Thursday, March 5, 2009

Report from the Capitol - Day 26 by Margaret Ciccarelli on 3/4/2009

The Senate passed SB 178 today. The legislation changes the calculation of capitol outlay funds for local school systems. SB 178 now moves to the House for consideration.

The House met in general session for an extended time and passed an important piece of education legislation. HB 280, which PAGE opposes, is a differentiated pay proposal purporting to attract more math and science teachers to Georgia’s public schools. The legislation would allow high school and middle school teachers who are certified or who become certified in math or science to move up the state salary schedule and be paid as if they had five years of creditable service.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers who receive endorsements in math and science would receive a stipend of $1,000 per endorsement for each year each such endorsement is in effect, for a maximum of five years. Math and science endorsements must be post-baccalaureate nondegree programs, independent of an initial preparation program in early childhood education, and the endorsements must consist of a minimum of three courses, of which two courses shall be focused on the advancement of content knowledge and one course, or any additional course, must be focused on content-specific pedagogy and proven strategies for teaching math or science to children in grades k-5.

The Senate Education and Youth Committee passed the following legislation today. The proposals now move to the Senate Rules Committee for placement on the Senate voting calendar:

SB 160 would require public schools to close on November 11 in honor of Veterans Day. Some education advocates spoke with concerns regarding SB 160, indicating that students could better understand the significance of Veteran’s Day if students attended school instead of staying home and schools were allowed to create curriculum teaching students about the importance of Veterans Day.

SB 210 would allow home school students to be eligible to participate in the Governor’s Honors Program.

SB 239 was amended by the committee. It seeks to require parents who move students from one school to another to enroll those students in a timely fashion.

SR 464 urges the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia and Georgia's private colleges and universities to increase teacher production to meet the state's need for K-12 teachers; and for other purposes.

SR 465 Recognizes the value of partnerships between school systems and postsecondary institutions and urges the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Georgia's private colleges and universities, the DOE and the PSC to foster such partnerships.

SR 466 would establish the Performance Based Principal Certificate Renewal Design Team.

HB 229 would require local school systems to conduct an annual fitness assessment and to comply with state physical education instruction requirements.

HB 251 would allow students to attend the school of their choosing within their school system as space is available. The legislation was debated, but no action was taken.


themommy said...

I am not a Kathy Cox fan at all, but really, she (the defacto head of public education in GA, has legitimate concerns about an education related buill, and the legislators ignored her. Dear Lord, is it any wonder we are in the shape we are in GA?

HB 547 would allow students to choose whether to take the preliminary SAT (PSAT) or the preliminary ACT (PLAN). The Superintendent objected saying the PSAT is being used heavily to find students with the potential to do college-level work and steering them into Advanced Placement classes, and the ACT is not linked to those classes. The PSAT, SAT, and AP exams are all products of the College Board. The ACT is produced by a different company. The subcommittee and full Committee voted the bill out unanimously.

themommy said...

One of the biggest advantages of all 9th graders (is probably through Open Records) we can monitor math achievement of 9th and 10th graders now that we have that wonderful new math curriculum.

Ella Smith said...

I also dislike Kathy Cox. We need to run someone against her from Dekalb County.