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State Board of Education Meeting Report - March Meeting 2024

The State Board of Education (SBOE) held its monthly meetings on March 27 and 28. The agenda, which can be found HERE, includes links to all items considered by the board.

Board members were provided an update on legislation being considered during the 2024 legislative session, which concluded shortly after midnight on March 28. Additional presentations on topics such as math standards and the Georgia Foundation for Public Education were given throughout the meetings. Finally, the board approved several new CTAE standards.

Legislative Update

SBOE Martha Zoller provided a brief overview of relevant legislation from the 2024 legislative session.

A significant portion of Zoller's update was devoted to SB 233, legislation sponsored bySen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), which creates Georgia's third voucher program. Zoller characterized SB 233 as a compromise bill and referred to it as a school choice measure. Learn more about SB 233 in PAGE'S analysis HERE.

Another bill of focus was SB 464 by Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Gwinnett). This bill requires the state to adopt a list of no more than five approved literacy screeners, one of which would be a free universal screener as required by the Georgia Early Literacy Act. Board members noted that the free screener currently under development by the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) could not be part of the list of approved screeners as it was not among the screeners assessed by the Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy.

At the end of the meeting, the board discussed HB 51 by Rep. Clay Pirkle (R-Ashburn), which would allow districts to use vehicles other than school buses to transport students. As the SBOE is required to promulgate requirements regarding the use of these vehicles, the board will need to revisit this issue in the future.

Additional Presentations

The committee meetings were opened by a Georgia West Point cadet who spoke about the importance of mentorship and perseverance. GaDOE staff also provided updates on the implementation of the new K-12 Mathematics Standards. The presentation highlighted several tools and resources available to help educators navigate the new standards.

Morgan County Teacher of the Year Jenny Cofield launched the full SBOE board meeting. She and her students described their efforts to promote early literacy, including writing and publishing a bilingual children's book to help Spanish-speaking parents more easily read to their children in English.

Paige Pushkin, executive director of the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE), gave a presentation explaining the PEACH Education Tax Credit along with a method to fund innovative projects in specific schools or districts. She also provided an update on fundraising amounts from 2023 and goals for 2024.

Course and Standards Approvals

The board adopted the following K-5 Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) standards:

Additionally, the board approved the posting of the following CTAE standards for public comment:

Public comment on the proposed standards can be made HERE.

SBOE Members Recognize GSBA's Angela Palm

Board Chair Stan DeJarnett thanked Angela Palm, director of policy and legislative services for the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA), for her many years of service and led board members and guests in a round of applause in honor of her retirement.

Next SBOE Meeting

The next board meetings will be held May 8 and 9. The full calendar of 2024 SBOE meetings can be found HERE.


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