The Georgia Department of Education is announcing its 2020 legislative priorities – key public-education issues that will guide State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ conversations with lawmakers in the upcoming session.
GaDOE’s priorities fall within four overall themes: Responsible and Aligned Accountability, Strengthening the Teacher Pipeline, Expanding Opportunities for Students, and Funding Public Education. Many of the priorities are drawn directly from the issues raised by teachers and leaders across the state at the listening sessions Governor Brian Kemp and Superintendent Woods hosted last fall.
“The 2019 legislative session was a historic one for Georgia’s teachers and students. The Governor and General Assembly recognized the importance of education by fully funding QBE, providing additional funding through the APEX program, and supplying $30,000 per school to ensure the safety of our students,” Superintendent Woods said. “We recognize and value that investment in public education, and we will continue to promote efforts that serve our students, by advocating for continued full funding of QBE and additional resources for our rural systems – namely in transportation; an assessment system that truly serves our students; robust Teacher Pipeline legislation; expansion of fine arts opportunities; and more. With the Governor’s Office, Department of Education, and General Assembly more aligned than ever before, I’m confident there will be more positive developments for public education this session.”
RESPONSIBLE & ALIGNED ACCOUNTABILITY
Our Values: We support an assessment and accountability system that measures the strengths and needs of our students and teachers, and reduces the pressures and burdens placed on them by an over-emphasis on high-stakes testing.
GOAL: Pursue state testing requirements that are more closely aligned with the federal minimum
GOAL:Streamline competing accountability systems and eliminate duplication
GOAL: Address Financial Efficiency Star Rating
GOAL: Transfer accountability, oversight and support of Strategic Waiver School Systems (SWSS) to GaDOE
STRENGTHENING THE TEACHER PIPELINE
Our Values: Teachers are the drivers of all educational achievement. We promote efforts to ensure all Georgia’s students have access to highly effective teachers.
GOAL: Pursue robust Teacher Pipeline legislation, including the establishment of a pilot to design an evaluation system built on professional progression with embedded supports for educators
GOAL: Promote changes to allow districts to utilize retired educators full time to fill high-need teaching positions
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
Our Values: We are committed to providing a well-rounded education for every student and addressing all factors that have an impact on student achievement
GOAL: Expand opportunities for fine arts and computer science instruction
GOAL: Ensure sustainability and quality of the Dual Enrollment program
FUNDING PUBLIC EDUCATION
Our Values: We believe in fully funding public education, including the continued full funding of the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula.
GOAL: Support additional funding for transportation in rural school districts
GOAL: Increase funding for additional school counselors to support student mental health needs