Crossover - When Legislation Lives & Dies


Georgia Charter School Association.jpg

The Georgia General Assembly reached Day 30, otherwise known as “Crossover Day” on Friday, March 13. Crossover is when a bill must pass one chamber to cross over to the other chamber to be considered for law this year.


Of the 131 education related bills proposed for the 2015 legislative session, only 47 bills passed out of the House or the Senate and are considered “alive” for the 2015 session. Any bill passed by both chambers will then need Governor Deal’s signature to become law.


Since this is the first year of a two-year session, any legislation that does not cross over can still be considered in 2016. April 2 is scheduled to be Sine Die, or the final day of the 2015 legislative session.


CHARTER SCHOOL RELATED BILLS

(Still Alive for 2015 Having Crossed Either the House or the Senate)


HB 65, Education; local boards of education and certain charter schools to hold at least two pubic meetings on the proposed annual operating budget; require; Caldwell, Michael 20th,


STATUS: Feb/12/2015 - House Passed/Adopted (170 – 4), Feb/17/2015 - Senate Read and Referred


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB65 would require boards of charter schools, along with local boards of education, to “hold at least two public meetings for the purpose of providing an opportunity for public input on its proposed annual operating budget before adopting any budget.” The bill exempts “college and career academies that are charter schools; conversion charter schools whose charter is not held by a non-profit corporation; or system charter schools.” Additionally, HB65 states “the governing body of a charter school with a state-wide attendance zone shall conduct one such public meeting in the county in which its primary business office is located and one such public meeting in the metropolitan Atlanta area.”


While GCSA supports transparency, we continue to address with the bill’s sponsor the need to provide transparency for all public schools, not just a select few, and concerns related to the meeting location requirements being placed upon charter schools with a statewide attendance zone.


TIMELINE: GCSA has met with the bill’s sponsor on numerous occasions in an attempt to improve HB65. Rep. Caldwell is seeking transparency for parents to better understand how education dollars are spent at district and school level. GCSA met with Rep. Caldwell immediately after the bill passed the House Education Committee to address concerns, most notably the burdensome requirement of holding board meetings in various parts of the state.


GCSA POSITION: NEUTRAL



HB 372, Utopian Academy for the Arts Act; enact, Coomer, Christian 14th,


STATUS: Feb/19/2015 - House Second Readers, Mar/3/2015 –House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute, Mar/5/2015 –House passes (170 – 0), Mar/09/2015 - Senate Read and Referred


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 372 would prohibit additional requirements of a charter school to operate that has passed state facility inspections and received a certificate of occupancy.


This bill is a direct result from the continuous obstruction by Clayton County Schools to prevent Utopian Academy for the Arts from occupying their school facility.


TIMELINE: HB 372 has passed the House and now travels to the Senate


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



HB 474, Charter schools; enrollment priorities for educationally disadvantaged students and military students; provide, Kaiser, Margaret 59th,


STATUS: Feb/26/2015 - House Second Readers, Mar/3/2015 – House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute, Mar/13/2015 - House Passed/Adopted By Substitute (166 – 2)


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 474 would allow charter schools to utilize federal guidelines around weighted lotteries to assist charter schools wanting to more proactively serve students considered “educationally disadvantaged”. Often for many charter schools, changing demographics and more affluence within the communities they serve, prevent the charters from serving a diverse student population as their mission statement requires.


TIMELINE: House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute last week. HB 474 has three working days to get voted out of House Rules and receive a majority vote by the full House. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session. GCSA has worked very closely with the bill’s sponsor as well as member charter school leaders to seek passage. After striking the term “migrant students” from the definition of educationally disadvantaged, HB474 passed the full House 166 – 2.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



HB 502, Elementary and secondary education; update and clarify provisions and repeal obsolete provisions, Dudgeon, Mike 25th,


STATUS: Mar/05/2015 - House Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute, Mar/11/2015 - House Passed/Adopted By Substitute (170 – 0), Mar/13/2015 - Senate Read and Referred


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 502 is the annual Title 20 “cleanup” bill. The bill had a late start this year.

The bill has adopted the language from SB 80, as SB 80 was not traveling on the Senate side.

There are some additional charter related changes; changing the date when charters must turn in their annual audit report to the state from October 1 to November 1. This change allows charters to use the October FTE count, allowing audit numbers to more accurately reflect enrolled students.


TIMELINE: Feb/19/2015 – House Education Subcommittee for Academic Innovations to hear HB 502 on Wednesday March 4. Mar/05/2015 - House Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute. HB 502 has three working days to get voted out of House Rules and receive a majority vote by the full House. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session. HB502 moved quickly out of Rules, the full House, and assigned to the Senate Education & Youth Committee last week.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



SB 156, State Charter Schools Commission; authorize to establish a nonprofit foundation, Tippins, Lindsey 37th,


STATUS: Mar/04/2015 – Passed out of Senate Education & Youth Committee and is now in Senate Rules. Mar/09/2015 - Senate Passed/Adopted (44 – 9), Mar/11/2015 - House First Readers, Mar/13/2015 - House Second Readers


GCSA ANALYSIS: SB 156 would allow the State Charter Schools Commission to establish a 501c3 nonprofit foundation, similar to 501c3 nonprofit foundations for numerous school districts across Georgia.


