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2022 Legislative & Policy Priorities
The Fulton County Board of Education is committed to the vision that all students will learn to their full potential. To meet this vision, we petition the Fulton Legislative Delegation, the General Assembly, and the Governor to address fiscal management, educational funding, and local control issues during the 2022 legislative session. We ask lawmakers to consider the following recommendations.
Ensure Transparency of State Legislative Actions Impacting Local School Boards
Due to a legislative change during the 2021 Georgia General Assembly eliminating the charter system waiver for Early Intervention Program (EIP), FCS experienced a loss of 87 teaching positions. The sudden shift affected the district financially and decreased resources for a critical program. To avoid the immediate and negative fiscal impact regarding future regulatory changes, and for corrective action regarding the EIP regulation, the Board requests:
- The state legislature require fiscal notes for any new legislation before passage to indicate the financial impact to local school systems beyond the impact to state budgets. At a minimum, legislation should be required to have a mandatory delay of one year for implementation if there is an economic impact to the school.
- The state legislature reinstate the waiver for charter systems to allow flexibility to serve students in the Early Intervention Program (EIP).
Reduce Mandated Testing for Students
The state legislature and Department of Education have recently reduced the number of mandated testing requirements providing some relief for students, parents and staff; however, there is more that can be done.
- The Board requests the state legislature amend O.C.G.A. § 20-2-281 permitting accelerated students to take the end-of-grade (EOG) or end-of-course (EOC) test for the course in which they are enrolled rather than the test associated with the student'sgrade level.
- The Board supports legislation that will allow the district to use the innovative assessment waiver to replace Milestones with a nationally normed assessment such as MAP for accountability purposes.
Provide Meeting Flexibility for Local School Boards
Flexible governing procedures for virtual meetings were put into place for local school Boards during the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating that effective and transparent meetings, with community engagement, can take place using these communication options. This flexibility should be extended for future operations. The Board supports legislation that will permit school boards to conduct meetings virtually, similar to the rules for state agencies, at the Board’s discretion.
Preserve Local Flexibility in Fiscal Management
- The Board supports any legislation that safeguards the revenue sources that enable our students to graduate and succeed on their chosen paths, and allows for effective stewardship of local, state, and federal funds.
- The Board requests legislation be introduced amending Article IX, Section V, Paragraph V of the Constitution and related statutes to allow temporary loans through tax anticipation notes (TAN) for governing authorities be payable on or before twelve months from the date of the loan.
- The Board supports legislation mandating no entity, county, or municipality, can approve a tax abatement of the school district’s tax allocation without explicit approval from the local school board.
Improve Teacher and Leader Evaluations
The Board strongly advocates additional steps be taken to reduce weighting the state teacher and leader evaluation system placed on student test scores as an indicator in identifying and assessing effective teachers and leaders.
Fully Fund the State Education Formula
The Board supports fully funding K-12 education with a funding formula that prioritizes and promotes equity for all students. We believe any new formula should appropriately identify and adequately fund economically disadvantaged students and reflect the district’s commitment to identifying and working towards better mental health.