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2021 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 2021 legislative session. We ask lawmakers to consider the following recommendations.
Reduce Mandated Testing
In 2020, the state legislature reduced the number of mandated testing requirements providing some relief for students, parents and staff; however, there is more that can be done.
- The Fulton County School Board (Board) requests Georgia go further and require no more testing than those mandated under federal law.
- 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 grade or course in which they are enrolled rather than the test associated with the student's age or grade level.
- Following the Georgia State Board of Education's action to eliminate the requirement for EOC tests for students who complete related AP and IB courses, the Board would further recommend exempting students demonstrating proficiency on the ACT or SAT exam in that subject area.
Teacher and Leader Evaluations
The Board strongly advocates for a state teacher and leader evaluation system that continues to reduce the weighting of student test scores as an indicator in identifying effective teachers and leaders. In 2020, the Legislature took an initial step to reduce the percentage to 35% - we ask that this percentage continue to decline.
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 for governing authorities be payable on or before twelve months from the date of the loan.
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.
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 for students.
The Board asks proper notice through formal communication be given to local school districts regarding mandated use of schools as polling locations and that flexibility be provided to minimize disruption of instruction.
In the light of the pandemic and current technology advancements, the Board believes it is important school districts have the flexibility to hold virtual meetings allowing safe and convenient access for the public. 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.
County and Local Actions
The Board asks that school districts be provided formal process notification and authority to approve local activities, such as the annexation of property within their jurisdiction or granting tax incentives through local authorities that impact school revenue.