Legislation & Advocacy News 

Advocate: To plead in favor of; defend; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly. One who pleads for or on behalf of another.


April 2 marked the final day (Sine Die) of the 2019 Georgia legislative session. Voucher language, which came back after Crossover Day as an attachment to another bill, did not come for a vote. Thank you to everyone who contacted your elected official to let him/her know of our opposition to vouchers. Here is a brief recap of education-related bills that are on their way to Gov. Kemp for his signature:
FY20 Budget Includes a $3,000 raise for certified educators starting July 1, 2019 and a 2% raise for non-certified and classified employees.  A note about raises:  All charter systems and almost all strategic waiver systems (CCSD) do not have to adhere to the state salary schedule.  Also, these raises will only be applied to positions earned through the Quality Basic Education (QBE) funding formula.  Many systems supplement the state salary schedule and fund additional positions completely through local funds. The combination of these factors means local systems may not provide a straight $3,000 and/or 2%.  Georgia PTA encourages its members to be engaged in your local district’s budget process understand how your district’s salary schedule and compensation will work.
SB 48 Establishes 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.
HB 83 - "Recess Bill" – 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.
  • HB 459 creates a process to periodically verify school bus drivers’ credentials.
  • HB 68 would prevent private school accrediting organizations from operating as student scholarship organizations (SSOs), which serve as pass through entities for Georgia’s tuition tax credit voucher program. A previous iteration of HB 68 contained controversial voucher language, but the version which passed today had been stripped of that provision.
  • SB 15, the “Keeping Georgia Schools Safe Act” includes recommendations made by the Senate Study Committee on School Safety. SB 15 contains extensive reporting requirements for schools and requires site threat assessment to be conducted periodically. School leaders will have a choice regarding providers of the threat assessments, and the assessments will then be used to update school safety plans shared with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE).


Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in the November 6 general election. Find registration information HERE. If you have college students who need to vote via absentee ballot, or you will not be able to vote in person on November 6, request an application HERE. (Anyone can vote via absentee ballot without a reason.)
Advance voting begins October 15. Check here for additional information. 


    Some precincts and polling locations have changed! Be sure your voter registration is up to date so you can vote in the correct precinct.
To register or check your registration:

  • Go to mvp.sos.ga.gov, or
  • Text ‘GA’ to 2VOTE to receive a link, or
  • Download the ‘GA SOS’ mobile app

The general election will be November 6th. If you need additional information, visit CobbElections.org or contact the Cobb County Elections office at 770/528-2581.

Did you know you can Vote by Mail with an absentee ballot? Apply now to allow time for postal mail delivery. Click here for more information and an application.

 Driving Around School Buses Resolution  

At their convention this summer,  Georgia PTA members passed a resolution on Driving Around School Buses that specifically addresses a new definition of “divided highway” which passed in HB 978.   
The new definition of “divided highway” would possibly permit oncoming vehicles to continue travel if only a turn lane separates the lane the oncoming vehicle is in from the lane in which a school bus is stopped (see illustration). The resolution calls for the definition of “divided highway” to be returned to requiring an actual physical barrier be present before oncoming vehicles may continue travel past a stopped school bus. GA PTA feels the clear definition of “divided highway” which requires a physical barrier is safer for children who ride school buses. This resolution was passed unanimously by the members.  This means all Georgia PTA's and Georgia PTA members may advocate for this change in public meetings and official correspondence to elected officials and DOTs.

Candidate Forum

Monday, September 17th
Dickerson Middle School
Candidates for Georgia House Districts 43 and 45 have been invited. The doors will open at 6:30pm and the forum will begin at 7pm. Hosted by: Walton High School & Dickerson Middle School PTSAs.  

Now that the July 24 runoff elections are completed, the candidates for the November 6 general election are decided.  
All state elected offices will be on the ballot this year. Students can register to vote at 17 1/2 years of age and can vote if they are 18 on Election Day. Exercise your right to vote in November!
The deadline to register to vote is October 9. Click here for the various ways to register.



PTA’s Rich Tradition of Advocacy 

Part of the National PTA’s threefold mission is to speak on behalf of all children and youth before governmental bodies and other organizations. For over 100 years, PTA volunteers have used their time, energy, experience and knowledge to bring about changes in laws, policies and programs for the benefit of children. To learn more about PTA’s deep tradition of advocacy, watch a video history of those efforts and the courageous women who spoke on behalf of children. Universal kindergarten, child labor laws, hot lunches, immunizations and standards for family engagement are just a few of the issues that PTA advocates have supported. The National PTA’s Legislative Checklist for the 115th Congress outlines the policy priorities National PTA and its constituent associations believe are critical to ensuring all children reach their highest potential. The checklist features the following policy areas:

  • Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Federal Investments in Education
  • Early Learning and Childhood Education
  • Child Health and Safety
  • Gun Safety and Violence Prevention
  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • Education Technology and Student Data Privacy
  • Postsecondary Access and Opportunity

National PTA also has webinars for each policy area.



How Can I Become More Involved as an Advocate for My Child and My School? 

Every PTA member can be an effective advocate.   The process is always the same: identify, research and understand the issue; identify, research and understand the decision-maker; and develop and communicate the message.   The process is not always easy, and dedication and perseverance are usually required.   Sometimes success is achieved quickly, sometimes slowly.


Note: In order to maintain a nonprofit status under federal rules, Georgia PTA (and all local units under its umbrella) is nonpartisan and works to direct its efforts at members of both political parties in order to enact change. When PTA officers or lobbyists participate in legislative activities that educate lawmakers about officially adopted PTA positions, or support a particular piece of legislation that is in agreement with the PTA Legislative Program, it is done on a strictly nonpartisan basis.