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 Laws and Rules

What Parents Need to Know

The Georgia Department of Education, led by the State School Superintendent along with the State Board of Education, provides the statewide leadership necessary to ensure the opportunity for each public school student to be successful. Together not only do they enact policy rules, but they implement and enforce state and federal Law. This section provides information regarding state and federal policies, including parent rights and responsibilities. If you have specific questions about any of the Laws or rules below, contact AskDOE at 1-800-311-3627 or your local school district office.

State Policy

  • State Policy Division
    Click above to find policy, research and evaluation projects for the Georgia Department of Education.
  • State Board of Education Rules
    Click above to find current rules that have been adopted by the State Board of Education, filed with the Secretary of State, and are, therefore, in effect.
  • Proposed Rulemaking
    Proposed rulemakings are rules that are being considered for adoption by the State Board of Education. Prior to adoption rules must be formally initiated and submitted for a public review period of at least 30 calendar days. Click above to view current proposed rulemakings.
  • State Board Decisions
    The State Board of Education decides appeals of decisions rendered by local boards of education in matters of school Law. The appeals primarily involve matters relating to student discipline and the discipline and termination of certificated personnel, although any matter of school Law can be appealed. Click above to view the State Board of Education’s decisions.
  • Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) Waivers and Variances
    According to State Rule 160-1-3-.09, Waivers and Variances of High School Graduation Assessments Guidelines, students may receive a Georgia regular education diploma through the assessment waiver or variance process (for one or more of the tests) if they meet specific criteria. To see frequently asked questions regarding GHSGTs or learn more about the wavier and variance process click above.
  • Promotion and Retention Guidance
    The Georgia Academic Placement and Promotion Policy requires that students in third grade meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in Reading and that students in fifth and eighth grade meet or exceed expectations on the CRCT in Reading and Mathematics in order to be promoted. The goal is to assure that students are performing at grade level in these key academic areas before moving on to the next grade. To learn more click above or your student’s grade level brochure below.

  • Graduation Rule
    In 2007, the Georgia Department of Education revised the requirements for obtaining a high school diploma from Georgia public high schools. The new requirements pertain only to students who entered ninth grade for the first time in the 2008-2009 and in all subsequent school years. To see the rule click above. To view the graduation requirements in a user-friendly brochure click on one of the links below.

    Note: The Georgia Department of Education does not have authority in issues regarding student participation in high school graduation ceremonies. For information regarding this matter please contact your local school district.
    The Georgia Teen-age and Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TAADRA) of 1997 requires that local school systems certify that a student’s attendance pattern and discipline record permit him or her to have a Georgia learner’s permit or driver’s license. To learn more about what is required by your local school system to comply with the Law click above.
  • Georgia Special Needs Scholarship
    The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship provides eligible special education students with school choice opportunities. To learn more about this program or to find out if your student is eligible click above.
  • Special Education Rules
    Click above to view the Special Education Rule adopted by the State Board of Education.
  • Georgia Charter School Statutes
    Click above to view the Georgia Charter School Statutes.
  • IE2 Partnership Contracts
    IE2 Partnership Contracts are intended to provide local school districts with greater governance flexibility as a means to increasing student achievement. As created by House Bill 1209 (2008), Local Boards of Education (LBOE) can enter into multi-year contracts with the State Board of Education (SBOE) based on strategic plans developed in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA). Such plans must identify specific school-level student achievement goals that are in addition to current federal accountability requirements. To learn more about IE2 Partnership Contracts click above.

Federal Policy

  • Federal Policy and Programs
    Click above to learn more about the No Child Left Behind Act or other federal policies and programs
  • No Child Left Behind Act
    On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) that reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). NCLB significantly raises expectations for states, local school districts, and schools in that all students will meet or exceed state standards in reading and mathematics within twelve years. To learn more about this Law click above. To view a complete copy of the Law click on the link below.
  • Public Choice
    If a child attends a Title I school that has been identified by the state for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, parents can choose to send their child to another public school that is not so identified. Districts must let parents know each year if their child is eligible to transfer to another school, and districts must give parents more than one transfer option if more than one exists. To learn more about public school choice click above.
  • Family Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal Law that protects the privacy of student education records. The Law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. To learn more about parent rights click above. To view a complete copy of the Law click on the link below.
  • IDEA
    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the Law that outlines rights and regulations for students with disabilities in the U.S. who require special education. To view a complete copy of the Law click above.
  • Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO)
    Ensuring that all of Georgia's schools are safe under No Child Left Behind, Georgia developed a definition of "persistently dangerous" schools and allows public school choice for students who have been victims of a violent criminal offense or who attend a school that meets the definition. Click above to learn more about the definitions of “persistently dangerous” schools and to see if your child meets the requirements for Unsafe School Choice.


 Contact Information

Local: (404) 656-2800
Toll Free: (800) 311-3627 (GA)
Fax: (404) 651-6867