The Georgia House Subcommittee on Education Policy voted today to advance House Bill 941 (HB 941).
In a move towards enhancing early education, the Georgia House Subcommittee on Education Policy voted today to advance House Bill 941 (HB 941). This bill, sponsored by House Education Committee Chairman Chris Erwin and House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, aims to expand the scope of capital outlay funds to include support for pre-kindergarten programs within public schools.
HB 941 read as follows…
A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 20-2-260 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to capital outlay funds in elementary and secondary education, so as to provide that capital outlay funds may be used for educational facilities for voluntary pre-kindergarten programs provided by the school system; to provide that student projection counts may include pre-kindergarten; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Currently, capital outlay funds, allocated for “entitlements” that enhance public school structures, have been exclusively directed toward K-12 programs. Forcing public schools offering pre-K classes to potentially face financial challenges as they had to seek alternative funding sources. In addition, classrooms designated for pre-K did not contribute to a school’s entitlements, creating a disincentive for schools to offer pre-K education.
HB 941 seeks to address this disparity by permitting local school districts to utilize capital outlay funds for the construction and maintenance of facilities dedicated to pre-kindergarten programs. With the passage of HB 941, these districts can now include pre-K facilities in their plans, ensuring that state dollars can be directed toward creating a conducive learning environment for younger students.
Importantly, the bill signifies a significant investment in early education by allowing schools to allocate resources for pre-K programs within their existing structures and future building plans. The focus of HB 941 is on bolstering pre-K offerings within the public school system.
Currently, there is no legislation directing funding towards private pre-K providers.