The Georgia Department of Education recently announced its 2023 priorities, which will guide its work during the 2023 legislative session and beyond.
“As we look toward 2023, we will remain laser-focused on investing in academic recovery and preparing Georgia’s students for a stronger future,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I look forward to working with the Georgia General Assembly and other partners to strengthen supports and opportunities for students, support for public education, school safety, and the teaching profession and educator pipeline. We have an enormous opportunity as we move beyond the pandemic to build a public education system that is truly centered on the needs of Georgia students.”
Strengthening Supports for Students
* PRIORITY: Support the Governor’s legislative initiatives to address lost learning opportunities.
* PRIORITY: Strengthen early literacy initiatives by providing state funding for paraprofessionals in first- and second-grade classroom.
* PRIORITY: Increase funding for therapeutic services and supports for students with disabilities.
* PRIORITY: Strengthen the viability of nontraditional schools that put at-risk students on a path to graduation and success.
Strengthening School Safety
* PRIORITY: Support the Governor’s initiatives to ensure the safety of all students, teachers, and staff.
* PRIORITY: Provide for school safety plans to be submitted to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, rather than only being submitted locally.
* PRIORITY: Establish dedicated funding for school safety.
Strengthening Opportunities for Students
* PRIORITY: Support the Governor’s legislative initiative to decrease the student-to-School Counselor ratio to assist in the counseling and guidance of students.
* PRIORITY: Provide state funding to ensure high schools in Georgia have Career Coaches to assist all students in securing postsecondary success, and ensure that School Counselors can focus on the growing needs of students.
* PRIORITY: Provide Georgia students with access to fine arts instruction and support Georgia’s creative economy.
* PRIORITY: Expand access to educational opportunities that prepare students for life by establishing elementary-level Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education courses.
* PRIORITY: Increase opportunities for high-school students to gain valuable workplace experience by providing state funding to extend Work-Based Learning programs into the summer months.
Strengthening the Teaching Profession and Educator Pipeline
* PRIORITY: Support the Governor’s legislative initiative to increase the paraprofessional-to-teacher pipeline by providing state funds to offset the certification costs of becoming a teacher.
* PRIORITY: Support the value and retention of Georgia teachers by protecting planning time, establishing a minimum number of personal days for teachers and classified staff, and raising pay/expanding the steps on the teacher salary schedule.
* PRIORITY: Establish a study committee on the compensation of education support professionals (i.e. paraprofessionals, bus drivers, school nutrition staff, custodians, etc.).
* PRIORITY: Expand the pipeline for school leadership by restoring funding to increase the compensation for educators who earn a leadership degree.
* PRIORITY: Include the Georgia Virtual School as a provider of alternative certification and teaching endorsement programs.
Strengthening Support for Public Education
* PRIORITY: Fully fund the K-12 QBE formula.
* PRIORITY: Modernize K-12 funding to account for poverty, transportation costs, support staff, technology needs, and other student needs to support a 21st Century learning experience for Georgia’s students.
* PRIORITY: Advocate for the extension of the deadline for local school districts to utilize ESSER funding.