2017 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

Georgia Association of Educational Leaders

We Encourage Adequate Funding for All Georgia Educational Programs

  1. Funding to provide professional learning for teachers to appropriately implement all state and federal curriculum initiatives.
  2. Funding to support the work of RESAs as they provide critical support for the implementation of curriculum initiatives
  3. Funding sufficient to restore maximum class sizes to 2009 levels.
  4. Sufficient funding to eliminate formula reductions or austerity cuts.
  5. Develop an educational funding system that:
    • recognizes all essential costs and supports success for all students in the 21st century, responds to the different abilities of districts to raise local revenue as well as the wide ranging economic circumstances of Georgia’s students, and ensures an effective teacher in every classroom and an effective leader in every school;
    • provides high quality professional learning opportunities for teachers and leaders; well-prepared teachers and leaders are crucial to the success of any school improvement effort and supports improved student achievement and graduation rates;
    • covers the employer’s costs of health insurance and retirement for non-certified personnel, including providing solutions to control rising health insurance costs; containment of skyrocketing costs to local boards and premiums for active and retired employees and stability and maximum flexibility of options for active and retired employees;
    • encourages the General Assembly to make decisions and support legislative initiatives regarding education that are research-based with regard to funding and provides a quality program to all Georgia’s public school students;
    • refrains from the expansion of programs that directly or indirectly use public funds to pay for private school options through any form of vouchers, scholarships, tuition credits or other initiatives that promote the continued erosion of the state revenue base through tax exemptions; and,
    • supports a long-term strategy that will ensure that Georgia is able to attract, recruit, support and retain the highest quality teachers and leaders to educate Georgia’s students.

We Encourage Instructional Support for All Teachers

  1. Grant local school districts the flexibility to make decisions about the educational improvements for which they are held accountable.
  2. Continue the use of Georgia Standards of Excellence to ensure that all students are striving toward high, rigorous academic learning goals.
  3. Allow for more flexibility in the implementation of the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, including fewer classroom observations for proficient and exemplary teachers.
  4. Assess student learning through a balance of formative and summative measures tied to standards.
  5. Support ALL students, teachers, and leaders to meet or exceed their potential.
  6. Protect time for instruction that will impact the quality and quantity of student learning.
  7. Promote supervision of instruction and monitoring of results by district and school leaders.
  8. Foster a continuous improvement model using multiple measures of data and research-based strategies.
  9. Provide on-going, job-embedded professional learning to all staff.
  10. Secure instructional resources and technology for 21st century classrooms.
  11. Provide assistant principals and counselors for all schools that meet base size standards.
  12. Provide art, music, physical education, and foreign language teachers for elementary schools.

We Request the Alignment of Legislation with Constitutional Provisions Regarding the Governance of All Public Schools

  1. Refrain from usurping the authority of local school boards.
  2. Enhance student achievement by entrusting local, community educators and school district leadership to make decisions about effective educational strategies for educational outcomes and performance management of personnel.
  3. Support the position statements and priorities of GAEL and all of its affiliates as well as GSBA.

We Advocate for Policies That Reflect the Unique Needs of Special Education Students in All Disability Categories and Instructional Settings.

  1. We oppose legislation that mandates/permits public school programs, facilities, or funding to be allocated to non-public school students through any form of vouchers, scholarships, or tuition tax credits for students with disabilities.
  2. If public funds are reallocated to private programs, we advocate for the accountable expenditure of these funds to be consistent with current federal and state mandates that apply to students with disabilities attending public schools.
  3. We support legislation which assists the successful transition to post-secondary employment and/or post-secondary education for all students with disabilities.
  4. We request support to expand Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports to improve school climate for all students.
  5. We support the reauthorization of IDEA and believe there is an urgent need to make significant changes to a law that should have been reauthorized in 2009. The needs of all students, especially students with disabilities, have changed, technology has advanced, and public schools are rapidly adapting to meet student needs. Yet special education remains more focused on procedural compliance than ever. Outcomes for students with disabilities should be the primary focus of the law and not compliance. Paperwork reduction must be addressed. We support review and revision of procedural requirements that generate the overwhelming amount of paperwork in response to federal regulations.