The 2019 Georgia legislative session ended on April 2, 2019. The PTA was very active again this year in advocating for public education and all of Georgia’s children. Here’s a recap of some of the PTA’s successes at the gold dome this year.
Dyslexia bill: SB 48 is awaiting the Governor’s signature and will establish a 3-year pilot program in 3 systems for a dyslexia screening program for Kindergarten students, with the intent for all districts to implement in 2024-2025. The law also creates an endorsement program for teachers, and other measures.
Recess bill: HB 83 has been sent to the Governor for signature and requires 30 minutes of recess for K-5 students on days without PE or other programs/events, preferably outside. Also prohibits removing recess for disciplinary reasons.
School Safety: SB15 the “Keeping Georgia Schools Safe Act” is awaiting Governor Kemp’s signature. The bill was amended in the House to allow the school safety officer (principal or principal’s designee) to report student criminal activity based upon “reasonable suspicion” to local law enforcement.
Voucher Bill: Many of our PTA/PTSA members called and emailed their legislators to ask them to vote NO on the proposed school voucher legislation. Largely due to PTA members speaking out against the proposed voucher legislation the measure was defeated.
Local control of school calendar: A senate study committee considered proposal of a state mandated start and end date for all of Georgia’s school systems. Georgia PTA and other education groups spoke against this and advocated for local control of the school calendar by each district’s board. The ECCC PTA passed a resolution asking our Cobb legislation to cease discussion of the measure. Discussion stopped and the calendar decisions remain with the local school boards.
The ECCC PTA greatly appreciates the efforts of all of our members in advocating for all of our schools and our children. Your voice matters! Here are some ways to get more information on important issues and stay involved:
- Stay informed about pending legislation by subscribing to the Georgia PTA’s legislative updates at this link: www.georgiapta.org/action-center
- Invite your legislators to your school events (PTA meetings, Career Days, International Night, College and Career Fairs, etc.). If you aren’t sure who your legislators are, you can find out at this link: www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
- Register to vote.
- Attend town hall sessions where your legislators and candidates can share their stance on issues affecting education.
- Hold voter registration drives for your school’s families – especially high school students.
Being informed and involved helps us maintain the strong East Cobb schools that are such a vital part of our community.
This article was written by Kimberly Webb, President, East Cobb County Council PTA, and originally appeared in our May issue of EAST COBBER, on page 6. Click here to view the digital edition.