Senate Bill 2 was passed unanimously in the Georgia State Senate this week with 56 senators voting in favor of the legislation, which could lessen high school drop-out rates, strengthen Georgia’s workforce, and attract more businesses to the state.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Tippins of the 37th District, would allow high school students who complete post secondary coursework at technical colleges in Georgia to use those credits toward a high school diploma. According to the bill, these students must be at least 16-years-old and complete ninth and tenth grade-level courses in English, mathematics, science, social studies and one physical education and health course. The students must also obtain a technical diploma, associate degree, or receive two technical college certificates of credit.
According to the bill analysis conducted by the Senate Research Office, the Technical College System of Georgia will conduct an annual study to determine which industries in Georgia have an immediate need for trained personnel and will provide this information to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education will then provide this information to local school systems and inform high school students of these shortages and assist the students as they select their career paths.
This bill was dropped just one month after the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) report was released by the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). According to the HDCI report, top employers in Georgia reported a shortage of skilled trade workers in the state and therefore they need to recruit for these positions outside of Georgia. Employers also expressed interest in introducing STEM career fields to students at a younger age while also placing a greater emphasis on the development of STEM skills and skilled trades.
By allowing high school students to enroll in the Technical College System and use those credits toward a high school diploma, these students are less likely to drop out of high school. This legislation would ultimately strengthen Georgia’s workforce, attracting more businesses to the state and addressing the shortage of skilled trade workers.
Click HERE to view Senate Bill 2.
Click HERE to view the Governor’s High Demand Career Initiative Report.