Who says?

Home Page Photo Caption:  Dr. Dana Rickman, Policy and Research Director, briefs the Georgia Senate Education and Youth Committee on the key topics found in the Top Ten Issues to Watch in 2015 report.  Rickman also answered a variety of education policy questions posed by the senators.

(The 2015 Georgia Legislative Sessions has closed.)  The Georgia Partnership will not be conducting a regular analysis of day to day activities of the 2015 General Assembly.  We will leave that to the experienced hands found in other organizations.  Below you will find links to them:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Atlanta Journal- Constitution - Georgia Legislative Navigator

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider with Jim Galloway

Georgia Association of Educational Leaders

Georgia PTA

Georgia Public Broadcasting 

Georgia School Boards Association

Georgia School Superintendents Association

Other Helpful Links

Georgia General Assembly

Georgia House of Representatives

Georgia State Senate

Education Issues in the 2015 Session

A regular feature of the Georgia Partnership’s annual Media Symposium is a panel discussion featuring legislators and others who can provide expert analysis of the upcoming session.  Here, Rep. Mike Dudgeon- R (right), Vice Chairman, Education Committee, House of Representatives, and Rep. Stacey Abrams - D (center), House Minority Leader, address the media audience at the 2015 Symposium held at Georgia Public Broadcasting January 9.  Michael O’Sullivan (left), State Director, Students First, served as moderator.

The 2015 Georgia Legislative Session formally closed at midnight April 2.  We will continue to post stories that cover work conducted over the past three months.

Articles of Interest

Former BHS students can now receive diploma via new law
Bainbridge Post Searchlight (April 15)

The 2015 Legislative Session: A Fluke or The New Norm?
Insider Advantage Georgia (April 14)

State tax break intended for one Georgia private college could apply to others
Associated Press (April 13)

Opinion: New Orleans is model of oversight, accountability, and cooperation
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (April12)

Opinion: School stock of Epi-Pens could save lives
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (April 12)

Georgia Sen. Tippins says education bills positive result of session
Marietta Daily Journal (April 12)

Our Views: (Graduation diploma) Bill gets passing grade
Gainesville Times (April 11)

Former Bulloch students could still receive diploma
WJCL-TV (April 10)

Teen suicide bill, sponsored by Rep. Dempsey, before Gov. Deal
Rome News Tribune (April 10)

AP History Resolution among bills that stalled
Insider Advantage (subscription required for full article) - April 9

Opportunity School District to be decided by Georgia voters
Johns Creek Herald (April 8)

Editorial: State takeover of schools should be last resort
Savannah Morning News (April 6)

Response to recent conversation
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (April 5)

Graduation test no longer barrier to diploma
Bryan County News (April 5)

Back from the dead: Voucher/education savings account bill
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (April 2)

Opinion: Is it fair to hand diplomas to students who never bothered? Is this an April Fool’s joke?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (April 2)

Opinion: New Orleans takeover is a model — of what not to do with Georgia schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (April 1)

The governor may become new school superintendent
Tom Crawford (April 1)

Final week of session is upon us
Dawson Community News (April1)

Autism bill passes Senate; House backs trafficking fines
Associated Press (April 1)

‘Gurley’ bill given final passage by Senate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (April 1)

What’s slowing school reform: Education monopoly or lack of support?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 31)

New law removes barrier to diploma
Dalton Daily Citizen (March 31)

Retroactive change in grad tests called 'a life-changer'
Gainesville Times (March 31)

Governor signs bill to remove high school graduation test requirement
Macon Telegraph (March 31)

Governor Deal Signs A Bill Making It Easier To Get A High School Diploma
Associated Press (March 31)

Governor signs bill today enabling 9,000 Georgians to receive high school diploma
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 30)

Pols resist removing politics from local school elections
Dalton Daily Citizen (March 29)

Editorial: Bibb school system has more to worry about than Gov. Deal
Macon Telegraph (March 29)

Local schools fight governor's new school deal
Savannah Morning News (March 29)

Officials speak out on takeover legislation
Savannah Morning News (March 29)

Good Deal for bad schools
Editorial - Augusta Chronicle (March 28)

