Tom’s vote: YES
HB 801 seeks to reward Georgia college students for taking academically rigorous STEM classes that ultimately lead to employment in a high-demand STEM field. It directs the Board of Regents to identify bachelor level STEM courses to receive extra weight (0.5 added to a B, C, or D) for purposes of calculating a student’s HOPE scholarship GPA – not their college GPA. HB 801 also adds computer science to the list of qualified advanced science courses for high school students.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission is instructed to issue a biennial report to the House and Senate Committees on Higher Education detailing high demand fields with workforce shortages. The legislation also permits the Governor to convene a task force to identify high demand fields and those with workforce shortages and recommend the initial courses to the Board of Regents.
As Georgia still struggles to meet high-demand science and engineering related job openings, this legislation rewards Georgia college students for taking and succeeding in coursework that help to fill these critical shortages in our workforce.