New Georgia Education Bill Introduces Harsher School Rules

As the last few months of school are counted down, educators say senioritis kicks in.

Bobby Smith, Thomasville High’s principal, says, "What you're after in education is not so much finding a punishment, it's finding a way to change the behavior!"

Students, be forewarned! A new bill signed Tuesday by Governor Perdue will allow local school systems to deal harshly with teens who don't show up for class.

One provision is that ten unexcused absences in one semester will cost you your drivers' license.

Lindsay Timmons, an 11th grader, says, "That would be awful!! That would kill me!!"

Heather Harvey, another 11th grader: "It's something that a lot of people look forward to, being able to drive themselves to school instead of their parents, so now they'll really have to come to school."

Educators are also hoping to appeal to parents with the new rule, busy parents who don't have time to drive their kids everywhere they need to go.

Joyce Forbes, the mother of a teenage driver, says, "By her having her license, that relieves me to do more, takes some of the stress off of me!"

Governor Perdue calls this a bill about respect for teachers, students who want to learn, and for education itself. The new law also creates attendance committees in each school district, and requires students in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades to pass the state's CRCT in order to advance to the next grade level.