Strategies of former head of NOLA schools: Follow best practices, remove obstacles
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 27)

Nathan Deal’s order clears way for legalized medical marijuana
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 27)

Dual enrollment bill a boost for students, schools
Marietta Daily Journal (March 27)

Conditional support voiced for school takeover law
CrossRoads News (March 27)

Deal’s school takeover plan heads to ballots after another tight vote
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 26)

Governor Deal's plan for failing schools moves to statewide vote in 2016
Associated Press (March 26)

Georgia school takeover plan headed to voters
Macon Telegraph (March 26)

Failure and the success of Nathan Deal’s school-rescue measure
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider - Jim Galloway (March 26)

Former NOLA school leader: Georgia did right thing
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 26)

Opinion:  In our schools, the worst of times, the best of times
Athens Banner-Herald (March 26)

Georgia General Assembly OKs bill to eliminate high school graduation test
Marietta Daily Journal (March 26)

Medical marijuana to become law in Georgia
WMAZ-TV, Macon (March 26)

Gov. Deal wins passage of constitutional amendment to take over failing schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 25)

Are Georgia schools good or bad? Depends on audience and agenda.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 25)

Michael Thurmond: School takeover plan could be another ‘HOPE scholarship moment’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 25)

Storm clouds gathering for Nathan Deal’s school takeover plan?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 25)

Lobbyist paid Deal’s trip to La. schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 25)

Opinion:  Keep local schools under local control
Savannah Morning News (March 25)

Georgia Sen. Tippins’ bill on dual enrollment goes to Gov. Deal
Marietta Daily Journal (March 25)

‘Campus carry’ could be back at the Georgia Legislature
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Subscription required (March 25)

House panel OKs Deal's school take over plan
Associated Press (March 24)

Deal's school takeover plan survives House committee
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 24)

Opinion:  House Ed Committee approves school takeover bill. Can it pass full House at higher bar?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 24)

Opinion: Income Inequality Begins with Education Inequality
Peach Pundit - Charlie Harper (March 24)

School boards fear Deal legislation will lead to state takeover
Augusta Chronicle (March 24)

Teacher groups, students protest governor's plan to take over failing schools
Morris News Service (March 24)

Education commission will take thorough look at Georgia
Dick Yarbrough Column (March 24)

House Ed votes on school takeover bill today. Organized opposition mounts but will that matter?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 23)

Tip sheet: House committee takes up Nathan Deal’s school rescue plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jim Galloway (March 23)

Opinion: Opportunity knocks for Ga. schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (subscription required) - (March 23)

Medical cannabis bill scores key victory
Gwinnett Daily Post (March 23)

Opinion:  Opportunity School District won't improve student performance
Athens Banner-Herald - Myra Blackmon (March 22)

Teacher groups, other critics line up against the governor's Opportunity School District 
Athens Banner-Herald (March 22)

Former Tennessee teacher on state takeover plan: Don’t do it. Kids and schools lose.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 20)

Cobb students, parents defend AP History class: Resolution demands revision of framework to omit course ‘bias’
Marietta Daily Journal (March 20)

Emotions run high on both sides of governor’s bill to take over failing schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 19)

The GOP discomfort over Nathan Deal’s school-rescue plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 19)

State lawmakers consider Gov. Deal's plan for failing schools
WSB-TV (March 19)

Leftist slant to AP U.S. History turns America’s melting pot into boiling pot
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 17)

Development authority bill in Senate has critics
Cherokee Tribune (March 17)

Senate Bill 688 Gets Green Light
WCTV-TV - Savannah (March 17)

Health insurance costs on the rise, again, at schools
Athens Banner-Herald (March 15)

Opinion - Colorado lawmaker could be example for Georgia lawmakers
Athens Banner-Herald - Myra Blackmon (March 15)

Georgia bill named for Todd Gurley last passed on Crossover Day
Morris News Service (March 14)

Senate OKs medical cannabis study...
Associated Press (March 14)

Opinion: An underhanded ploy to bring vouchers to Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jay Bookman (March 13)

Opinion: School voucher debate - a contrary view
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jay Bookman (March 13)

