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Education

Martha Dalton

A bill that would require Georgia colleges to report sexual assaults to police is advancing in the Senate. That mandate is controversial.

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Currently, victims can report assaults to law enforcement, but they aren't required to. A federal law, called Title IX, also lets them file a complaint on campus that’s handled by the school. Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, is the bill’s sponsor. He said colleges aren’t equipped to manage such serious cases.

The Georgia Senate is scheduled to hear a proposal Thursday that would allow consumers to bypass a physician's referral when seeking physical therapy.
Ken Lund / flickr.com/kenlund

Gov. Nathan Deal's new plan to turn around struggling schools took another step forward in the Legislature Monday.

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rapping teacher, bad and boujee video empowers students
Martha Dalton / WABE

At Edwards Middle School in Rockdale County, one teacher’s lessons have gone viral because of an uncommon method he uses to engage students.

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Eighth  grade social studies teacher David Yancey uses the tunes and beats to songs like “Bad and Boujee” by Migos and Adele’s “Hello” to cap off lessons about American history. 

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal has said his top priority this year is to address struggling schools. That's what House Bill 338 aims to do. The plan creates a "Chief Turnaround Officer" to oversee low-performing schools. But there's disagreement on who that person should report to.

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The bill calls for the person in that new position to report to the state board of education.

John Bazemore / Associated Press

A bill that would bar Georgia’s private colleges from becoming sanctuary campuses passed a key Senate panel Monday.

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Sanctuary campuses are schools that adopt policies that protect undocumented immigrants. No Georgia colleges have such policies right now. Under a bill sponsored by Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, schools that adopt such policies in the future would lose state funding.

Martha Dalton / WABE

Schools in impoverished areas face enormous challenges. Kids often come to school hungry, tired or troubled. Now, Georgia lawmakers are trying to address some of those issues through a new plan to turn those schools around.

A new bill would target schools on a list published yearly by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. One of the lowest-performing schools on this year’s list is DeKalb County’s Flat Shoal’s Elementary School, which is trying to meet the needs of its impoverished student population.

‘They Come With Baggage’

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia’s university system recently tightened admissions requirements for non-native English speakers. The move comes as colleges are also trying to boost their graduation rates.

To help more students earn diplomas, the system is also trying to reduce the number of remedial education courses it offers.

Population Growth Has Cobb Considering Sales Tax Renewal

Mar 8, 2017

Cobb County says it is going to need to renew a special local option sales tax for education, also known a Ed-SPLOST, because its school district says it’s expecting a lot more students in the next few years.

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The Cobb County School District’s latest projections show more children are being born in the county right now, which will mean in a few years, schools will need to make room for them.

Senator Josh McKoon
Al Such / WABE

Two big pieces of legislation came before Senate education committees at the Capitol Monday. 

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The Senate Higher Education Committee heard a resolution that would change the way Regents, who oversee the university system, are chosen. Right now, the governor appoints all 19 members. State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, wants them to be elected.

Al Such / WABE

Atlanta Public Schools has begun a partnership with 2020 On-site, a mobile vision center that will work to provide Atlanta students with eye exams and eyewear, according to a recent press release.

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The 2020 On-site program launched on Friday with an eye exam event at Booker T. Washington High School.

Al Such / WABE

The nation's new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, recently faced a storm of criticism, after she issued a statement, in which she hailed historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice."

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Georgia Capitol Building
Al Such / WABE

A bill aimed at turning around struggling schools easily passed the Georgia House Wednesday.

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The measure is Gov. Nathan Deal’s second attempt to address the state’s lowest-performing schools. Georgians voted down a proposal that would have let the state take over struggling schools. Opponents of that plan said it would override the authority of local school boards.

Martha Dalton / WABE

The Georgia House approved a bill Tuesday that would increase the amount of money that could go toward Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program. Right now, Georgians who donate to Student Scholarship Organizations, or SSOs, get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, and there’s a $2,500 limit for couples. The maximum donation for corporations is $10,000. The SSO scholarships are used to send students enrolled in public schools to private ones. 

Ric Feld / Associated Press

A bill that would require college victims of sexual assault to report the incidents to police cleared a key house panel Thursday. House Bill 51 was unanimously approved by the higher education appropriations subcommittee. 

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The bill applies to all crimes committed on college campuses. 

In this June 2, 2015 file photo, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to reporters following a ceremony announcing a $300 million expansion of Google's data center operations in Lithia Springs, Ga.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal scored a Legislative win Thursday when the House Education Committee approved his new plan to turn around low-performing schools.

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Private colleges that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities would lose state funding for scholarships and research under a bill approved by the Georgia House.

