Georgia's General Assembly and Education

By: Kelly Barfield
By: Kelly Barfield

As Georgia's 2006 legislative session begins, education is on the minds of many.

Lowndes County Superintendent Steve Smith says, "Education is always a real hot topic in the General Assembly, and I think that we can expect to see a lot of legislation that will impact our schools."

Things like class size are a hot topic.

LHS Principal Wes Taylor says, "Class size is always a concern. You know, one of the greatest determinants of student performance is teacher-student ratio."

Dr. Smith says it's crucial legislators don't forget about the teachers that haven't had a pay raise in nearly three years.

Smith says, "I think another area that's going to be of noticeable importance here will be teacher pay raises."

Taylor says, "Our teachers would absolutely be in favor of a pay raise. I think that our teachers today are better trained than they've ever been. We've got more tools, as far as technology, than ever before."

Another bill that might be considered is one that would require parental permission for students to participate in school clubs. This is one bill that Dr. Smith sees as unnecessary.

Smith says, "I think good communication can certainly take the place of having any mandated state policy that would govern that."

These issues and many more will be discussed over the next 39 days in this year's legislative session. This legislation session will last for 40 days.

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