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State Board of Education Meeting Report - March Meeting 2023

The State Board of Education March meeting opened with inspiration from Greg Bluestein, political reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Bluestein spoke to the board about the impact public schools, in particular his time as a student in Fulton County Schools, have had on his life and career. As part of the Superintendent's Report, the board heard from Owen Smith, marketing manager for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites, on the value of field trips to Georgia's state parks for students. The board received updates on the development of the GaLEADS teacher evaluation pilot, dyslexia pilot, CDC Healthy Schools, and Communities in Schools of Central Georgia.

 

The board’s meeting agenda is available here, and video footage of the meeting is available here.

 

The next board meeting is May 10 and 11.


Public Comments Needed on ELA Standards - Your Chance to Weigh In

The SBOE held a separate called meeting March 30 and approved to post the new English Language Arts standards for public comment for 30 days. Educators interested in providing comment should do so at this link or by clicking the button below. The deadline to submit comment is 5 p.m. Monday, May 1, 2023.

New Board Rules

The board approved amendments to State Board Rule - 160-4-7-.03 to bring the rule in line with requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which the former rule exceeded by requiring interventions prior to referral for all suspected disabilities, with exceptions only for the most significant cases. The new rule allows students to receive special education services under IDEA more quickly.


Board members approved changes to State Board Rule - 160-4-7-.16 to update the Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS) rule by eliminating reference to No Child Left Behind and to make the language more consistent throughout the rule.,


The board also approved amendments to State Board Rule - 160-4-7-.18 to offer flexibility for local districts to maximize state funding with grants.


GaLEADS Pilot Update

Caroline Pakenham with the nonprofit organization Elevate shared information on the connection between the health of school environments and the health and academic success of students. The state board is participating in a program offered by the National Association of State Boards of Education to increase awareness of and provide information to improve school environments, which Elevate is assisting. Pakenham explained that exposure to indoor air pollution, mold, pesticides, radon, lead, and other conditions can lead to asthma, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and other problems among students and staff. She also noted that Georgia offers free lead in water testing at schools, though only 38 schools have participated to date. Twenty-two of the 38 schools returned lead results high enough to require action.


Dyslexia Pilot Update

Dr. Dana Rickman, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, shared findings from a multi-year study the organization is conducting on districts’ use of federal pandemic relief funds. Districts have invested the funds in three broad categories: school operations, student learning and well-being, and the educator workforce. She noted that most participating districts reported difficulty recruiting and retaining educators across multiple areas.




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