Note: The 30th legislative day takes place this coming Wednesday.  This is generally the last day which a bill can pass from one chamber to another during this session.  That said, the days leading up to and including Wednesday will be busy both in committee and on the floors of the Chambers. 

Georgia’s Pre-K: Monday, Governor Deal announced his revised plan for the Lottery funded Pre-K Program.  The program will maintain it’s current full day (6.5 hour) program, shorten the annual number of days from 180 to 160, eliminate funding for Pre-K Transition Coaches, and will add 2000 slots (as opposed to the 5000 slots proposed in the initial plan), bringing the total number of Pre-K lots to 86,000.  For more details, click here.

HOPE: Having passed the House on Tuesday, the Governor’s HOPE bill (HB 326, Rep. Doug Collins, 27th Dist.), which lays out parameters for post-secondary education funding, passed the Senate on Wednesday, adding four amendments.  Thursday, the bill went back to the House, which approved the amendments.  It now goes to the Governor for his signature, which is expected early next week.  There is no GA Pre-K language in that bill.

Faith based Child Care Centers and Pre-K’s: Wednesday, SB 152 (Sen. Don Balfour, Dist. 9) was heard in the Academic Support Subcommittee of the Senate Education & Youth Committee.  The bill would require day-care centers and child care learning centers operated as part of a local church ministry, a nonprofit religious school or a nonprofit religious charitable organization operate in accordance with the same fire safety, health, and safety rules and regulations established by the board for the operation of licensed day-care centers, but would exempt these day-care centers from licensure all other rules established by the board.  The Chairman decided to hold the bill until the 2012 Legislative Session so that the bill’s sponsor can work on the language during the interim with the Department of Early Care and Learning and other interested parties.

Death of Child in Child Care Program: This week the Senate Education and Youth Committee gave a Do Pass recommendation to SB 185 (Rep. Freddie Powell Sims, 4th Dist.).  This bill would require that after the death of any child at any early care program, the commissioner issue an immediate order closing the program for a period of not more than 30 days from the date of the order.  This bill would also require that the commissioner close an early care program when a child’s safety or welfare is in imminent danger.

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