By: Deborah White | April 14, 2011, 2:00 pm

Actions and Changes
Deborah White

The April State Board of Education Meeting originally scheduled for two-days was combined into one day.  This one-day meeting schedule will likely become the norm.  During the afternoon Committee of the Whole Meeting, Superintendent Barge announced that the May and June meetings are scheduled for two days.  However, all action on items will occur on day one and the second day will concentrate on strategic planning and goal setting.  No action will be taken on the second day.  The July meeting was moved to July 21st to not conflict with the GAEL Summer Conference and other scheduled meeting.  The meeting schedule for the remainder of the year will be announced at the July meeting.

The day began at 8 o’clock with an Executive Session followed by the three committee meetings, budget, rules, and charter at 9:15. These three committee meetings concluded around 11 o’clock followed by the Operations Committee Meeting.  After the Operations Committee Meeting, a second Executive Session was held.

At 1:50, the Board came out of Executive Session and the Public Hearing was held for:
Rule 160-5-3-.02 Contracted Transportation Services;
Rule 160-5-3-.11 Standard Cost Development;
Rule 160-3-1-.07 Testing Programs - Student Assessment; and
Rule 160-4-2-.13 Statewide Passing Score

Chairman Barrs asked for public comments; there were no comments.  Then, Chairman Barrs called the Committee of the Whole Meeting to order.  All 13 board members were in attendance and Barrs welcomed the six new board members (Helen Odom Rice, 3rd Congressional District; Daniel Israel, 4th District; Kenneth Mason, 5th District; Barbara Hampton, 6th District; Mike Royal, 7th District; and Grant Lewis, 11th) to their second Board meeting.  

Chairman Barrs announced that Linda Zechmann had moved to vice-chairman and Brian Burdett was now serving as the Chairman of the Charter Committee.  In the course of the afternoon, the nominating committee announced Dr. Mary Sue Murray will be serving as vice-chairman of the State Board of Education and Mike Royal as parliamentarian.  The following items discussed in the morning committee meetings were moved to the Consent Agenda:

From the Budget Committee
To amend the contract with Covendis Technologies to increase by $523,000.00 for a new total contract amount not to exceed $5,576,049.00 in State/Federal Funds for Temporary IT (technology) staffing.

To award Title IID Competitive Grants – Integrating the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) to Prepare College and Career Ready Students— to the following three rural school districts:
Jasper County         $1,077,098.66     
Macon County        $1,077,098.66        
Screven Count        $1,077,098.66
[Congratulations to these 3 districts!]    

To contract for FY12 Region 2 Commodity Warehouse Services

To renew School Year 2011-2012 Commodity Warehouse Contracts for Regions 1,3,4,5,6,7,8

To amend/increase the contract with Pearson by $49,502.00 for a new total contract amount not to exceed $3,708,719.00 in State Funds for an additional administration of the Mathematics (GPS) GHSGT as part of Project EXPRESS

To award grants to selected school district for special needs students placed in private Residential and Reintegration facilities

To contract with The College Board not to exceed $1,105,000.00 in Federal Funds for administration, scoring, and reporting services for the October 2011 PSAT for all tenth grade students in GA public high schools

A contract (funded with the RT3 Grant) with The University of Texas at Austin at a cost not to exceed $210,000.00 for training and materials in the content and pedagogy for use in the Fourth Mathematics Course Option entitled Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS) Advanced Mathematical Decision Making (AMDM) for 140 statewide mathematics educators

A grant for 40 low achieving schools not to exceed $560,000.00 in Federal Funds for participation in the 2011 Summer Leadership Academy

An amendment to the FY11 Title I Distinguished Schools Award

A contract with Communities In Schools of Georgia (CISGA) not to exceed $1,564,920 in Federal Funds (RT3 Grant) for the start-up of three Performance Learning Centers in Carrollton City Schools, Richmond County Schools, and Floyd County Schools.

A contract with The New Teacher Project (TNTP) not to exceed $3,581,805 in Federal Funds (RT3 Grant) for increasing the number of eligible teachers in Georgia.  TNTP will establish the Georgia Teacher Fellows program in four regional areas, and certify the new professionals through their training and certification program.

