Busy finish to Ga.'s annual legislative session
Thursday is the last day
By Ray Henry Associated Press | 3/20/2014, 10:38 a.m.
An effort to force Georgia to abandon national education standards appears to have politically collapsed. However, it is still too early to know for certain what legislation will fail for the year. Bills considered unlikely to pass sometimes surge forward as a result of the intense political negotiations that consume the final days of the legislative session. The plan from state Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, would have prohibited Georgia from testing students on national academic standards, including Common Core. A House committee rejected a heavily revised version of Ligon's plan after education leaders spoke out against it.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate have conflicting plans to change Georgia's child welfare services after the deaths of several children. Senate lawmakers wanted to allow faith-and-community-based organizations to contract for services such as adoption, foster care and case management, while state officials would investigate child-abuse claims. But the House wanted to run a pilot privatization program before committing to larger changes. Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday created a council to study the state's child welfare program and signaled he wanted more time to study the issue. Assuming the General Assembly lets their proposals sit for this year, the debate could resume next year.