Posted: 9:56 am Monday, January 13th, 2014

A legislative session begins and politicking revs up once more 

By Greg Bluestein

The legislative session starts again this morning and a record-early primary contest and wild races for Georgia’s top offices has just about every one under the Gold Dome predicting legislators will be out of here by April.

But there’s plenty of unfinished business for them to attend to first. Lawmakers are expected to quickly shift state and local primaries to May 20 after a judge moved the federal contests. And they will start hashing out a more than $20 billion state budget that’s expected to include money for teacher pay raises and the largest online expansion in Georgia school history.

The legislative crowd will soon weigh more criminal justice legislation aimed at helping released offenders readjust to society. A fight looms over loosening firearm restrictions, but major tax reforms and a medical malpractice overhaul will likely be shelved for the session.

And there’s always wedge issues or surprise proposals that could pop up. One possibility involves tax breaks for the construction of the two new stadiums that will soon spring up, although some legislators say they may hold off until next year. After all, there’s a November election looming.


From the link, provided above, regarding "the largest online expansion in Georgia school history":

"In the future, education leaders imagine classrooms where students use computers to learn at their own pace, with online lessons prescribed by a tech-savvy teacher, and a student’s daily progress report delivered to the teacher’s digital device. Students could also bring their own devices to school, and take lessons on their personal iPads or laptops. .  . 'But it’s not the technology that’s important, it’s what you do with it that counts.' ”


From the words I wrote, 10:44 a.m., Jan. 12th, on Maureen Downey's thread, " Top 10 Georgia Education Issues. . .":

"I can visualize a future in education in which (especially standardized reading and math) test scores of students, itemized, can be contained on computers which can easily be pulled up by the present teachers of the students and those teachers can see a developmental history of each student in a moment’s time. When students transfer from one public school to another, that centralized data base of instruction would be sent with the student by computer in a moment’s time. Teachers would always have students below grade level, on grade level, and beyond grade level in their classes, but because of the accuracy and speed of technology and computers, the teachers would know exactly what levels needed to be addressed in their classes immediately and they could work with other teachers to 'swap' students to subgroup into correct instructional placement, thereby teaching every student on his or her level, and minimizing the number of groups any one teacher would have in his or her classroom.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor can be taught to students reading on 4th grade level in 10th grade, as well as to students reading on 12th grade level in 10th grade, but the details will be refined for the level of understanding of each group if teachers team, and if blocks of time in the day are allowed for groups of teachers to diagnose and prescribe instruction in their areas of the curriculum.

All this is to say that testing goes hand-in-hand with the excellent practice of teaching, just as testing goes hand-in-hand with the excellent practice of medicine or 'doctoring,' but the good doctor knows how to limit the testing to pinpoint the need, and so must good educators, including those at the top.”


I would certainly hope there will also be an Article V "state convention" legislation passed this session that will produce a "balanced budget" amendment, with teeth, individual tax reform, a redefinition of the General Welfare and Commerce Clauses, and at least a sunset clause of all existing federal taxes and a super-majority vote to replace them with new, fairer taxes.  

ex animo



Good that this will be a short session with little legislation.

Maybe we should just give them the year off from having a legislative session during election years.  Women, children, and taxpayers would be safer.