Three (3) separate contracts with Teach For America not to exceed $1,813,636 per district in Federal Funds (RT3 Grant) to place a minimum of 75 corps members in the district’s lowest achieving schools.  The districts are:

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • DeKalb County Schools
  • Gwinnett County Schools

From the Charter Committee

Approve a Start-up Charter Petition for Baldwin County Career Academy serving grades 9-12 to increase high school graduation rates by engaging students through the use of career-based education.

Approve a Start-Up Charter Petition for Gwinnett County Online Campus, a grade 4–12 virtual charter school providing students with customized learning opportunities through a virtual classroom environment.

Approve a Start-Up Charter Petition for Heart of Georgia College and Career Academy—a grade 9–12 start-up charter school approved by the Dublin City, Bleckley County, Laurens County and Wheeler County Boards of Education to open in 2011.

Reappointed Ann Levett, Jennifer Rippner, and Eric Rosen to the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.

Grant a five-year charter, beginning July 1, 2011, to Barrow County Schools to become a K-12 charter system.

Grant a five-year charter, beginning July 1, 2011, to Gordon County Schools to become a K-12 charter system.

From Rules Committee

To initiate an amendment to Rule 160-4-3-.14 Work-Based Learning Programs— The amendment is to update and clarify rule language and to align with the current standards and work-based learning program implementation practices.  The revisions define the role and training requirements for work-based learning coordinators.

To initiate an amendment to Rule - 160-5-3-.08 School Bus Drivers The proposed amended rule includes removing the phrase “the entire 180 day school year” and replacing it with the phrase “entire school year” and the phrase “or its equivalent” was added.  The driver shall receive the state minimum monthly salary for 12 months provided the driver works the entire school year.

To repeal State Board Rule 160-4-9-.04 Charter Schools Rule and the initiation of three Rules that update and modify the current rule:
Rules 160-4-9-.04 Charter Definitions
Rule 160-4-9-.05 Charter Schools Petition Process
Rule 160-4-9-.06 Charter Authorizers, Financing and Management

Approve an Instructional Program Waiver for Baldwin County Schools

Approve Minimum Direct Classroom Expenditure System Waivers for Ben Hill and Macon School Systems

Approve Pike County Schools System Waiver

Other Business Items

Approve 2011 State Learning Resources Advisory Committee

Approve Five-Year Local Facilities Plans for Bartow County, Chickamauga City, and Dawson County School Systems

Approval of Membership on the State Advisory Panel for Special Education

State Board Minutes for March 9 and March 14 (called)

The Board acted on the following items not placed on the Consent Agenda:

The SBOE took no action on the following schools approved on February 17, 2011 by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission
Georgia Cyber Academy;   Odyssey School;  and  Provost Academy Georgia
The SBOE received notification in April that Kaplan also approved by the Commission in February will not be opening.  If the school wants to open at a future date re-application will be needed.

Adopted the amendment to  Rule 160-4-2-.13 Statewide Passing Score-- the EOCT will contribute 15% to the final course grade for students who enter ninth grade for the first time before July 1, 2011.  The EOCT will contribute 20% to the final course grade for students who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2011. (Note: the student is required to pass the course not the test).

Adopted Rule 160-3-1-.07 Testing Programs - Student Assessment –it removes unneeded text; adds definitions; edits definition to be consistent with EOCT Statewide Passing Score Rule; adds text about the CRCT-M; phase out of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests, and other changes.

Adopted a Resolution for Increased Post-Secondary Education Completion—The Resolution includes the statement, “THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT the State Board of Education of Georgia commits to substantially raise the college and career readiness of Georgia’s high school graduates; and, the Boards of the Technical College System of Georgia, and the University System of Georgia commit to dramatically increase postsecondary attainment in the State of Georgia, with a focus on transforming remediation, reducing time-to-college completion, and implementing innovative uses of technology in education.

Chairman Barrs had another commitment and had to leave in the middle of the meeting; Dr. Murray worked through the remaining agenda items and adjourned the meeting.