Tuesday, June 23, 2009
New State Policy Deadline Looming
The Georgia legislature passed and the governor signed a new law requiring school systems to allow transfers within districts to flow freely. An addition to HB 251, part of the Quality Basic Education Act, it states,
Beginning in school year 2009-2010, the parent of a student enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school in this state may elect to enroll such student in a public school that is located within the school system in which the student resides other than the one to which the student has been assigned by the local board of education if such school has classroom space available after its assigned students have been enrolled. The parent shall assume the responsibility and cost of transportation of the student to and from the school.
Additionally, the bill requires school systems to set a written policy as to how they plan to implement the law, which schools will be accepting transfers and the application process.
No later than July 1, 2009, each local school system shall establish a universal, streamlined process available to all students to implement the transfer requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection.
This Code section does not apply to newly opened schools with available classroom space for a period of four years after the school opens (Arabia) nor does it apply to charter schools (Chamblee). It also looks like due to its new IE2 status, Gwinnett County Public Schools will be able to circumvent this law.
I assume our Board is working up a policy and we will add it to this article as it becomes available. Other portions of this final version of the bill include a few school board ethics, but the private school vouchers and transfers from other counties were eliminated....for now.