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Legislators to seek input at GRU meeting

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 12:23 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 12:11 AM
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Are you a teacher, parent or community member with concerns about today’s public education system? The state’s top leaders want to hear what you have to say.

Members of the Georgia House and Senate education committees will hold a joint town hall meeting Tuesday at Georgia Regents University to gather input from the public on everything from budget cuts to classroom instruction.

It will be the eighth meeting of its kind held around the state this year, which House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman, R-Duluth, said is a new approach at outreach.

“This is the first time these meetings have been done,” he said. “For the first time that I can remember, we’ll have real current data actually coming from the users and practitioners out there.”

Coleman said lawmakers have so far heard from 150 superintendents, 200 board members and about 1,200 teachers and community members during the previous meetings. He said House and Senate members are going to present the suggestions and feedback gathered from the town halls to Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a planning meeting for the upcoming legislative session.

According to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, the Legislature has withheld $7.6 billion in funding to school districts since 2003. The shortfalls have led to furlough days across the state and less money for teacher training and classroom materials statewide.

The budget crunch, coupled with implementation of the Common Core State Standards and evolving accountability measures, have put unprecedented pressures on educators.

Coleman said the committees would like to hear suggestions for improvements and also overall concerns and worries on the issues.

“We decided we needed to go out and listen to school educators about what their concerns were,” Coleman said. “So we decided to go to them.”

IF YOU GO

What: Georgia House and Senate joint education committee town hall meeting

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Georgia Regents University Summerville campus; Hull College of Business conference room, first floor of Allgood Hall

Comments (3) Add comment
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Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 12/02/13 - 10:10 pm
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PLEASE TELL...

...the animal rights protesters that this meeting is NOT a GRU-gripe session. This is to discuss the Georgia public school system...not the university system.

Already had several tell me they were going to make themselves heard at this meeting...LOL

Bulldog
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Bulldog 12/03/13 - 09:39 am
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Despair

I despair that anything useful will come of these meetings. The federal government has issued so many unfunded mandates that our schools have no leeway to improve education in a meaningful way. The only real solution is to go outside the system... The other course would be to remove the federal government from our schools altogether...

Sweet son
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Sweet son 12/03/13 - 12:24 pm
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Nothing useful will happen. The only thing that will be

discussed is money or the lack thereof. Pouring more money into our failing public education systems won't fix the problems. The only thing that will help is for parents to raise decent children who want to succeed and get the education that is being offered to them!

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