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Senator Jack Hill's "Notes From the Senate"
Friday, 26 June 2009

June 26--  A number of new laws go into effect in Georgia July 1st according to Senator Jack Hill's weekly "Notes From the Senate."

JULY 1 BRINGS NEW LAWS

 

SB 14 - Prohibits Superintendent or School Board Members from serving with an immediate family member as principal, asst. principal or central staff.

 

HB 149 - Allows high school juniors and seniors to attend college and receive high school credit. (“Move on When Ready”)

 

HB 243 - Sunsets National Board Certification program, grandfathers in those already awarded or in pipeline

 

HB 193 - Allows local school boards to use total hours instead of total days in meeting the 180 day mandatory attendance.

 

HB 280 - Increases step pay for beginning and existing science and math teachers.

 

HB 86 - Requires proof of citizenship in registering to vote

 

HB 228 - Creates new department of Behavioral Health and moves Public Health to Dept. of Community Health

 

SB 196 - Creates a misdemeanor when a driver has a collision caused by a right of way violation involving bicycles, motorcyclists

 

HB 160 - Increased driver’s license reinstatement fees, but "Super Speeder" provisions begin Jan. 1, 2010.

 

EDUCATION FUNDING HURTS SOME MORE THAN OTHERS -

FORMULA DRIVEN K-12 EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION GROW DESPITE BUDGET CUTS--GAINS FOR GROWING SYSTEMS

 

Although education makes up a large part of the state budget, the cuts to K-12 education have been significantly less than cuts to other agencies.  Fast growing systems have been the main recipient of the new funds.

 

Enrollment in K-12 education has continued to increase as Georgia’s population has grown.  Since 2001, Georgia’s K-12 student population has grown by 14%, or 200,000 students, while K-12 funding has grown by 38%.  In FY10, K-12 education overall makes up about 40% of the state funds in the budget.  The FY10 budget appropriates $7.39 billion in state funds to the Department of Education, in addition to $413.1 million in federal stimulus budget stabilization funds.  State funds appropriated to the Department of Education over the past five years are as follows:

 

·        FY06, $6.61 billion

·        FY07, $7.39 billion

·        FY08, $7.97 billion

·        FY09, $7.99 billion

·        FY10, $7.97 billion (including federal budget stabilization funds.)                                                                                          

So, in the last five years, funds going to K-12 have increased by $1.3 billion.

In total, in FY10, the Department of Education and its component programs only received a 3% or $211 million cut from the original FY09 budget which would have funded Education at $8.2 billion and presumed that revenues would grow rather than shrink.  By way of comparison, cuts to other agencies in the state averaged 11% below the original FY09 budget, not including statewide cuts such as withholding staff pay raises.

K-12 programs have also seen a substantial increase in funding from the federal government through the stimulus bill funding for Title I programs for disadvantaged students and funding for students with special needs.  An additional $650 million will go directly to school systems for these programs in FY10. 

 

 

 
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