18 | KNOW • Volume 13 Issue 2 • The OSD has the authority to decide whether employees of the
school will continue as an employee.
• Retained and all other employees will become employees of the
OSD or charter school governing board.
• Employees who are not retained by the
OSD remain employees of the local board
• Each OSD school will have a governing board operating as a
Georgia non-profit corporation.
• The OSD superintendent will select the members of the board, who
must be Georgia residents and US citizens. Board members may not
be employees of the school.
• Facilities and their contents (e.g. textbooks, technology, media
resources, and equipment) would be controlled by OSD.
• OSD or the management organization selected by OSD would
be responsible for maintenance and repair. The local board of
education would continue to be responsible for capital expenses.
• “Opportunity Schools” would remain in the OSD for a minimum of
five years and a maximum of 10 years.
• For OSD schools that are charters, the renewal of the charter would
exit the school from OSD control.
• For other intervention models, OSD would negotiate the transition
of control back to the local board.
Status: Governor signed 4/21/15
GOVERNOR’S EDUCATION REFORM COMMISSION
Equally as important as the OSD legislation is the Governor’s
Education Reform Commission. The Commission is charged with
reviewing Georgia’s education system, and, most notably, reviewing
and recommending revisions to the QBE funding formula, access to
early-learning programs, the recruitment and retention of high-quality
instructors, and expanding school options for Georgia families.
The commission will submit recommendations to the Governor by
December 2015. This Commission’s work will have serious
implications for us in public education. Some of the Commission’s
recommendations will have the ability to go into effect as early as the
2016-2017 school year. The 2016 legislative session will be where
their recommendations will be brought to bear.
Dr. Charles Knapp, former president of the University of Georgia, chairs
the commission. Subcommittees include: Funding Reform; Teacher
Recruitment, Retention and Compensation; Early Childhood; Move
on When Ready; and Expanding School Choice.
The Commission’s website lists its members and meeting schedules and
agendas. Subcommittee dates will be added periodically.
THE FY 2016 BUDGET
This year’s amended FY 2015 budget made the constitutionally
mandated adjustment for enrollment expansion in Georgia’s
For the FY 2016 Budget, the Governor’s proposal would have eliminated
health benefits coverage in the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) for
part-time, non-certified school workers. After significant action by
GAE, members’ access to SHBP was restored by the General Assembly.
Unfortunately, local school systems and employees will have no help
from the state and will bear the full 100% cost of the premiums. Had the
legislature included it in the budget, it would have been $1.2 million in
a $22 billion budget; instead, that cost is passed on to the systems that
will have much less resources to fund employee raises. As the legislature
annually pushes line item school costs down to the local level, school
systems will be forced to either increase tax revenues or privatize
The overall K-12 Budget received $288 million in austerity restoration,
which means the FY 2016 budget cut is at $466 million. Below are some
line items in the budget:
• An increase in the Equalization Grant by $18,840,831;
• Funding for Local Five Mill Share were increased by $9,367,899;
• Funding for new math and science teachers was increased
• Technology funding for local systems to build broadband
• Funding for the E-Rate program received $1.6 million;
• Funding for the Accelerated Dual Enrollment program increased
by $19 million;
• Funding for nurses was increased by $631,357;
• Funds for CTAE extended day/extended year were increased
• Funding for 17 positions for TKES and LKES support, two
(2) district positions, and one (1) teacher induction position
• Funding for 10th grade students to take either the PSAT
or ACT or COMPASS test;
• Funds for the Young Farmer program were increased by
• Sparsity grants were reduced by $413,201;
• Elimination of funding for new school improvement positions
• PBIS funds were increased by $275,000; and
• Funds for the K-3 literacy program were transferred to the
Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA).
To follow is a summary of the legislation that passed and/or failed this
2015 legislative session. As we move into the summer, it’s important to
digest the picture of what is happening and understand how important
your vote is as an educator and decide – who is a friend of public
education in Georgia.
Status: Governor signed 4/11/15