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Governor Perdue Signs Comprehensive Education Bill

Monday, May 3, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Legislation Provides Local Funding Flexibility and New Discipline Resources

ATLANTA - Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law today House Bill 1190, his accountability, flexibility, and discipline in education legislation. The legislation passed with broad, bipartisan support in both chambers of the General Assembly.

"One word sums up HB 1190 - respect. This bill is about respect for teachers, respect for students who want to learn, and respect for education itself," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "It's about those of us at the state level listening to those on the front lines of our education system."

The key provisions of the bill will:

  • Provide funding flexibility for local school systems for one year to give systems the freedom to target resources to the schools and students who need them most.
  • Revoke driver's licenses for one year for students who commit a serious offense (violence, drug/alcohol/weapons possession) or receive more than 10 unexcused absences in a semester.
  • Apply the state's discipline laws to grades K-5, giving schools more discipline tools for younger students.
  • Align Georgia's accountability system with the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools will now receive number grades rather than letter grades to accurately measure academic improvement.
  • Create student attendance committees for each school district incorporating broad-based community involvement.

Governor Perdue traveled to Morganton, Georgia in Fannin County, near the Georgia/North Carolina border, to sign the legislation at East Fannin Elementary School. During the Governor's Listening Sessions at the Governor's Mansion last year, the principal of East Fannin Elementary School, Cynthia Panter, shared with the Governor how Fannin County was addressing chronic truancy through attendance committees.

The leadership of Judge Brenda Weaver, Chief Judge of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, and Judge William Reilly, former Chief Judge of the Appalachian Juvenile Court, was instrumental in implementing the attendance committees. The Student Attendance Committees included in HB1190 were modeled after the Fannin County approach and similar committees in Pickens and Gilmer Counties.