommittee, the reasoning behind the changes is unclear. PAGE has deep concerns about the alterations. Our longstanding position regarding school turnaround and charter schools is that parents, students, and educators must work together to move the needle on student achievement, and buy in from educators is critical. Excluding educators from turnaround and charter decisions is a step in the wrong direction.

 

The substitute version of HB 123 is scheduled to be heard in subcommittee early Wednesday morning. PAGE will express opposition to the changes. Educators and parents should contact legislators now to express concern, as well. Below is a list of Senate Education Committee members.  Always follow the best practices outlined by PAGE regarding contact with legislators--use your personal email account, and refrain from contacting legislators during instructional time and from any school computer or phone.
 
 

Chair Sen. Lindsey Tippins:     lindsey.tippins@senate.ga.gov

Sen. John Wilkinson:               john.wilkinson@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Freddie Sims:                  freddie.sims@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Dean Burke:                     Dean.Burke@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Vincent Fort:                    vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler:             chuck.hufstetler@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Donzella James:              donzella.james@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Butch Miller:                    butch.miller@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Jesse Stone:                    jesse.stone@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Fran Millar:                      Fran.Millar@senate.ga.gov

Sen. Horacena Tate:                horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov

 

 

 

WATCH “Legislative Week in Review” for more on education-related issues at the Capitol

 

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