Georgia high school seniors come to grips with lost graduation season

BY: - April 7, 2020

Georgia’s high school seniors won’t be turning their tassels or tossing their caps for the foreseeable future. School entrances are locked, classrooms are silent and large gatherings are off limits, all part of the loss the COVID-19 epidemic exacted as it put an end to life as usual for Georgia students. Gov. Brian Kemp announced […]

With Georgia classrooms closed for the school year, digital divide emerges

BY: - April 6, 2020

Camden County Schools closed March 17, but it wasn’t until April 1 that substitute teacher Bern Johnson’s third-grade granddaughter got her hands on a laptop to do her schoolwork. Johnson said some families in the southeast Georgia school district aren’t able to pick up laptops, work packets or school lunches because they don’t have transportation. […]

Push to give undocumented students in-state tuition stalls in committee

BY: - March 12, 2020

Several of his colleagues consoled a tearful state Rep. Kasey Carpenter Wednesday afternoon after his bill designed to let some undocumented immigrants pay in-state-tuition at Georgia universities failed to make it to a vote. The Dalton Republican’s House Bill 997 now is now set to miss Thursday’s Crossover Day deadline. Carpenter clearly thought the bipartisan […]

Georgia Senate approves expansion of special needs voucher program

BY: - March 11, 2020

Georgia senators Tuesday approved an expansion of a state-funded private school voucher program after a lengthy floor debate. Senate Bill 386 proposes to use public school dollars to pay for private school tuition for a program expansion that includes more children in the pool of eligible special needs students. Tuesday’s 33-22 vote was nearly entirely […]

Lawmakers want tax credit for teachers at low-performing schools

BY: - March 5, 2020

Georgia teachers at low-performing schools could get a total of $15,000 in tax credits over five years if a proposed law is approved. The author, Buckhead Republican Rep. Dave Belton, said the legislation will help fill a teacher shortage. “Last year, there were 3,112 teacher vacancies, places we could not fill, so that’s 90,000 kids […]

Ga. Senate panel expands voucher program for special needs students

BY: - March 5, 2020

The Senate Youth and Education Committee voted 6-4 along mostly partisan lines Wednesday in favor of Senate Bill 386 that would expand a program that lets students with disabilities receive private school tuition vouchers paid for by the state. Backers of the legislation say expanding the program to include temporary conditions including injuries gives parents […]

Proposed cap on fast-growing dual enrollment program headed to governor’s desk

BY: - March 4, 2020

Georgia could soon restrict the number of college courses the state will pay for high school students to take. The Georgia House of Representatives voted 103 to 67 Tuesday to approve restrictions on the popular and increasingly expensive dual enrollment program, and now that both legislative chambers passed the measure, it heads to the governor’s […]

Critics say expanded special needs voucher program too broad

BY: - February 27, 2020

Forsyth County’s Melissa Fonzo frustration boiled over when her son continued to fall behind most of his classmates as he struggled with severe dyslexia. Eventually, she pulled him from the public school system to get him in a private school that specializes in dyslexia. The Fonzo family benefited from a state special needs scholarship program […]

Campus access bill stirs debate over rights of controversial speakers

BY: - February 20, 2020

A Brunswick GOP lawmaker is pushing legislation intended to ensure all campus common areas are open to speakers, even if that speech is unpopular or controversial. Sen. William Ligon said Georgia needs to ensure First Amendment free speech rights are honored on public college campuses.  “What we’ve seen over a period of time is that […]

Kemp backs legislation to reduce high-stakes tests in schools

BY: - February 5, 2020

Gov. Brian Kemp and the state school superintendent said Tuesday they will push for legislation that aims to greatly reduce the test requirements for Georgia’s students. Senate Bill 367 means public school students would take five fewer standardized tests and allow the state to decide if end-of-the-course assessments should be factored into a students’ grades.   […]

Ga. Senate moves to curb rising cost of popular dual enrollment program

BY: - January 29, 2020

The Georgia Senate passed legislation Tuesday that aims to scale back a program in which the state pays for high school students to earn college credits. Republicans lawmakers pushing for scaled back dual enrollment say reducing the students who qualify will sustain the fast-growing program. The skyrocketing number of enrolled students caused a 350% spike […]