Why doesn't Legislature ask teachers about AP U.S. History or anything else?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 13)

Senate targets AP history courses as too ‘radically revisionist’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 13)

Sponsor of AP History resolution: You are distorting my intentions
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 13)

True: Legislation would open scholarship program to legal refugees
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Politifact (March 13)

Georgia House Panel Revives Education Savings Accounts Bill
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 13)

To test or not to test?
Forsyth Herald (March 13)

Cobb leaders: Savings account bill takes from public schools
Marietta Daily Journal (March 13)

Senate agrees to dump AP History if changes aren’t made, proving why Georgia never learns
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March12)

Cherokee-based teacher group against upping state benefit costs
Cherokee Tribune (March 12)

Will DeKalb Bill To Lower Property Taxes Offset School Bond Tax Increase?
Decatur Metro (March 12)

Reevaluating APUSH
Peach Pundit (March 12)

Teachers group lines up against Nathan Deal’s school-rescue plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution -Jim Galloway (March 11)

Education Savings Accounts Bill Less Costly, Still Needs Improvement
Peach Pundit/Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (March 11)

Up against the Crossover deadline
Dawson Community News (March 11)

Lawmaker pushes legislation that could let Dunwoody run schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 10)

Plan to let parents use tax money for private school clears committee
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (March 10)

Rhyme and reason: Georgia should not adopt New Orleans state takeover model
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 9)

The art of the hands-off school ‘takeover’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Kyle Wingfield (March 9)

Two schools drop from governor’s takeover list
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 9)

SCCPSS tries to get bill signed before Crossover Day deadline
WFXG-TV, Savannah (March 9)

Blackmon: Conservatives abandoning principles for education 'reform'
Athens Banner-Herald - Blackmon (March 8)

Cobb senators split on school takeover bill
Marietta Daily Journal (March 8)

School board group opposes school takeover plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 7)

State has power to take over failing schools, according to recent legislation
Bainbridge Post-Searchlight (March 7)

The day after: Fallout from votes on transportation, school rescue measures
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 6)

Deal's plan to create state school district passes Senate
Athens Banner-Herald (March 6)

School takeover plan wins Georgia Senate’s approval
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 6)

Opinion: Georgia school districts ought to take opportunity now to fix schools or risk state takeover
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 6)

Georgia lawmakers act on school takeover
Associated Press (March 6)

New push in Legislature to allow guns in frat houses, college stadiums
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (March 6)

The Senate in 1 Minute
YouTube (Posted March 6 - covering March 5)

Opinion:  The conservative war on critical thinking
Marietta Daily Journal (March 6)

Changes to teacher retirement system might reduce benefits, educators say
Athens Banner-Herald (March 5)

New Orleans shows school gains are hard but possible
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Kyle Wingfield (March 5)

Outside New Orleans, La. school takeover results far from rosy
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (March 5)

Cherokee-based teacher group against upping state benefit costs
Cherokee Tribune (March 5)

Cobb, Marietta school leaders on board with state's digital materials bill
Marietta Daily Journal (March 5)

Opinion: Politics drives attack on AP U.S. History in statehouse
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey's "Get Schooled' blog - (March 4)

Are kindergartners too young to be suspended?
WXIA-TV (March 4)

Move to take over failing schools gets first approval
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 2)

Education Lessons From Post-Katrina New Orleans
Peach Pundit (March 2)

Georgia may lower state income tax
Morris News Service (March 2)

Georgia Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Urging Schools To Show D'Souza Film
TPM Livewire (February 26)

House panel approves tech college system name change
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 26)

House plan hands bill for bus drivers’ coverage to school districts
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 26)

Georgia lawmakers head to New Orleans as Deal makes his schools pitch
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (February 26)

Georgia House passes medical marijuana bill
Atlanta Business Chronicle (February 26)

Georgia House approves modified cannabis oil bill
Macon Telegraph (February 26)

If flexibility is key to school success, why doesn't state extend it to all schools?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 25)

Teachers, school boards oppose Gov. Deal’s takeover district
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 25)

All work and no play makes kindergarten a grind, no matter when kids turn 5
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 25)

