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November 6, 2023 – The Georgia Department of Education is announcing its 2024 legislative priorities, which will guide State School Superintendent Richard Woods' conversations with lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session, along with the agency's work during the session and beyond.
“The best way to invest in Georgia's future is investing in our students, families, and educators," Superintendent Woods said. “Our legislative priorities are guided by that underlying belief. I look forward to working with the Governor's Office and members of the General Assembly to strengthen instruction and student opportunities, fully fund public education, elevate the teaching profession, support Georgia families, and keep our students safe."
Georgia Department of Education – 2024 Legislative Priorities (downloadable/print version)
STRENGTHENING INSTRUCTION AND SUPPORT FOR ALL STUDENTS
- Priority: Support early literacy by adding funding for Science of Reading-based coaching and professional learning.
- Priority: Expand the “Return to Work" opportunity to include retired teachers with reading endorsements or dyslexia endorsements as a statewide high-need subject area.
- Priority: Increase funding for therapeutic services and supports for students with disabilities.
- Priority: Strengthen the viability of completion special schools that put at-risk students on a path to graduation and success.
- Priority: Place a paraprofessional in all kindergarten through second grade classrooms.
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
- Priority: Establish a pilot to fund high school Career Advisors to assist all students in securing postsecondary success.
- Priority: Extend Work-Based Learning Programs into the summer months with funding to increase opportunities for high school students to gain valuable workplace experience.
- Priority: Strengthen kindergarten readiness by expanding access to Georgia Pre-K for families on the waiting list.
PROTECTING STUDENTS AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES
- Priority: Establish line-item funding for school safety.
- Priority: Protect parental rights regarding students' use of social media and technology.
- Priority: Protect the rights of parental consent and notification for school health services.
- Priority: Support state funding for a one-time property tax credit for Georgia families.
ELEVATING THE TEACHING PROFESSION AND STRENGTHENING THE TEACHER PIPELINE
- Priority: Support a $3,000 pay raise for teachers to build on the raises secured by Governor Kemp and the General Assembly and bring the total teacher pay increase to $10,000 within the next three years.
- Priority: Establish a study committee on the compensation of education support professionals.
- Priority: Secure a minimum number of personal days for teachers and classified staff.
- Priority: Restore funding to increase compensation for educators who earn a leadership degree.
- Priority: Strengthen mentoring and support for new teachers.
FUNDING PUBLIC EDUCATION
- Priority: Fully fund the QBE formula.
- Priority: Increase funding for transportation costs and recognize poverty as part of a larger effort to modernize the K-12 funding formula.
- Priority: Offset the increase in state health insurance costs for non-certified school employees by increasing funding for insurance to school districts.
- Priority: Expand the allowable use of SPLOST funds to include software, subscriptions, and other digital instructional resources.