Education in Atlanta


On Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed several bills at a press conference that focused on school choice, property disposal, school supplies for teachers, social media, and more.

On Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed several bills at a press conference that focused on school choice, property disposal, school supplies for teachers, social media, and more. Kemp stood alongside a large group of people outside the Georgia Department of Education who awaited the signing. Lieutenant Gov. of Georgia Burt Jones welcomed Kemp, emphasizing how he and other Georgians are “coming together” to do different things in education.

“It’s not party affiliation or signing laws.” said Jones. “It’s all about family, Georgia families or Georgia children. That’s what’s most important for what we do here in legislature.”

Kemp spoke after Jones, thanking his colleagues and discussing prioritizing a quality education for the next generation. 

“We know that the best gift we can give our next generation is a quality education that opens the doors for new opportunities.” said Kemp. “And that’s why we have all prioritized at all levels and aspects of education in Georgia this year. We allocated more funds to K-12 education than ever before in the history of our state, doubling down on the record investments we’ve made in students in recent years. We also focused on improving literacy because we know good reading skills turn students into lifelong learners. We have increased the affordability of higher education, restoring hope to cover full tuition and expanding technical college opportunities.”

These are all the bills Kemp signed. 

Senate Bill 233

Also known as “The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act,” this bill aims to establish promise scholarship accounts to be funded by the state of $6,000.00 per school year for each participating student. Senator and author of the bill Greg Dolezal (R) says this bill will give students and parents more options for their education.

House Bill 409

This aims to authorize local authorities to dispose of property in the same manner as the county governing authorities to provide for related matters. The “related matters” in this case are education and motor vehicles.

“By now many of you have heard the heartbreaking story of the eight-year-old Addy Pierce, who was struck by motorists as she boarded her school bus and lost her life.” said Kemp. “To help prevent any other family from having to experience this kind of loss, this bill directs school to systems consider not having bus stops where a student would have to cross a roadway with the speed limit equal to or greater than 40 miles an hour.”

House Bills 380/1122

According to Kemp, this bill will strengthen Georgia’s charter school system and move the office of charter school compliance to the state charter schools commission. It will also allow school districts more time and planning for utilizing low-wealth capital outlay grants. Kemp said House Bill 1122 would provide further resources for state charter schools and clarify who can serve on charter school boards. 

“Together these bills further strengthen an essential component of our system that we are committed to supporting.” said Kemp.

Senate Bill 464

This bill will require the state’s Board of Education to establish the School Supplies For Educators Program.

“This legislation creates school supplies for Teachers program to help teachers who purchase school supplies online.” said Kemp. “It also builds on our efforts to promote literacy by further solidifying the state’s literacy Council’s work is energizing screeners.”

Senate Bill 395

According to Kemp, this bill will ensure schools and certain government buildings maintain a supply of opioid antagonists. It will also authorize trained school personnel to administer and carry opioid antagonists.

“The unfortunate reality is our young people are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and we must do what we can to help fight this evil.” said Kemp.

Senate Bill 351

This bill aims for local boards of education to adopt, implement, and enforce social media policies for minors. 

“Social media has taken on more and more room in our young people’s lives.” said Kemp. We have seen increases in mental health struggles and other negative behaviors and attitudes. We cannot continue to sit by and do nothing as young Georgians develop addictions and suffer at the hands of online antagonists.”

Kemp concluded the conference by mentioning Georgians putting their differences aside to support schoolchildren. 

“I know no matter our differences, we are all working to do what is best for them.” said Kemp. “I’m proud to sign these bills and take that important step in achieving that goal.”

He then signed each bill previously listed while journalists and photographers on the scene took pictures.

In response to Kemp Signing S.B. 233, Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye, Democratic Party of Georgia’s Executive Director, released the following statement.

“Kemp’s signature on Republicans’ voucher scheme – which defunds public schools to siphon taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private entities – is a loss for Georgia students and a win for wealthy special interests. Public money should go to public schools, period.”

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