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The chamber voted 115 to 55 on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate.

rapping teacher, bad and boujee video empowers students
Martha Dalton / WABE

In light of the national 'Day Without Immigrants' protests last Thursday, DeKalb County Superintendent Stephen Green issued a letter to parents, urging them to send their children to school. Absentee rates at some schools with large Latino populations jumped to almost 60 percent the day of the protest.

David Goldman, File / Associated Press

Getting through college isn't easy, and it can be even harder for low-income and first generation students with few support resources. A new tool involving big data can help those at risk.

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Georgia state capitol
Nick Nesmith / WABE

When schools struggle academically, is the state obligated to intervene? If so, to what degree? Georgia's House Education Committee wrestled with those questions Thursday during a hearing for a bill that targets low-performing schools.

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The bill is considered a replacement for the governor's school takeover plan, which was defeated by referendum in November.

The president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Jibari Simami and Clark Atlanta University president Ronald Johnson shake hands after a new agreement was signed between schools.
Mario Boone / Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University students will soon be able to take classes at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and vice versa, thanks to a new public-private partnership announced Wednesday.

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Essence Jones, a 19-year-old freshman at Georgia Piedmont Technical College, is studying business management at the school's main campus in Clarkston.

A school bus in front of the Georgia Capitol
Alison Guillory / WABE

In early February, Gov. Nathan Deal sent lawmakers his latest plan to turn around failing schools in Georgia. The governor had promised the new proposal, after his Opportunity School District (OSD, sometimes called the "school takeover" plan) was rejected by the state's voters last November.

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An Atlanta Public Schools school bus
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Atlanta Public Schools held a community meeting Wednesday night to discuss the possible closure of one of its smallest elementary schools. The district is considering closing Whitefoord Elementary, in Edgewood, and shifting students to nearby Toomer and Burgess-Peterson.

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Student enrollment determines the number of teachers and support staff each school receives. Schools with bigger student populations qualify for more teachers, counselors and administrators.

Alison Guillory / WABE

According to a new report from Brown University, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University have the highest economic mobility rates among Atlanta-area colleges.

The study examined students who came from families in the bottom 20 percent of income distribution (Families who earn less than $25,000 a year). Researchers combined that result with the percentage of students who reach the top 20 percent of income distribution in their mid-thirties.

The University of Georgia arch in Athens, Georgia on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo/Brenna Beech)
Brenna Beech / WABE

In three years, two-thirds of Georgia’s jobs will require some type of post-high school education, but the state isn’t currently producing enough qualified candidates to fill those positions. So lawmakers, educators and college administrators are trying to come up with solutions.

The Skills Gap

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his budget address at the state Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, in Atlanta. Deal spoke Thursday afternoon to lawmakers charged with reviewing his $45 billion spending plan. Deal limited his comments Thursday to criminal
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia voters said ‘no’ in November to a constitutional amendment that would’ve let the state takeover some low-performing schools. The 'Opportunity School District' plan was championed by Gov. Nathan Deal, who promised to come up with a replacement after the vote failed.  Now, he has. 

 

Now-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed Betsy DeVos as the country’s next Education Secretary Tuesday. Senators split the vote, with 50 voting in favor of DeVos, and 50 voting against her. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie, making the final vote 51-50. That’s the closest cabinet confirmation vote in U.S. history.

Elly Yu / WABE

According to a new report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, Georgia could lose millions of dollars if President Donald Trump follows through with promises to crack down on illegal immigration.

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to end an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The program provides temporary deportation relief for some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It also lets recipients get work permits. So, many pay taxes.

Alison Guillory / WABE

A controversial bill addressing sexual assault on college campuses cleared a key state House committee Wednesday. The Higher Education Appropriations Committee unanimously approved House Bill 51, which would require college officials to report sexual assaults and other crimes to law enforcement. Under the legislation, schools would not be allowed to conduct their own investigations.

State Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) chairs the working group looking into whether foster care in Georgia would benefit from an increased level of privatization.
David Goldman / Associated Press

For years, some education advocates have urged lawmakers to create a needs-based college scholarship program in Georgia. That is, financial aid that’s based on a family’s income level. Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is merit-based, meaning students need to earn certain grades to receive it.

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, answered questions during a sometimes fiery Senate committee hearing Tuesday. DeVos has been criticized by Democrats and teachers’ unions for her support of school choice, vouchers and charter schools.

DeVos and her husband, David, are billionaires who have invested heavily in charter school advocacy in their home state of Michigan. Some critics have viewed that as an attempt to “privatize” public schools.

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