BOE ap­proves leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties

The Covington News - - LOCAL - Duane M. Ford dford@cov­

With the Ge­or­gia Gen­eral As­sem­bly’s next ses­sion set to be­gin Jan­uary 8, the New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) Board of Ed­u­ca­tion (BOE) ap­proved a list of leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties Tues­day. Sa­man­tha Fuhrey, su­per­in­ten­dent, drafted the leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties and pre­sented them to the board for re­view, re­vi­sion, and ap­proval. This edi­tion of The Cov­ing

ton News in­cludes the board’s list of leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties ver­ba­tim as read­ers may be in­ter­ested in the poli­cies and po­si­tions which the board be­lieves would im­prove op­por­tu­ni­ties for New­ton County’s pub­lic school chil­dren and for which it will be ad­vo­cat­ing.

In other ac­tion the board ap­proved: pur­chase of a dig­i­tal me­dia plat­form and as­so­ci­ated prod­ucts for $29,961 from Sa­fari Mon­tage, West Con­shohocken, Penn­syl­va­nia; a con­tract val­ued at $1.18 mil­lion for roof re­pair and re­place­ment at Clements Mid­dle School with Tecta Amer­ica, Cumming; re­newal of a con­tract val­ued at $160,000 for plumb­ing ser­vices with Royal Flush Plumb­ing, Inc., Lilburn; pur­chase of play­ground equip­ment to be lo­cated at the 15 schools where ele­men­tary stu­dents are en­rolled from Ga­me­Time, Long­wood, Florida, for $287,894 and from Kom­pan Inc., Pflugerville, Texas, for $236,767; re­newal of a con­tract val­ued at $180,000 for print man­age­ment ser­vices with Ri­coh USA Inc., Malvern, Penn­syl­va­nia; re­newal of a con­tract val­ued at $600,000 for use of a fuel card sys­tem by the pupil trans­porta­tion depart­ment with McPher­son Cos. Inc., At­lanta; and dis­posal of sur­plus prop­erty.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sion of the con­tract for roof re­pair and re­place­ment at Clements Mid­dle School, Vice Chair­man Ed­die John­son, Dis­trict 2 rep­re­sen­ta­tive, ex­pressed con­cern that the NCSS does not use lo­cal con­trac­tors of­ten enough.

In the case of roof­ing con­trac­tors, the NCSS so­lic­its bids from com­pa­nies which have been pre-qual­i­fied by the Na­tional In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Pur­chas­ing Al­liance (Na­tional IPA). The dis­cus­sion led to a gen­eral con­sen­sus by the Board as well as the sys­tem ad­min­is­tra­tion that the school sys­tem should do what it can to help lo­cal con­trac­tors be­come pre-qual­i­fied by Na­tional IPA or oth­er­wise po­si­tioned to bid on sys­tem projects.

John­son also re­quested that con­trac­tors who are awarded bids be made aware of lo­cal com­pa­nies which could serve as sub-con­trac­tors for por­tions of the work.

Fi­nally, the board ap­proved the hir­ing of three teach­ers, six para­pro­fes­sion­als, and five staff mem­bers as well as seven trans­fers, two re­tire­ments, fourteen res­ig­na­tions, one sepa­ra­tion, and three ter­mi­na­tions.

New­ton County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Leg­isla­tive Pri­or­i­ties 2018

Ad­vo­cate for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion

The New­ton County School Sys­tem’s Board of Ed­u­ca­tion sup­ports the Ge­or­gia Vi­sion Project as the ve­hi­cle to raise aware­ness, ad­dress is­sues, and en­hance pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in the state of Ge­or­gia.­sion­for­pub­ Lo­cal board author­ity

The board 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

The State of Ge­or­gia has not yet fully funded pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. The board sup­ports ceas­ing state aus­ter­ity re­duc­tions and restor­ing full fund­ing to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. Since 2003, aus­ter­ity re­duc­tions have re­sulted in a loss of earned funds to­tal­ing ap­prox­i­mately $110mil­lion.

