MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, email@example.com
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November 5, 2021 – The Georgia Department of Education is announcing its 2022 legislative priorities – key public-education issues that will guide State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ interactions with lawmakers in the upcoming regular session.
“Our legislative priorities are aligned with the greater vision of creating a public education system that is student-focused and classroom-centered,” Superintendent Woods said. “I look forward to working with the Georgia legislature to fully fund public education, ensure a raise for our hard-working teachers, and foster unity among students, educators, parents, and communities.”
Georgia Department of Education 2022 Legislative Priorities (downloadable/print version)
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS: We are committed to providing a well-rounded education for every student and addressing the academic and non-academic factors that have an impact on student achievement.
- Priority: Provide access to a 21st-century classroom by recognizing the need for affordable and quality high-speed internet access as a basic utility for all of Georgia’s families.
- Priority: Strengthen Civics Education and students’ understanding of American government and our nation’s history.
- Priority: Encourage the elimination of austerity cuts for programs that expand learning opportunities for students, including CTAE extended day/year and youth camps.
INCREASING SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: We are committed to improving supports and resources to ensure educational access and success for students with disabilities.
- Priority: Support updates to the funding formula to ensure sufficient resources for students in Residential Treatment Facilities.
- Priority: Propose additional funding to support the effective facilitation and implementation of the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship.
ELEVATING THE TEACHING PROFESSION & STRENGTHENING THE TEACHER PIPELINE: Teachers are the drivers of all education achievement. We promote efforts to ensure all Georgia’s students have access to highly effective teachers.
- Priority: Support fully funding the pay raise for teachers
- Priority: Encourage removing the threat of certification loss as a punishment for new teachers identified as “Needs Development” through the teacher evaluation system.
- Priority: Pursue the establishment of a pilot to design an evaluation system built on professional progression with embedded supports for educators.
- Priority: Promote changes to allow districts to utilize retired educators full time in high-need teaching positions.
STRENGTHENING THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND THE COMMUNITY: Schools belong to the community and the students, parents, educators, and citizens who live therein. We champion efforts for strong parent and community collaboration and engagement in school decisions.
- Priority: Promote strategies that encourage informed decision-making to ensure the health and safety of students and educators, recognizing the authority of families to make health-related decisions for their children, and employees to make health-related decisions for themselves.
- Priority: Foster unity among students, educators, parents, and communities around the common educational challenges facing our students by protecting against divisive teachings or ideologies.
- Priority: Ensure instructional materials, resources, and programs are age- and developmentally appropriate and are adopted using an established process that promotes transparency and community engagement.
FUNDING PUBLIC EDUCATION: We believe in prioritizing additional revenue to fully fund public education, including the full funding of the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula.
- Priority: Encourage the elimination of austerity cuts for districts and schools, and encourage additional funding for RESAs.
- Priority: Pursue additional funding for transportation costs for school districts.
- Priority: Pursue additional funding for student support staff at the local level.
- Priority: Support efforts to increase facilities funding for local charter schools.
- Priority: Promote federal legislation to extend the use of federal ESSER funding to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of these funds and support the long-term recovery of Georgia’s schools.
- Priority: Pursue legislative resolution that supports amending the Every Student Succeeds Act to further reduce high-stakes testing by only requiring grade-band testing (elementary School, middle School, and high School) rather than testing in grades 3-12 each year.