TIMELINE: Mar/04/2015 – Passed out of Senate Education & Youth Committee. SB 156 has three working days to get voted out of Senate Rules and receive a majority vote by the full Senate. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



SR 287, Opportunity School District; allow the General Assembly to authorize the establishment; provide for state intervention for failing schools, Miller, Butch 49th, AND SB 133, Opportunity School District; establishment; provide for definitions; supervision of public elementary and secondary schools that are failing, Miller, Butch 49th,


STATUS: Mar/05/2015 – Senate passed SR 287 by Substitute (38 – 15)

Mar/05/2015 – Senate passed SB 133 by Substitute (38 – 17)


GCSA ANALYSIS: An amendment to the Constitution of Georgia and enabling legislation so as to allow the General Assembly to authorize the establishment of an Opportunity School District to provide for state intervention for failing schools. If passed, one option will be the reorganization of schools as charter schools.


TIMELINE: SR 287 and its enabling legislation, SB 133 was heard in the Senate Education & Youth Committee on Monday, February 22nd for the first time. A second hearing will be held on Monday, March 2. SR 287 and its enabling legislation, SB 133 followed identical paths last week, passing the Senate in a heated debate. SR 287 required a constitutional majority of 38 votes to pass. Both SR 133 and SB 287 travel to the House. SR 133 and SB 287 will be heard by the full House Education Committee on Wednesday March 18 and will allow public comments.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



CHARTER SCHOOL RELATED BILLS

(Failed to Cross Either the House or the Senate, Considered “Dead” for 2015)


HB 16, Education; no high school which receives funding from Quality Basic Education Act shall participate in or sponsor interscholastic sports events unless students enrolled in magnet schools can participate under certain conditions; provide, Prince, Brian 127th,


STATUS: Jan/15/2015 - House Second Readers, Mar/4/2015 –House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute, Mar/13/2015 - House Postponed, Mar/11/2015 - House Postponed, Mar/09/2015 - House Postponed


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 16 allows children attending a magnet public school to participate in the extracurricular activities at the zoned public school.


TIMELINE: GCSA spoke with Rep Prince, encouraging him to consider expanding the bill’s language as a fairness and equity issue for all public school students. Rep Prince will not consider expanding the bill’s language to include public charter school students. The bill was heard in the Education Subcommittee for Academic Innovations on February 2nd. GCSA sent out a request to charter school supporters asking them to contact each member of the Education Subcommittee for Academic Innovations to include charter public school students in HB16 for fairness and equity purposes. Vice Chairman of the House Education Committee Mike Dudgeon noted, "We need a more inclusive policy" if we are going to address this issue. Representative Randy Nix commented, “As this is a hearing and we will not take a vote in this meeting, I encourage the bill's sponsor to broaden the bill's language."


Feb/19/2015 - Education Subcommittee for Academic Innovations gave a “do pass” to HB 16. HB 16 will now be heard by the full House Education Committee. Vice Chairman Dudgeon told the sub-committee “look to the future where there is more of a menu of option for kids, this (HB 16) is more like a pilot program.” HB 16 has three working days to get voted out of House Rules and receive a majority vote by the full House. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session.


GCSA POSITION: OPPOSE



HB 144, Student Online Personal Information Act; enact, Gordon, J. Craig 163rd, STATUS: Feb/02/2015 - House Second Readers


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 144, places requirements and security measures on websites, services, and enrollment applications of online educational operators with regards to student information. This bill is structured only for “operators of online educational sites”. GCSA supports such measures when the measures are inclusive of all public schools and their students.


TIMELINE: No movement since February 2nd.


GCSA POSITION: NEUTRAL



HB 271, Education; charter-schools-in-the-workplace; provide, Setzler, Ed 35th, STATUS: Feb/19/2015 - House Second Readers, Mar/3/2015 –House Education Committee Favorably Reported by Substitute


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 271 attempts to provide enrollment priorities for charter-schools-in-the-workplace for charter schools and state charter schools. This would provide companies and organizations partnering with a charter school to be included in the charter’s enrollment preferences.


TIMELINE: Feb/19/2015 - Education Subcommittee for Academic Innovations gave a “do pass” to HB 271. House Education Committee passed HB 271 on March 3. HB 271 has three working days to get voted out of House Rules and receive a majority vote by the full House. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT



HB 525, Charter schools; provide for certain accountability requirements; provisions, Mitchell, Billy 88th,


STATUS: Mar/04/2015 - House Second Readers


GCSA ANALYSIS: HB 525 is redundant to existing charter school law and is unnecessarily accusing public charter schools of not having to meet state testing requirements for students nor reporting requirements to the state.


TIMELINE: Mar/04/2015 - House Second Readers. HB 525 has three working days to get voted out of House subcommittee, House Education Committee, House Rules and receive a majority vote by the full House. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full House, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session.


GCSA POSITION: OPPOSE



SB 80, Education; funding for state charter schools and virtual charter schools; revise various provisions, Hufstetler, Chuck 52nd,


STATUS: Feb/03/2015 - Senate Read and Referred


TIMELINE: No movement since February 3rd.


GCSA ANALYSIS: SB 80 attempts to clear up a small number of conflicting funding issues regarding virtual charter schools. All items being addressed in SB 80 have been addressed in the state’s budget leaving only legislative clarification. An attempt last year to address the same concerns were taken out as part of all charter related items stripped from HB 897 by the Senate Education & Youth Committee. Bill was not moving on the Senate side and bill’s language was adopted in HB 502, the annual Title 20 “cleanup” bill. SB 80 has three working days to get voted out of Senate Education Committee, Senate Rules and receive a majority vote by the full Senate. If the bill is unable to receive a majority vote by the full Senate, the bill will be considered “dead” for the 2015 session.


GCSA POSITION: SUPPORT


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