State Board Meeting Report, May, 2010
3410 on 5/13/2010

Following usual practice, the State Board of Education met in Atlanta for the two-day monthly business session.

Wednesday, May 12

On Wednesday morning, the Budget Committee, Charter Committee, Rules Committee, and Operations Committee met to discuss potential items for action during the Thursday business meeting.  Recommendations were made to the Committee of the Whole which approved a consent agenda for Thursday.

In addition, a public hearing was held on changes to the Alternative Educational Programs rule.  Three persons spoke to the rule.

Wednesday afternoon, the Committee of the Whole heard reports on:

  • Charter School activities:  
    • an executive director has been named for the Charter Commission
    • 121 letters of intent have been received for potential charters for 2010-11
  • Results of the recent administration of the Georgia High School Graduation Test
  • Update on the CRCT monitoring project
  • Update on legislation passed by the General Assembly
  • Report by representatives of Bleckley and Effingham Counties on how they are using the Longitudinal Data System
  • Update on Race to the Top
  • Update on the Common Core Curriculum project.

The Audit Committee of the Board met to hear reports on recent internal audits.

The Board held an executive session to discuss personnel items.

Thursday, May 13

The Board began the day in executive session, completing work begun Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Albert Hodge, Board member from District 11, gave an inspiration and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Board recognized Georgia Art Education Association winners; national first place winners in Career and Technology Education; and Star Readers from State Schools.

Action Items
The Board:

  • Transferred two parcels of real estate in Florida owned by the Smoky Powell Center, to the Highlands Community Habitat for Humanity.
  • Approved local facilities plans for Brooks, Columbia, Dalton, Effingham, Irwin, Jones, Screven and Webster counties.
  • Tabled action on the facilities plan for Lincoln County.
  • Authorized the State Superintendent to sign the resolution for the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission to issue $60,000,000 in 20-year general obligation bonds.
  • Added ten private schools to the list for approved participation in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program for FY 11.
  • Approved the minutes of the April 7 State Board meeting.

Contracts and Grants
The Board approved the following:

  • Contract, 14 complaint investigators, $80,000 total, to conduct complaints related to special education services.
  • Contract, 50 parents of students with disabilities, $75,000 total, to participate on Focus Monitoring teams that monitor special education services.
  • Contract, Parent to Parent of Georgia, $152,000, for training of parents on IDEA.
  • Grants, Title I and Title IIIA, to Southwest Georgia RESA, $85,152, as fiscal agent for funds for the Title III Statewide Consortium of school districts serving small populations of Limited English Proficient students.
  • Grants, High Cost Fund for Special Eduction Services, to eligible school districts, $2,988,488 total, for reimbursement of expenses of students whose direct instructional and related services exceed $27,000 in individual annual costs.
  • Grants, Math and Science Partnerships (Title IIB), to 25 eligible school districts, $5,701,301 total, to improve the quality of math and science education.
  • Grant, Richmond County, $341,843, to correct FTE errors for the operation of a residential care center.
  • Grants, Redistribution of ARRA Allocation, $44,764 total, to qualifying school districts.

Charter Schools
The Board approved the following:

  • Charter system status to Floyd County
  • Charter school implementation grants $2,400,000 total, to six charter schools.

The Board:

  • Initiated rule Design and Construction Standards and Construction Costs. In general, changes reflect terminology updates.
  • Repealed rule Alternative Education Programs and adopted a new Alternative Education Programs rule. The new rule provides more specificity and guidance to local systems.  Systems must create and publically disseminate a school improvement plan for each alternative education program.
  • Initiated rule Seclusion and Restraint for All Students.  The rule prohibits monitored seclusion, chemical restraint, mechanical restraint and prone restraint in all circumstances for all students.  It is anticipated that the Board will act on the rule at the July meeting.
  • Initiated repeal of the current rule Waivers and Variances of High School Graduation Assessments and initiated a new rule with the same title.  The proposed new rule provides for other assessments than the Georgia High School Graduation Test (SAT, ACT, AP tests for example) to be utilized to meet variance requirements.  
  • Approved waivers of the following State Board rules:
    • Class Size: Barrow, Chattahoochee
    • Direct Instruction Requirements: Candler, Tattnall
    • Program for English Language Learners: Candler
    • Guidance Counselor Requirements: Camden, Candler 
    • Instructional Extension Requirements: Candler
    • Personnel Required: Banks, Screven, Vidalia
    • Professional Learning: Brantley
    • School Year: Whitfield
  • Authorized local boards of education during FY 2011 to depart from a strict interpretation of "school year" for certified staff.  The State Board will allow flexibility concerning all school days in excess of the 180 days of instruction or the equivalent thereof as mandated by state law.

Items for Information
In addition to reports mentioned above, the Board received verbal or written information on the following:

  • Contracts of $50,000 and under approved by the State Superintendent.
  • Amendment to Georgia's Consolidated State Plan, Title III Section.
  • Upcoming contracts and grants.
  • Upcoming charter petitions.
  • Proposed revisions in the Georgia Performance Standards for Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education Science courses.
  • Race to the Top Consortia.

The next meeting of the State Board of Education is scheduled for June 9-10.

This report is for information only and does not constitute an official record of State Board action.  For information, contact the Georgia Department of Education.