Restoring HOPE, Ending Discrimination and Preventing Dropouts on Legislative Agenda

Democratic state lawmakers are focusing on, among other topics, educational opportunities in the 2013-2014 legislative season.

This month the Georgia House Democratic Caucus offered its legislative agenda for 2013-2014. In a press release, House Democrats said their agenda "concentrates on supporting successful students, promoting empowered parents and securing stronger schools."

-- What do you think about the House Democrats education agenda? Does it do enough or go too far? --

The bills presented include:

  • The Restore and Build HOPE Act (HB 54): This bill would amend the HOPE Act to lower the required GPA from 3.0 to 2.0 for students at technical colleges to retain the HOPE Grant. This also has been adopted by Gov. Nathan Deal as part of his higher education legislative agenda.
  • Anti-Discrimination Act: This bill would ensure that schools receiving state funds from Schools Scholarship Organizations (SSOs) do not discriminate based on race, gender, national origin, religion, sexuality, or disability. Patch recently posed this question to readers as it relates to private school polices that allow officials to deny enrollment based on sexuality.
  • Education Transparency Act (HB 221): This bill would require schools that receive funds from SSOs to disclose program donors and other financial data, such as level of funding.
  • Parent Protection Act (HB 166): This bill would guarantee work leave for parents to attend school conferences and medical appointments.
  • Drop-Out Deterrent Act (HB 19): This bill would increase the age requirement from 16 to 17 to drop out of high school without parental consent. Currently, Georgia ranks among the lowest in the nation for graduation rates, at 67.4 percent, according to most recent data. Gwinnett County, ranks 67.6 percent. Want to know how your child's school stacks up against others? Click here.


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