Today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal delivered his sixth State of the State address and reaffirmed the state’s commitment to building a better education system for all Peach State students.
The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) applauds Governor Deal for being a tireless champion for education reforms that benefit all of Georgia’s students. Governor Deal used his state of the state address to underscore his dedication to ensuring that the state’s education system be student-centered and focused on improving achievement.
Governor Deal said, “The education of Georgia’s children is too important to be held hostage to a status quo that may feel comfortable to certain adults but is a disservice to our students. The method whereby we educate our children must be as modern and adaptive to the changes in the world as our cell phones, our computers, our televisions and our automobiles. If it is not, our children will stumble and fall when they step onto the escalator of life outside the schoolhouse door.”
Education highlights in Governor Deal’s remarks included:
- K-12 Funding Reform: Governor Deal’s Education Reform Commission has recommended a student-based funding formula to replace the current system, which is more than 30 years old. Today, the Governor asked lawmakers to review this recommendation and many others made by the Commission, with a goal of implementation in 2017. He also announced an additional $300 million for K-12 education this year, and asked local districts to use that money to raise teacher salaries by 3 percent.
- High-Quality Assessments: The Governor called on local school systems and the Georgia Department of Education to evaluate current testing requirements in a measured and thoughtful manner in light of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). “I do not suggest that tests should be abolished simply because the results might be embarrassing,” Governor Deal said. “In fact, it is those tests that pinpoint areas in need of remediation. But tests that are duplicative and do not enhance educational achievement should be abolished.”
- A-F School Grading: With the first letter grades under the state’s recently adopted policy expected soon, the Governor highlighted the plight of 74,000 Georgia students who attend chronically failing schools (schools that have earned a D or F for three consecutive years) and the constitutional amendment to create an Opportunity School District that will be on the statewide ballot in November.
We are working to build an American education system that prepares our students for success in the future economy. We are thankful for Governors and legislatures across the country – like Georgia’s – that see the value in reform and partner with us in this important effort.
Thank you for your continued support.
J. Alex Kelly
Vice President of Advocacy
The Foundation for Excellence in Education