2nd Vice President
Welcome to the weekly reporting of legislative activity for the 2010 session. The General Assembly is scheduled to reach Crossover Day, the 30th day, on Mar. 25th. Any bill that has not passed out of one chamber to the other, or ‘crossed over’ as it is called, is considered dead for the rest of the legislative session. The language of a bill may still be appended to another bill (as long as it pertains to the same area of Georgia Code) so it becomes very important to watch for substitute language now as bills move.
The revenue numbers for February were released recently and they don’t look positive. As a result of the continuing declining dollars, the Governor revised his FY 10 and FY 11 budgets. The remaining ARRA dollars have been moved from the FY 11 budget to fill the over $300 million hole in the FY 10 budget. That means the estimates for revenue in FY 11 were reduced by over $300 million. Education’s budget continues to shrink. One well founded rumor is that the 2010-11 school year will be funded only for 170 schools days, not the 180 required by law, and teacher work days will be limited to 4, not the 10 as required. That would save nearly $600 million, on the backs of school children. The local boards of education could continue for 180 days, with their own revenues, like the property tax, which means they will take the heat for raising taxes, but the General Assembly will not.
Common Core State Standard Initiative (CCSSI)
The draft of the Common Core State Standards has been released. This initiative, lead by the National Governors Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers, is designed to create common standards across the states. They are internationally benchmarked and are intended to prepare students to be college and career ready. In an increasingly mobile society it is critical that a student’s education does not suffer because the child moves from one state to another. The goal is to have every state voluntarily adopt these standards so that what a child learns in Massachusetts is the same as what the child learns in Georgia. These standards will establish what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, schools and teachers will decide how best to help students reach the standards.
GA PTA supports this voluntary state initiative and encourages its members to read more about it. The standards themselves are open for review and public input is welcome and encouraged. Public comment will be accepted until April 2. Please forward this information to other parents and to the teachers in your school so they, too, can learn more about this initiative. The standards can be found at www.corestandards.org.