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Rural Education and Innovation

Rural Innovation Map

Renewing Rural Georgia

During the pandemic, the unique challenges assoc​iated with rural poverty moved to the forefront for our state leaders. As a former educator and school leader from rural Georgia, State School Superintendent Richard Woods personally understands not only the challenges facing families, students, and educators, but also the opportunity a transformational investment could make in the lives of children and their communities.

Gaps that existed prior to the pandemic such as connectivity, teacher retention and recruitment, healthcare, resources and funding, workforce development, and more were only exacerbated by the pandemic.

​GaDOE plans to utilize ARP ESSER funds to establish an Office of Rural Education and Innovation within the agency to provide a continued, cabinet-level voice for the needs of rural Georgia, establish state and community partnerships to channel resources, and identify funding opportunities within the agency to support rural areas of our state.

The Office of Rural Education will work with low wealth school districts with low student populations in high poverty/distressed regions of Georgia. GaDOE will make a substantial investment of its ARP ESSER funds to bring about transformative, sustained change for these identified regions.

The leader of this new Office is empowered to hire staff and structure a team in support of identified regions, bringing on the expertise, insight, and experience needed to address the unique needs of rural Georgia. The leader will be charged with working hand-in-hand with school and community leaders to address gaps that were brought to the forefront during the pandemic, chart a roadmap beyond recovery to renewal, and tackle any additional barriers that directly impact academic outcomes and opportunities for students.

Rural Education and Innovation Presentation ​

Graphic showing the three priorities of the Office of Rural Aducation and Innovation. 1: Priority, 2. Connect, and 3. Thrive

Rural Innovation Map

Rural Innovation Map

Click on the map to access LEA websites Population 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Georgia RESAs 1. Northwest Georgia RESA 2. North Georgia RESA 3. Pioneer RESA 4. Metro RESA 5. Northeast Georgia RESA 6. West Georgia RESA 7. Griffin RESA 8. Middle Georgia RESA 9. Oconee RESA 10. Central Savannah RESA 11. Chattahoochee-Flint RESA 12. Heart of Georgia RESA 13. First District RESA 14. Southwest Georgia RESA 15. Coastal Plains RESA 16. Okefenokee RESA
Press & hold an LEA to see it on the map or tap to go to the LEA's website. Hover an LEA to see it on the map or click to go to the LEA's website. Georgia Demographics icons are also present where available. Tap Click these to get a full Demographics-by-County Report.

TO: District Superintendents

FROM: Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, Deputy Superintendent, Rural Education and Innovation

DATE: January 12, 2022

RE: ENGAGE Georgia Attendance Recovery Program

As we return from the break and move forward through the 2021-22 school year, it is imperative that we address the needs of our students who may have fully or partially disengaged from their education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist teachers, schools, and districts in these efforts, the GaDOE is offering a program aimed at helping re-engage K-12 students. In partnership with Graduation Alliance, ENGAGE Georgia will assist students and families struggling to get back on track.

The ENGAGE Georgia program brings an experienced student outreach and coaching team to:

Students who are in grades K-12 and:

• have not engaged in their district’s education offerings in 2021-22 school year (whether in-person or virtual) or,

• are chronically absent (5 or more unexcused absences) or,

• are academically at-risk (e.g., in danger of failing one or more courses).

This program is being offered to all school districts at no cost, but space is limited, and districts must opt-in to participate.

To opt in, you will need to identify your district or charter school team primary contact, estimate the number of students who have not engaged in learning, or those you feel would benefit from Engage Georgia, and share information with your data coordinator about the program as Graduation Alliance will be reaching out to them to coordinate student referrals. To opt in, visit

To help facilitate questions and provide additional information, the GaDOE and Graduation Alliance will host webinars. Each webinar will provide the same information, so please choose the one that best fits your schedule.

January 18, 2022, 1:30pm

January 19, 2022, 4:30pm

January 21, 2022, 12pm

Please send questions regarding the ENGAGE Georgia program to

We hope that this service will be an extra set of hands for your district as we reach out to these disengaged students and bring them back in to learn, lead, and live to their fullest potential.

Bio photo of Dr. David "Butch" Mosely

About Dr. David “Butch” Mosely

Dr. David C. Mosely – known as “Butch” to his friends and colleagues – was a lifelong educator who served Georgia’s students as a coach, teacher, administrator, and superintendent in school districts across the state. A native of Climax, Georgia, he served as superintendent in seven Georgia school districts and was named Superintendent of the Year in 1999 by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

Dr. Mosely retired in 2017 as Superintendent of the Dougherty County School System. He went on to serve for more than two years as a member of the State Board of Education, a position he used to advocate for students, teachers, and public education.

He held a doctorate degree from Nova University where he ​​also served as an adjunct faculty member, teaching in the university’s Educational Leadership program. He also held a specialist’s degree from Valdosta State University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Georgia. He is survived by his wife, June Cox Mosely, and their two children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Mosely was grounded in common sense, his core was rural Georgia, and he always had the heart of an educator. The Dr. David “Butch” Mosely Office of Rural Education and Innovation is named in honor of his integrity, insight, and advocacy on behalf of rural students, teachers, and schools.