BOE ap­proves 2014 leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties

The Covington News - - THE SECOND FRONT - DANIELLE EVER­SON de­v­er­son@cov­news.com

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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