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Governor Perdue Signs Master Teacher Legislation

Tuesday, May 3, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Georgia Educators Achieving Excellence in the Classroom to Serve as Academic Coaches

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue signed today Senate Bill 34 establishing the Georgia Master Teacher Program. Teachers who demonstrate excellence in the classroom will earn the Master Teacher designation from the Professional Standards Commission (PSC). This designation will allow them to serve as an Academic Coach to further the development of other public school teachers.

“We should recognize teachers who best inspire their students and give them an opportunity to serve as role models and mentors for their peers,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This is the purpose of my Master Teacher and Academic Coach legislation. The General Assembly passed this bill as part of my education package and I'm pleased to sign it into law.”

At the 10th Annual Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year Program recognizing teachers from across Georgia for their contributions to education, Governor Perdue thanked teachers for their service and discussed the significance of the Georgia Master Teacher Program. The event was held at the Atlanta Airport Marriot in conjunction with National Teacher Day.

An implementation committee of parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members, legislators, and staff and board members of the PSC and the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) will make recommendations to the PSC regarding the criteria for awarding the Master Teacher certification. The criteria will be grade and subject specific and will include value-added indicators of student achievement.

Teachers earning the Master teacher certification will also have the opportunity serve as an Academic Coach. Schools requesting the services of an Academic Coach must submit their need to DOE as part of their school improvement plan. For example, a school with low pass rates on the science portion of the state's High School Graduation Test may request the services of an Academic Coach to mentor their science teachers in content and/or instructional delivery.

The FY06 budget passed by the General Assembly includes $2 million for the Academic Coach Program and $500,000 to implement the Master Teacher program. DOE anticipates raising private funds to assist with the first year of the Academic Coach program.

State Senator Dan Moody sponsored SB34 in the Senate and State Representative Brooks Coleman carried the bill in the House. SB34 is effective upon the Governor's signature.