Legislators table bill on campus rape investigations
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (February 25)

Opinion:  New Orleans is not good model for Georgia schools
Athens Banner-Herald (February 24)

Local legislators are voting for weaker student tests
Fayette Citizen (February 24)

Multiple education plans competing this Ga. legislative session
Morris News Service (February 23)

Political fight over U.S. history continues in Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required for full article (February 21)

Education Savings Accounts Carry Big Sticker Shock - House Bill 243
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (February 20)

Muscogee superintendent criticizes governor's plan for state to take over failing schools
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (February 20)

Opinion: A new plan to fix schools
Macon Telegraph - Erick Erickson (February 20)

College Board rep defends controversial new AP U.S. History framework
Gwinnett Daily Post (February 20)

Georgia lawmakers OK midyear budget, back health care for bus drivers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (February 20)

State Legislators Hear From College Board On AP History Changes
WABE-Radio (February 19)

Legislators say revised history course needs a redo
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (February 19)

Deal’s plan to take over ailing schools introduced in Georgia Senate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscription required (February 19)

Georgia’s failing schools: The worst of the worst
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Kyle Wingfield (February 19)

Opinion: Gov. Deal doesn’t have to look to New Orleans for inspiration. Georgia models exist.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 19)

Dems: End tax credits to save failing schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 18)

RCBOE expresses concern over new 'failing school' legislation
Augusta Chronicle (February 18)

Richmond County School Leaders Dismiss Gov. Deal's Take Over Plan
WJBF-TV (February 18)

Tom Crawford: Georgia has yet to find a magic formula for schools
Georgia Report - Tom Crawford (February 18)

Looking for ways to reform education — again
Macon Telegraph (February 18)

State law could change the way Chatham school system is operated
WJCL-TV (February 18)

Sanders: Voucher programs simply shortchange public education
Athens Banner-Herald (February 17)

Georgia Democrats offer counter to Deal’s school takeover plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - subscriber protected (February 17)

Gov. Deal gets school math right, but comments need more context
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Politifact - subscriber protected (February 17)

Governor challenges recovery district opponents to find better idea. Here’s one – Education Olympics.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 17)

'Failing' label for Gaines Elementary surprises Clarke school officials
Athens Banner-Herald (February 16)

Gov. Nathan Deal seeks backing for school takeover plan
Associated Press (February 16)

Deal’s ‘failing schools’ proposal drawing mixed reviews
Macon Telegraph (February 16)

Opinion: Delayed diplomas - the long shadow of Georgia's graduation tests
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 16)

Georgia legislature may change kindergarten cutoff age
Forsyth County News (February 16)

The Democratic rift over Nathan Deal’s schools rescue plan
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider (February 15)

Opinion:  Deal plan offers intriguing ideas, raises questions
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (February 15)

Local officials take wait-and-see approach over proposal for failing schools
Gainesville Times (February 15)

Belton: Education Committee getting busy
Covington News (February 15)

Opinion: Charter schools don’t belong in new recovery district. They are already bound by ‘perform or close’ mandate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 14)

Georgia looks to New Orleans model for rescuing schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 14) - subscription required

Hobbs lashes out a state proposal to reduce benefits for part-time workers
Walton Tribune (February 14) - subscription required

Put education back in the hands of locals
Brunswick News (February 13)

Officials wary of Deal’s plan, say managing locally is best
Dalton Daily Citizen (February 13)

Cumming lawmaker floats ‘Parental Choice Bill’
Forsyth County News (February 13)

Part-time school workers may lose benefits
Gainesville Times (February 13)

Unterman’s anti-sex trafficking legislation clears Senate
Gwinnett Daily Post (February 13)

Leaders wary of education savings account
Marietta Daily Journal (February 13)

Gov. Deal proposes broad powers to take over failing schools
Associated Press (February 13)

House Approves Easier Path To Diploma Despite Failing Tests
Associated Press (February 13)

Experts: Hire committed and visionary leaders for recovery school district. Hasn’t Atlanta already done that?
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 13)

The plan that could reshape Georgia's struggling schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 12)

Georgia unveils statewide plan to take over failing schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 12)