The board op­poses us­ing pub­lic funds for pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion in the form of vouch-

ers, tax cred­its, and all other leg­is­la­tion that seeks to re­duce state fund­ing of pub­lic schools. The di­vert­ing of funds from pub­lic schools re­sults in short­ened cal­en­dars for stu­dents and staff, in­creased class sizes, a re­duc­tion in staff, and fewer pro­grams and ma­te­rial re­sources for our pub­lic schools.

The board sup­ports the fund­ing of the state’s em­ployee health ben­e­fits pro­gram so as to pro­vide state em­ploy­ees with flex­i­ble plan op­tions. Since Jan­uary 2011, in­sur­ance costs have in­creased more than 359 per­cent for clas­si­fied (non-teach­ing) em- ploy­ees.

The board sup­ports the con­tin­u­a­tion of full fund­ing for the mid-term ad­just­ment given to school dis­tricts ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stu­dent growth. The board fur­ther sup­ports a fair and eq­ui­table state fund­ing for­mula for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion in which the unique needs of each dis­trict are rec­og­nized. Pol­icy and im­pact The board sup­ports re­quir­ing a clear, timely, and com­plete de­scrip­tion of the po­ten­tial im­pact of state ed­u­ca­tion leg­is­la­tion on the fis­cal bud­get, oper­a­tions, and pro­grams of lo­cal schools and school dis­tricts. For ed­u­ca­tion leg­is­la­tion that cre­ates new man­dates or pro­grams for school sys­tems, the board sup­ports a de­lay im­ple­men­ta­tion of such leg­is­la­tion for a min­i­mum of one year thereby al­low­ing school sys­tems enough time to ad­just bud­gets, im­ple­ment pro­grams, and re­duce costs. Fed­eral leg­is­la­tion

The board 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 bud­get, oper­a­tions, and pro­grams of lo­cal schools and school dis­tricts. The board also sup­ports a fair and eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of fed­eral funds that sup­ports a well-rounded ed­u­ca­tion, a comprehensive safe and healthy stu­dent pro­gram, and the ef­fec­tive use of tech­nol­ogy. Teach­ing and learn­ing

The board sup­ports a fair and eq­ui­table sys­tem of teacher and leader eval­u­a­tion. When eval­u­a­tions are used for merit pay, cer­tifi­cate re­newal, and/or other per­son­nel de­ci­sions, the board sup­ports the use of valid and re­li­able growth mea­sures for all ed­u­ca­tors. The board sup­ports the flex­i­bil­ity pro­vided in Se­nate Bill 364 which re­duces the num­ber of state-re­quired as­sess­ments, the re­quire­ment of on­line test­ing, and al­lows for the de­vel­op­ment of a pi­lot model of as­sess­ment. The board sup­ports the use of Iowa As­sess­ments for pre- and post-test mea­sures in lieu of the Ge­or­gia Mile­stones End-of-Grade As­sess­ments (in grades three­eight.)

The board sup­ports a fair and con­sis­tent ac­count­abil­ity sys­tem that uti­lizes a growth/ progress model for stu­dent achieve­ment us­ing mul­ti­ple mea­sures for stu­dent and teacher per­for­mance. The ac­count­abil­ity sys­tem must rec­og­nize the unique­ness of each school sys­tem (i.e. spe­cial pop­u­la­tions, so­cioe­co­nomics).

The board con­tin­ues to sup­port the sta­bi­liza­tion of cur­ric­ula. Con­stant changes in cur­ric­ula re­quire ad­di­tional train­ing of staff, pro­cure­ment of new re­sources, and cre­ate gaps in stu­dents’ learn­ing. The board sup­ports rig­or­ous stan­dards and as­sess­ments that can be com­pared na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The board sup­ports ad­di­tional sup­port and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment for man­dated cur­ric­u­lar changes as well as ad­di­tional fund­ing to sup­port changes in learn­ing re­sources re­quired for man­dated changes.

The board sup­ports the ad­vance­ment of tech­nol­ogy for schools and stu­dents. Fund­ing must be pro­vided for in­struc­tional tech­nol­ogy equip­ment, in­fra­struc­ture, and in­di­vid­ual stu­dent de­vices. Ad­di­tion­ally, fund­ing must be pro­vided to sup­port the in­te­gra­tion of tech­nol­ogy in every class­room.

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