Governor to sign 10 education bills Thursday including OSD-Lite

The governor is scheduled to sign 10 education bills Thursday, but campus carry is not on the list. (AJC Photo.)

Update Thursday morning: Upon signing the OSD-Lite bill, Gov. Nathan Deal said: “Georgia remains committed to improving our state’s education system by increasing student access to high-performing schools and learning environments conducive to today’s academic standards. To that end, Rep. Tanner has worked tirelessly with my office, members of the General Assembly and other stakeholders on HB 338. By focusing improvement efforts and education resources on our lowest-performing schools, our most vulnerable students will have greater opportunities for success. The educational investments in this legislation will produce long-term benefits for students, families and communities by ensuring education outcome is not hindered by zip code, but rather enhanced by state support and local accountability. I want to thank Rep. Tanner, members of the General Assembly and many others who worked together for the benefit of Georgia’s current and future students.”

Original blog:

The governor’s pen will be flying Thursday at 9:45 a.m. under the Gold Dome when he signs 10 education bills into law, including an Opportunity School District Lite legislation.

The signing session does not include the controversial campus carry bill that opens Georgia’s public campus to guns. The absence of House Bill 280 on the list doesn’t mean Gov. Nathan Deal isn’t going to sign it, but he’s not doing so Thursday.

Two of the most contentious bills Deal will sign are the OSD-Lite bill, House Bill 338, and the sanctuary campus ban, House bill 37.

Dubbed the First Priority Act, HB 338 provides a method for identifying low-performing schools and establishes a multiyear, multifaceted turnaround plan to assist them. It creates a new state education leader, the chief turnaround officer, to intervene in failing schools.

House Bill 37 would restrict state funds for colleges that violate state and federal law by adopting polices that protect students who are living in the U.S. illegally. HOPE could be taken away from students under the bill, which states: “Such withholding of state funding shall include funds provided to the private postsecondary institution directly as well as funding for scholarships, loans, and grants.”

Deal plans to sign a bill likely to thrill students as it could eventually lead to fewer tests: SB 211 requires the Georgia Board of Education to determine whether nationally recognized tests that students are taking in addition to the mandatory state standardized End of Course Tests, such as the SAT and ACT, measure learning of the same content as the state’s tests.

Some of the other bills on the list to be signed Thursday:

House Bill 139 will require the Georgia Department of Education to collect information on public schools’ spending on salaries, maintenance and other costs and publish it on its website.

HB 224 provides that a military student may attend any school in the local school system.

House Bill 237 would create a $5 million annual tax credit for an “innovation” grant program that prioritizes schools on the target list for turnaround under the First Priority Act.

House Bill 430 calls on state education agencies to establish charter school authorizing standards, and it would mandate hearings for charter schools that are trying to obtain unused school buildings.

SB 186 clarifies language related to the effect of dual credit courses on HOPE scholarship and grant applicability; to provide that students who earned a high school diploma through certain dual credit coursework are eligible for a HOPE grant toward an associate degree.


Reader Comments 0


Good morning, everyone.

I am writing to ask as many readers, as feel inclined, to please TEXT the word  "VETO" on your I-phone and send that word to 644-33, which will inform Governor Deal that you wish him to VETO the "Guns Allowed on Campus" bill, presently on his desk.  Thanks.

Blynne Roberts
Blynne Roberts

The will of the People don't matter! This is a BAD DEAL (no pun intended) for schools and school districts!!! His cronies will reap the financial benefits. The taxpayers will see...


Like any political compromise,HB 338 won't make everyone happy,but...

Considering that the original OSD amendment crashed and burned,getting anything resembling intervention into these chronically failing schools has to be looked at as a minor miracle.I think that Governor Deal was helped a little bit by circumstances being just right-A general appetite in the legislature for reform,the absolute implosion of the Georgia PTA,and it's influence being mooted by infighting,and the lack of out-of-state union interests to show any mettle for another fight over this concept.

Add to that the low ebb of the media's ability to influence the electorate (vide: President Trump),and it looks like the Guv threaded the needle to get a few of his priorities adopted.

I guess the political grave dancing of November 9th was a wee bit premature.


@Astropig That's right.  The passage of HB338 had NOTHING to do with the fact that Rep. Tanner approached all parties (including educator associations), and that the focus in the bill is more about support and cooperation rather than the governor's office just taking over.  Also, its passage would have NOTHING to do with the fact that HB338 works within the GA Constitution, requires community input, is clearer about the process, methods, and accountability, acknowledges there are circumstances beyond the school which impact learning, and established how funding is handled.  No, the entire reason HB338 passed versus Amendment 1 is because PTA and educator associations were quiet.  NOT! 


Pretty much.  I think the devil will be in the details in the actual implementation.  And, if the turnaround specialists recommend additional staff and/or supports, the question becomes, "Where is the money coming from?"

As you pointed out, no compromise is perfect, but I do think this is a much more sincere attempt to help struggling schools - not just permission to sweep in with a superiority complex, implement drastic, unsupported change, and take all the funds without accountability.



I like it too.It's progress.It's part of a long term process of improvement and it explicitly recognizes that a problem exists and must be dealt with.