2016 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
The DeKalb County Board of Education and Superintendent recommend the following priorities for the 2016 Legislative Session. The DeKalb Legislative Delegation is requested to actively support each priority along with the Governor and the collective membership of the Georgia General Assembly.
Budgeting and Funding Priorities
In order to meet the needs of students with increasing limited resources to do so, DCSD supports initiatives that would have the effect of protecting and stabilizing the revenue generating ability of the school boards and limiting initiatives that would restrict or prohibit the School District’s ability to direct resources to students in areas it deems most necessary. This substantive reform should begin with the establishment of an increased funding weight for students identified as Economically Disadvantaged, much in the same manner that Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners also receive a substantive increase in assigned funding.
Adequate Funding of the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) Formula
DCSD supports substantive reforms and revisions to the current QBE funding formula. However, it is critical that any updates to the formula are initiated with proper funding to support the formula figures. Members of the General Assembly are encouraged to discontinue austerity cuts to public education and support the full funding of the state’s funding formula for K-12 education. State funding for education should be distributed based on the actual costs for providing services and resources such as transportation, media, textbooks, technology and other equipment.
Instructional Expenditure Control
DCSD supports flexibility and controls at the district-level which permit transfer of funds among QBE programs.
Personnel Work Days
DCSD opposes any legislation that would put restrictions on school boards’ policies regarding the implementation and enforcement of reductions in force or decreases in personnel work days.
School Improvement Initiatives
DCSD supports initiatives that foster innovation and creative instruction in education without limiting already diminishing resources available to public school students. DeKalb County Schools encourages legislators to fund programs that seek to increase student achievement and promote increased graduation rates. In particular, DCSD supports the following initiatives:
Compulsory School Attendance Age
Increase the state compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 17 years of age in an effort to increase the graduation rate.
School Voucher and Tax Credit Initiatives
DCSD opposes legislation that mandates or permits public school programs, activities, facilities, or funding to be allocated to non-public school students through any type or form of vouchers, scholarships or tuition tax credits. Initiatives