ATLANTA — As lawmakers debate budgets and the public fixates on coronavirus, legislation impacting education continues to wind its way through the General Assembly. 

The 40-day session is more than half through, with legislators facing Crossover Day this week. All bills must pass out of their originating chamber by end of day Thursday, March 12, to be considered in play for the session.

Gov. Brian Kemp continues to check off campaign promises through legislation aimed at reducing the number of mandatory tests under the annual Milestones Assessments.

Senate Bill 367 eliminates five standardized tests in middle and high school, shortens the length of tests and moves the testing window to the end of the school year.

The bill reduces the number of required Milestones tests for students from 24 to 19, but it remains two above the 17 federally mandated tests. Georgia students would still take the social studies test in high school, along with a state history test in 8th grade.

In the past four years, Georgia students have seen the number of mandated tests drop from 32 to 24, and that number is likely to drop to 19 next year.

A statement from the Georgia Association of Educators noted “Educators did not choose this profession to drill students in ‘high-stakes’ testing. They want to teach and accurately assess their students.”

If passed, the law will go into effect on July 1 for the next school year.

Currently on Gov. Kemp’s desk, and likely to become law any day, is House Bill 444 which puts guardrails on the popular Dual Enrollment program for college credit. Beginning next year, restrictions will be placed on the number of courses that can be earned by students to ensure the program stays financially viable.

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