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IN|SESSION BI-WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

The mission of the Interfaith Children's Movement is to build a multi-faith grassroots advocacy coalition that works to create a Georgia where ALL children thrive.

Educate

Advocacy Workshops

ICM provides year-round advocate education and advocacy development opportunities for adults, children, and youth, from hands-on interactive in-person workshops to inspiring virtual learning sessions.

To attend a workshop or host one in your faith community, school, university, or organization, please get in touch with us.

Engage

Coalitions for Advocacy and Action

ICM is committed to building coalitions in Georgia's 159 counties. These coalitions connect people from diverse faith traditions who stand on the common ground of stewarding all of Georgia's children well.
 
We work to mobilize congregations for advocacy and connect faith communities in the same county to combine their efforts and collaborate for change.

Empower

Ensuring Every Child Has and Is An Advocate

Child advocacy empowers adults with a heart for children to speak up for their needs. At its best, however, child advocacy also encourages children and youth to develop their voices to advocate for themselves. Empowering youth to have agency is the cornerstone of ICM's movement.

At ICM, our approach to advocacy is both interfaith and intergenerational, empowering adults and young people to advocate side-by-side.

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2024 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

HB 3

Opportunity Weight in Education

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This bill would create budget considerations for education and provide grants by the State Board of Education to local units of administration to support students living in poverty.

Why we SUPPORT this bill:

Georgia is one of only six states without specific legislation to support students living in poverty. This legislation would fix that. Georgia also ranks 43rd in child poverty, and opportunity weight legislation would positively impact the education of a majority of kids throughout Georgia.

HB 668

Students Living in
Poverty

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This bill would include a program for students living in poverty to the table of quality basic education instructional programs alongside weights and student-teacher ratios.

Why we SUPPORT this bill:

In GA, minority populations have a 20 to 38.7%  likelihood of dropping out of high school. By contrast, the predominant population’s drop-out rate is only 11%. This legislation is a necessary first step toward closing the educational gap in Georgia.

New legislation is introduced daily, and ICM's Advocacy Team keeps a close watch on bills that pertain to Georgia's children and families. This is a living list that will adjust as language is modified.

HB 520

Mental
Health

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Why we SUPPORT this bill:

Investing in trained mental health coordinators and treatment facilities and empowering them to partner with police facilitates recognition and assessment of mental health-related challenges and generates more appropriate responses to those in need of care.

This bill includes funding for supportive housing, treatment, and county-based mental health coordinators to work alongside police for better mental health outcomes.

SB 264

In-State Tuition for 
Non-Citizen Students

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Why we SUPPORT this bill:

Georgia is one of only six states without specific legislation to support students living in poverty. This legislation would fix that. Georgia also ranks 43rd in child poverty, and opportunity weight legislation would positively impact the education of a majority of kids throughout Georgia.

This bill provides that noncitizen students with certain refugee, special immigrant, or humanitarian parole status under federal law are classified as in-state for tuition purposes. 

SB 233

School
Vouchers

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Why we OPPOSE this bill:

The implementation of this voucher program would exacerbate existing disparities, divert funds away from schools in dire need, and perpetuate systemic issues rather than address them. It is also essential to note that this one-time payment of $6,500 falls far short of the average annual cost of private education in Georgia ($11,000).

This bill will give $6,500 to families of Georgia public school students in the bottom 25% of schools who pull their children out of class to attend private school or study at home. 

HB 379

School 
Chaplains

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Why we OPPOSE this bill:

Without prerequisites for vetting, training, or credentialing chaplains, giving schools the option to hire non-professionals to provide counseling services to students leaves student mental health, religious freedoms, career guidance, and overall safety in jeopardy. 

This bill provides that noncitizen students with certain refugee, special immigrant, or humanitarian parole status under federal law are classified as in-state for tuition purposes. 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I'm changing the things I cannot accept.

Angela Davis

Contact your elected officials and let them know what Georgia's children need most!

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with

Henry Young

Interim Policy & Advocacy Specialist

LEARN THE ABCs OF ADVOCACY

Tune in to ICM's new video vlog series "Advocacy Avenue" and learn about what's happening in the Georgia Legislature, as well as sharpen your advocacy skills with host Henry Young, ICM's Interim Policy & Advocacy Specialist.

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Remember to like, comment, share, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

OUR IMPACT ON CHILD WELL-BEING

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2013

2016

2018

2021

Online enrollment and annual renewal for PeachCare for Kids.

"Too Young to Suspend" makes K-3rd graders exempt from school suspension.

Separate fund established in the statue treatury for sexually exploited children.

Juvenile Justice Code rewrite with "Child In Need Services" (CHINS) included.

550,000+
K-3 grade students
impacted each year

1.3 million+
children ages 0-18
enrolled in Peachcare

Physical and emotional care for survivors of child sexual exploitation

57% reduction

in short-term secure confinement for children under 17 years of age

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