Significant Pieces of Governor's S.T.A.R.S. Education Package Pass The Legislature
|Friday, April 25, 2003
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Atlanta - More than two months ago, Governor Sonny Perdue, Superintendent Kathy Cox and State Board of Education Chairwoman Wanda Barrs introduced S.T.A.R.S. (Students + Teachers + Accountability + Respect = Success) to Georgia's House of Representatives.
When the bills were introduced, Governor Perdue stated that "helping Georgia's students attain the highest educational achievement possible is the goal of our educators and parents" and pledged to "work with families and educators to help our children reach the stars in their educational experiences."
"Education is Georgia's future. I continue to support education as the best and most certain way to improve our state. I am pleased that several significant portions of my education package were passed by Georgia's General Assembly," said Governor Perdue on the final day of the legislative session.
"Senate Bill 249 offers a good first step towards meaningful education reform in Georgia. I am pleased that this bill will allow some needed flexibility for Georgia's school districts in the key areas of funding and delays costly mandates to implement across-the-board class size reductions.
Extending implementation of this requirement will save Georgia's citizens from steep property tax hikes and Georgia students will be spared from layoffs of school counselors and teacher's aides." The state's Office of Planning and Budget had recently projected that Georgia's school districts would require $100-140 million in additional funding to implement these requirements.
"I commend Georgia's legislators on the passage of Senate Bill 193 which restored due process rights for our state's hard working teachers." Since 2000, many of Georgia's educators have indicated ongoing frustration with their lack of due process rights.
"Thanks to the open process and the opportunity to discuss different ideas, we will conclude this legislative session by returning the respect to Georgia's teachers that was snatched away by House Bill 1187."
"I was especially pleased that House Bill 590 contains our legislative proposal to provide the state's Professional Standard's Commission the flexibility to waive unnecessary hurdles for high quality teachers from other states to teach in Georgia. This bill also eliminates the unnecessary hurdles on quality Georgia teachers who take some time off from the labor force to return to the Georgia teaching force.
"Education will remain one of my top priorities. I look forward to offering legislation during the next session that continues the progress achieved so far. I am proud of the work done by Superintendent Cox, State Board Chair Barrs, House Representatives Glenn Richardson, Brooks Coleman and State Senators Joey Brush and the many others who want Georgia's children to have a high quality educational experience," said Governor Perdue.