How Nathan Deal’s bid to rescue failing schools would work
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 12)

Gov. Deal on his recovery district: State would take over 20 schools a year and operate max of 100
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 12)

State’s plan to take over failing schools eyes 14 in Bibb, 2 in Twiggs 
Macon Telegraph (February 12)

Editorial: Fixing schools that fail must be a priority
Savannah Morning News (February 12)

Bill would let local governments set buffer between schools and grocery stores selling alcohol
Morris News Service (February 11)

Emotional pleas, but no vote on in-state tuition bill for immigrants
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 11)

School bus drivers and their families could be hit hard by cut
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 11)

Bill would help develop future workers
Dalton Citizen (February 11)

‘Dreamers’ get a hearing, but no college decision
Macon Telegraph (February 11)

A teacher’s plea to Georgia lawmakers: Lessen testing so we can return to teaching
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 10)

One choice bill for education reform
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Kyle Wingfield (February 10)

House panel votes to change allowable age for kindergarten
Morris News Service (February 10)

Georgia’s Education Problems Not All About Money
Peach Pundit (February 9)

Hobbs lashes out a state proposal to reduce benefits for part-time workers
Walton Tribune (Subscription require to read full article) (February 8)

Schools seek more flexibility from state regulations
Columbia County News-Times (February 8)

Come on, we can afford health insurance for bus drivers, cafeteria workers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Jay Bookman (February 7)

New law would ignore test failures and award belated high school diplomas to 8,000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey (February 6)

Benefit cut for part-timers won’t include Ga. lawmakers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 6)

Behind some educational theater, something big is brewing
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider (February 5)

Bill to raise kindergarten age prompts concerns
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 5)

Bill would allow parents to use tax money to pay tuition
Morris News Service (February 5)

Appoint state school chief? ‘It’s all about leadership’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Opinion: Kyle Wingfield (February 5)

Georgia State House introduces legislation to create innovative school choice program
American Federation for Children (February 5)

State lawmakers to propose stronger sex trafficking laws
WXIA-TV (February 5)

Opinion: If Legislature wants kids ready for kindergarten, invest in quality pre-k
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey's Blog (February 4)

Georgia Senate passes bipartisan education bill
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 4)

Proposal would study a bonus HOPE at private colleges for key majors
Morris News Service (February 4)

House bill would move up cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility
Marietta Daily Journal (February 4)

Georgia Senate approves bill counting college work toward high school
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 3)

No school suspension for young students under Howard bill
Morris News Service (February 2)

Officials fear insurance cuts may prompt exodus of Forsyth school bus drivers
Forsyth County News (February 2)

Fight brewing over millions of dollars in state spending
Macon Telegraph (February 1)

Ominous signs from Democrats on GOP’s education, transportation proposals
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (February 1)

Commission chair blasts House transportation bill
Marietta Daily Journal (January 30)

Bill would prevent 4-year-olds from kindergarten
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 29)

Bill allowing early access to college advances in Senate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 29 - Full article subscriber protected)

Ga. lawmaker wants history books to highlight America
Morris News Service (January 29)

House leaders signal they want school bus drivers to keep health insurance
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 28)

Legislative tip sheet: Press the restart button
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 26)

Legislative update week 2: Education, cannabis oil, transportation
LaGrange News (January 22)

The budget shows what the state really wants to do
Columbia County News-Times (January 20)

Blackmon: More input needed on appointing state school superintendent
Athens Banner-Herald (January 19)

Sen. Hill introducing bill to allow governor to select superintendent
Marietta Daily Journal (January 17)

Charter solution is part of the education mix
Charter Confidential (January 16)

2015 Legislative Preview 
Creative Loafing (January 16)

Deal outlines big changes ahead for Georgia’s public schools
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (January 14)

A Look At Some Education Issues To Be Considered During the 2015 Legislative Session
Peach Pundit (January 13)

In Inaugural Speech, Deal Stresses Education and Jobs; Transportation Not Mentioned
WABE-Radio (January 13)

Middle schooler's idea to lower minimum age for Georgia Senate from 25 to 21 introduced as bill
Morris News Service (January 13)