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Posted: January 23, 2014 10:00 p.m.

BOE sets 2014 legislative priorities

The Newton County Board of Education approved its 2014 list of legislative priorities at its Tuesday meeting. The list of priorities is set to be distributed to local legislators during the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The hope is for legislators to consider the boards’ wishes as they vote.

The list of BOE legislative priorities is as follows:

Vision Project for Public Education

The Newton County BOE supports the Vision Project as the vehicle to raise awareness, address issues and enhance public education in the State of Georgia. For more information, visit visionforpubliced.org.

Local Board authority

The Newton County BOE supports the authority of local boards of education to manage and control the operation of local public schools, opposing any legislation that attempts to override the constitutional authority of locally-elected boards to make educational decisions for their communities.

Program funding

Austerity cuts have caused the Newton County School System to lose nearly $86,716,647 since 2003. The state of Georgia has continued to decrease the amount of funds available for public Pre-K through 12th education. The board supports ceasing state austerity reductions and restoring full funding to public education.

The board supports the funding of the state’s employee health benefits program so as to provide state employees with flexible plan options.

Policy and impact

The board supports requiring a clear, timely and complete description of the potential impact of state education legislation on the fiscal budgets, operations and programs of local schools and school districts.

The board also supports the revision and finalization of the flexibility options (local school systems must choose to operate as a Charter, Investing in Educational Excellence, etc.), to include a school system’s ability to waive requirements, when choice options and other innovations are successfully implemented.

The board supports legislation to provide local educational agencies options to implement flexibility in order to increase student achievement and operations effectiveness.

Federal legislation

The BOE urges Congress to eliminate unnecessary mandates and regulations on schools. The Board also supports requiring a clear and complete description of the potential impact of education legislation on the fiscal budgets, operations and programs of local schools and school districts.

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