Georgia Lawmakers Pass Student-Centered Policies as 2019 Session Concludes

Georgia Lawmakers Pass Student-Centered Policies as 2019 Session Concludes

The 2019 session of the Georgia General Assembly wrapped up late Tuesday on a high note, with lawmakers giving final approval to a range of student-centered policies over their final two days at the Gold Dome:

  • Computer Science: Legislation by Senate Education Chairman P.K. Martin (SB 108) will make high-quality computer science coursework available to middle and high school students statewide over the next few years, while building a pipeline of qualified teachers to support this expansion. The bill also provides $1 million in funding in the final 2019-2020 state budget.
  • Charter Schools:
    • The budget (HB 31) also includes a record $2 million in facilities grant funding for both state and locally authorized charter schools. Coupled with $1.5 million in existing funds and one-time safety grants of $30,000 per school, every Georgia charter school should for the first time receive roughly $70,000 next year to assist with critical facility needs.
    • In other charter news, Representative Dave Belton sponsored legislation (HB 59) to resolve a state ruling that otherwise would have made it difficult for certain charters to attract and retain quality board members. The bill, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously, also makes it easier for military students to enroll in charter schools.
  • Tax Credit Scholarships: HB 68, a good governance measure sponsored by Representative John Carson, ensures that organizations granting scholarships to students to attend private schools cannot also accredit schools.
  • Early Literacy: SB 48, also by Chairman Martin, creates a statewide screening program to detect dyslexia in kindergarten students and may help identify and support other struggling readers.

“ExcelinEd in Action thanks our many partners in this work, including GeorgiaCAN, Georgia Center for Opportunity, Georgia Chamber, Georgia Charter Schools Association, Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Metro Atlanta Chamber, TAG-Ed, American Federation for Children, Americans for Prosperity, Code.org, College Board and Project Lead The Way.”
Ryan Mahoney, Senior Legislative Director, ExcelinEd in Action

For more information on the power of transformational educational policies, visit ExcelinEd’s policy library.