Don't Vote Until You've Checked Their Voting Record!
For anyone - House or Senate – until you’ve checked their voting record on critical education issues like the ones below.
SB 10: Vouchers (passed)
This is the bill, sponsored by then Senator and now candidate for Governor Eric Johnson that began vouchers in Georgia, in this instance for special education students.
Ninety House Members and thirty-one Senators voted in favor of vouchers. Click below to see if yours was one of them:
SB 80: ERS/Venture Capital (failed)
This was among the bills aimed at taking retirement funds and investing them in high-risk, high fee financial ventures. Twenty-nine Senators voted for this bill, which failed. See if your Senator was one of them.
HB 1209: IE2 (passed)
This bill was a “bait and switch” bill that took the three years of work of the governor’s task force on developing a new funding model for schools and turned it into a law granting “flexibility” for schools using the money they already were receiving (and kept in place the outdated QBE funding formula).
One hundred and nineteen House Members and thirty Senators voted in favor of the “bait and switch” was yours one of them?
HB 1133: Vouchers/Scholarship Organizations (passed)
This bill added a new wrinkle to the voucher movement by allowing tax breaks to those who donated funds that are used to pay for vouchers for public school students. Ninety-two House members and thirty-two Senators voted for this legislation. Check the links below to see if yours was among them.
HB 243: NBCT Subject to Appropriation (passed)
This legislation was among the bills passed that allowed the legislature to “walk away” from paying salary supplements for nationally board certified teachers. It set a precedent for the legislature to “change its mind” on salary programs and is the source of PAGE’s lawsuit seeking to have the supplement restored. Ninety-two House Members and thirty-one Senators voted to do this. Was yours one of them?
HB 280: Differentiated Pay for Math and Science Teachers (passed but never funded)
This legislation ostensibly established higher pay for new (but not veteran) math and science teachers. It has never been funded. Please note HB 243 above. One hundred and twenty-eight House Members and fifty Senators voted for this bill. See if yours was among them.
HB 455: Contract Extension/Elimination of Pay for Leadership Degrees (passed)
This legislation allows school systems until May 15 to offer contracts and eliminates increased salary for leadership degrees. One hundred and forty-two House Members and thirty-two Senators voted for this.
HB 908: Class Size/System Averaging (passed)
This legislation brought back the system averaging formula to class sizes, a system that had been abused in the past. It rolled back gains that had been made over the years in limiting class sizes. One hundred one House Members and thirty-three Senators voted for this. See if yours was among them.
The following three bills never made it onto the House or Senate Floor for a vote. In our view that was a good thing, but PAGE members have asked who sponsored this type of legislation. Check below to see if your House or Senate incumbent was on the list of sponsors:
- SB 386, Merit Pay Legislation (2010 Legislative Session): sought to pay educators based on standardized test scores, would have discontinued state pay for advanced degrees.
Sponsored by Senators Don Balfour (R-Snellville), Dan Moody (R-Johns Creek), Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody), Bill Heath (R-Bremen), Bill Cowsert (R-Athens).
- SB 90, Universal School Voucher, (2009 Legislative Session): attempted to use public tax dollars which little oversight to fund private education for all Georgia’s students.
Sponsored by Senators Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), Judson Hill (R-Marietta), Renee Unterman (R-Buford), Dan Moody (R-Johns Creek), John Douglas (R-Social Circle).
- SB 240 Privatizing TRS (2007 Legislative Session): proposed changing the Teachers Retirement System from the current TRS defined benefit plan (based on years of experience and highest salary) to a defined contribution (set amount contributed annually to an IRA) plan.
Sponsored by Senators Bill Heath (R-Bremen) and Judson Hill (R-Marietta).