Cumming, GA – Today, Governor Brian P. Kemp, joined by First Lady Marty Kemp, parents and students, education leaders, members of the General Assembly, and state and local elected officials, signed legislation that empowers students and parents when it comes to the education of their children, as well as Georgia's hardworking teachers. The following bills were signed during a ceremony at the Forsyth County Arts and Learning Center:
- Parents' Bill of Rights (HB 1178)
- HB 1084, which prevents divisive concepts and ideologies from invading the classroom and gives the Georgia High School Association authority to protect fairness in school sports.
- SB 226, which removes obscene materials from school libraries.
- SB 588, which ensures school board meetings are transparent.
- HB 517, which fulfills a campaign promise to double the cap on student scholarship organization donations, including the Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning (GOAL) scholarships, to provide greater educational opportunity and choice for families. This increase in the tax credit cap will allow an extra Georgia 4,000 students per year to be served.
- SB 220, which creates a Commission on Civics Education to explore ways in which we can better serve students and ensure financial literacy is taught in schools.
- HB 385, which allows retired teachers to return to the classroom fulltime in high-need areas.
An excerpt of Governor Kemp's remarks from the bill signing ceremony is featured below, and the ceremony livestream video can be viewed here.
I’d like to thank all of the leadership and members of the House and Senate for their hard work and dedication getting so many great bills across the finish line this year!
As all of you know, the incredible progress we’ve made in strengthening education here in the great State of Georgia did not just start this year.
Governors before me and members of the General Assembly going back twenty years have invested in the future of our students and the well-being of our state by making education a top priority.
Since my family and I have been honored to serve you, we have allocated state resources to expand mental health treatment in our classrooms, provide locally controlled school security grants to every school in the state and, passed the largest teacher pay raise in state history.
This session, we built on that momentum, fully funding the QBE school formula for three out of the four years I’ve been your Governor – even as we emerged from a global pandemic.
We finished out the final installment of the teacher pay raise I promised on the campaign trail in 2018 for a total of 5,000 dollars.
And we put students and parents first by keeping woke politics out of the classroom and off our ballfields.
Today, we’re here at the Forsyth County Arts and Learning Center to sign legislation that puts our children ahead of partisan agendas, gets parents back in charge of their kids’ education, and expands school choice for those who need it most.
HB 1178 – the Parents’ Bill of Rights – provides greater transparency to parents and legal guardians regarding what their student is being taught in school and protects the fundamental right of moms and dads across this state to direct the education of their child.
Likewise, SB 588 ensures that local school board meetings are transparent, so that every parent knows how their child’s education is being discussed and decided.
HB 1084 bans the teaching of divisive concepts while also protecting academic freedom and ensuring the Georgia High School Association has the authority to protect fairness in school sports.
It ensures all of our state and nation’s history is taught accurately – because here in Georgia, our classrooms will not be pawns of those who want to indoctrinate our kids with their partisan political agendas.
Another bill, SB 226, will also make sure our children are not exposed to obscene materials in our school libraries.
And fulfilling another promise I made on the campaign trail, HB 517 will double the tax credit program for student scholarship organizations, including GOAL Scholarships, to 120 million dollars for Georgia students in financial need so they can attend the school that best fits their needs.
SB 220 will also strengthen the quality of civic education our students receive… so that they can truly appreciate all that this country and our freedoms have to offer. It will also ensure that they learn financial literacy in our schools, like the importance of good credit and how to budget properly, so that they are better prepared for the world beyond the classroom.
And to guarantee that we have experienced, quality educators in our classrooms, I will sign HB 385, which allows retired teachers to return to the classroom fulltime in high-need areas.
I’d like to again thank the members who supported these great pieces of legislation. Unfortunately, there are those outside our state, and other members in the General Assembly, who chose partisan politics over common sense reforms to put our students and our parents first.
But standing up for the God-given potential of each and every child in our schools and protecting the teaching of freedom, liberty, opportunity, and the American dream in the classroom should not be controversial.
Making sure parents have the ultimate say in their child’s education should not be controversial.
And as the parents of three daughters, Marty and I want every young girl in this state to have every opportunity to succeed in the sport they love.
That should not be controversial.
But we weren’t elected by the people of this state to shy away from doing what some may call controversial.
Because the bills we are signing into law today are about doing what is right.
As long as my family and I have the honor of serving you, we’re going to continue to put our students and our parents first in the great State of Georgia.
Thank you, and God Bless!