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 Georgia's School Turnaround Focus


Georgia’s school turnaround effort, created by House Bill 338 in 2017 and led by the state’s first Chief Turnaround Officer Dr. Eric Thomas, was created to provide a system of supports for Georgia schools identified as being most in need of assistance.

The turnaround effort is a partnership between schools, districts, parents, community stakeholders, and the state.


This effort is so essential because:

  • ​Great schools create great communities

  • We are investing in tomorrow’s work force

  • It’s a moral obligation

Students in cap and gowns hold their diplomas.

Features of the turnaround focus:

  • Prioritization for grants

  • Support from an Improvement Specialist

  • Ga DOE Resources

  • Support with securing and coordinating parent & community resource

  • Leadership development

  • Support in implementing a school-driven improvement plan


Click here to download & print a one-page overview.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Supporting Legislation

The Opportunity




Governor's Office of Student Achievement
Georgia Department of Education
Get Georgia Reading
Chattahoochee-Flint RESA
Educational Turnaround Advisory Council
Georgia Foundation for Public Education
Southwest Georgia RESA

The Team


Ashley Harris, M.S.
Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement
Georgia State Board of Education
1854 Twin Towers East
205 Jessie Hill Dr., SE
Atlanta, Ga. 30334
Office 404-463-2314

In the News


Driven by Data book cover: A practical Guide to Improve Instruction

Data-Driven Instruction Training
January 26-27, 2018
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303

One or two representatives from each Cohort One district will be able to attend, at no cost, a data-driven instruction training led by national expert Paul Bambrick-Santoyo.

Talent Management Virtual Round Table

A 90-minute Talent Management virtual “roundtable” will be offered, at no cost, in January (exact date to TBD) for Cohort One districts.  The roundtable will offer human resource directors and other district leaders an opportunity to engage with three talent management experts to explore innovative practices to increase the number of highly effective teachers in lower-performing schools. Topics will include:

  •      Teacher Preparation – What can the district do, in partnership with local universities, to strengthen the capacity of teachers while completing their college requirements?
  •       Compensation & Recruitment Strategies – What can the district do to encourage highly effective teachers or aspiring teachers to select or stay at schools that need them the most?
  • ​​​     Personnel Management – What can a district do to enhance their operational approach to teacher selection and hiring? 

  •     Onboarding – What can the district do to enhance the induction of new and veteran teachers?
  • ​​    Working Conditions – What can the district do to enhance the working conditions of teachers?
  • ​​​     Teacher Development – What can the district do to build the capacity of teachers (and long-term substitutes) already at lower-performing schools? 


$61 Million Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia (L4 Grant)

As prescribed in HB338, schools that partner with the Turnaround Office will be prioritized for state and federal grants.  The turnaround office will be offering technical support to Cohort One schools and districts as they complete their grant applications.  Applications are due February 1, 2018.


Rural Education Fund Grant

The Turnaround Office will be partnering with the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to explore support through a competitive grant for Cohort One schools. 
More information will be forthcoming.



​​Dr. Eric Thomas
Chief Turnaround Officer
Georgia Department of Education
Office 404-657-9864