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State Board of Education Meeting Report - June Meeting 2023

The State Board of Education (SBOE) approved posting for public comment a rule amendment that allows school districts to lower the weight of Georgia Milestones End of Course (EOC) assessments on students' final course grades to 10 percent. Currently, EOCs account for 20 percent of each student's final grade. Districts could continue to use a percentage weight higher than 10 percent should they choose to do so. Public comment can be submitted HERE.


2023 Georgia Teacher of the Year (GATOY), PAGE member Michael Kobito, attended his final meeting as an ex-officio member of the SBOE. Kobito's term ends July 1 when 2024 GATOY Christy Todd begins her term. PAGE commends Michael for his dedicated and tireless service to all Georgia educators and students during his time as GATOY. We also look forward to working with Christy.


Shaun Owen, deputy superintendent of federal programs at GaDOE, and other department staff shared information on Georgia's status as a national leader in the Consolidation of Funds initiative, which allows districts to apply to consolidate federal, state, and local funds in specific Title I schools that operate schoolwide programs. In turn, districts are free to use the consolidated funds outside the usual federal requirements for the programs. More information on this initiative and details for districts to apply can be found HERE.


SBOE Chair Jason Downey invited Ron Clark, founder of The Ron Clark Academy, a nonprofit middle school in Atlanta, to share information on the academy.


CLICK HERE to view the agenda, which includes links to all items considered by the board.   

 

The next board meeting will take place July 19.


EOC Weight Change Approved for Public Comment

Members of the Rules Committee of the SBOE, the committee tasked with debating and approving policy changes for the GaDOE, engaged in extensive debate on a proposed rule change that allows school districts to lower the weight of Georgia Milestones End of Course (EOC) assessments on students' final course grades as low as 10 percent. Currently, EOCs account for 20 percent of each student's final grade. Districts could continue to use a percentage weight higher than 10 percent should they choose, a point that several board members emphasized, citing district flexibility and local control in support of the change.


Most board members expressed support for the change with some describing instances in their districts where students lost HOPE eligibility and scholarships due to poor performance on one EOC assessment. Other board members mentioned concerns that the rule change devalues the EOC assessment and lowers the rigor and expectations the state has set for students. Kobito provided the educator perspective, agreeing that rigor is important. However, Kobito said the change would take pressure off teachers, allowing them to focus a little less on the test and more on ensuring that students are mastering standards.


Ultimately, at the full board meeting, members approved posting the rule amendment for public comment. PAGE encourages all interested educators to provide comments by CLICKING HERE.

$1,000 Custodian Supplement and Free Breakfast and Lunch for Reduced-Price Students

The board approved many budget items, but two are important to note. Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed several education budget items passed in the Fiscal Year 24 budget, including a $1,000 bonus to school custodians and free school breakfast and lunch for reduced-price students. His rationale for these veto decisions and other education budget vetoes can be found HERE.


State School Superintendent Richard Woods asked the board to approve funding for both the $1,000 bonus for school custodians to be awarded no later than September 1, 2023, and free breakfast and lunch for reduced-price students using ESSER funds, additional federal funds the state received during the COVID-19 pandemic.


GMAS Mathematics Assessment Waiver and New Courses

The SBOE approved a waiver of some parts of SBOE rules regulating promotion, placement, and retention (3a, 3b, and 3c at this link) and statewide passing scores (2d, 2e, and 2f at this link) related to the Georgia Milestone Assessment System (GMAS) mathematics assessment for the 2023-2024 school year. The department requested the waivers since the exam has been updated to reflect the math standards approved in 2021. Due to the update, GaDOE must undergo extensive technical work in the summer of 2024 to prepare for the release of results. More information can be found HERE.


The SBOE approved posting the following course revisions for public comment:



The board approved posting a new course titled Light Duty Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Technology for public comment.

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