Law reviews.

- For article, "Rights Resurgence: The Impact of the ADA Amendments Act on Schools and Universities," see 25 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 641 (2009). For article, "Education: Education's Elusive Future, Storied Past, and the Fundamental Inequities Between," see 46 Ga. L. Rev. 557 (2012). For article, "Education: Elementary and Secondary Education," see 29 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2012). For comment, "A Reformation Remedy for Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policies," see 65 Emory L.J. 1411 (2016). For article, "The School to Deportation Pipeline," see 34 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 697 (2018).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Title repealed prior conflicting legislation.

- Former Code of School Laws, Ga. L. 1919, pp. 288-363, repealed all prior legislation concerning or affecting the common schools of Georgia which was in conflict with it. David v. Board of Educ., 179 Ga. 498, 176 S.E. 481 (1934).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Education board not authorized to lend money to other board or agency.

- There are many general and special provisions found in this title with regard to the powers and authority of the State Board of Education; there is no provision which authorizes the board to lend money to any other board or agency. It would be presumed that the General Assembly, under the present law, did not intend for the board to have such authority. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 122.

CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 General Provisions.
Article 1A Caregiver Educational Consent.
Article 2 Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act.

ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Editor's notes.

- The existing provisions of Chapter 1 were designated as Article 1 by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Rules of general applicability, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-1-3.

20-1-1. Acceptance and adoption of annuity contracts of teachers hired from other Georgia school systems.

The several county and independent school system boards of education and school superintendents are authorized and directed to accept and adopt previously obtained annuity contracts of school teachers hired from other Georgia school systems and to withhold salary deductions in accordance with such contracts, if such boards of education or school superintendents had notice or knowledge of the annuity contracts before hiring any of such teachers.

(Ga. L. 1970, p. 458, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 20.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 60A Am. Jur. 2d, Pensions and Retirement Funds, § 1614.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 486.

20-1-2. Power of the governing boards of public school systems to establish supplemental pension and retirement allowances.

The governing boards of public school systems of this state are authorized to establish pension and retirement allowances out of local funds to supplement the allowances provided for teachers under the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.

(Ga. L. 1949, p. 1183, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Health insurance plans for retired former employees of public school systems, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. VI.

Application of other state-funded pension or retirement benefits to members and beneficiaries of Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, § 47-3-140.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 486.

ALR.

- Construction and application of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 USCA § 1001 et seq.) by United States Supreme Court, 150 A.L.R. Fed. 441.

20-1-3. Eligibility of teachers receiving retirement benefits from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to be members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.

Teachers in the University System of Georgia who upon retirement receive retirement pay or allowances from or through the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia shall not be disqualified thereby from becoming members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. As used in this Code section, "teacher" means the same as it is defined in Code Section 47-3-1.

(Ga. L. 1945, p. 454, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 60A Am. Jur. 2d, Pensions and Retirement Funds, §§ 1614, 1620.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 481 et seq.

20-1-4. Power of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to establish supplemental pension and retirement allowances.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is authorized to establish pension and retirement allowances to supplement the allowances provided for teachers under the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.

(Code 1933, § 32-152, enacted by Ga. L. 1949, p. 1196, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Application of other state-funded pension or retirement benefits to members and beneficiaries of Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, § 47-3-140.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Supplemental retirement plan at Medical College of Georgia.

- It is within the authority of the board of regents to establish a supplemental retirement plan at the Medical College of Georgia. 1999 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U99-10.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 486.

20-1-5. Liability of surrogate parents.

Any individual appointed to act as a surrogate parent for a child pursuant to federal law (P.L. 94-142) and federal regulations (34 C.F.R. 8300.514), as such law and regulations existed on January 1, 1985, shall not be liable for any civil damages for any action or actions done while performing duty as a surrogate parent, except for acts or omissions to act constituting gross, willful, or wanton negligence.

(Code 1981, §20-1-5, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 447, § 1.)

U.S. Code.

- Public Law 94-142, the federal Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, amended or enacted provisions throughout the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.

20-1-6. Retired Teachers' Day.

  1. The Sunday commencing the third week of November of each year is designated as Retired Teachers' Day.
  2. The Governor may issue annually a proclamation designating the Sunday commencing the third week of November of each year as Retired Teachers' Day and calling upon public schools and citizens of the state to observe the occasion and to take the opportunity to honor the retired teachers of the state.

(Code 1981, §20-1-6, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 619, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Holidays and observances generally, T. 1, C. 4.

20-1-6.1. Official state school.

Plains High School is designated as the official Georgia state school.

(Code 1981, §20-1-6.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1997, p. 1060, § 1.)

20-1-7. Fraudulent activities with respect to documents conferred by institution of education; penalties.

  1. No person may buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give, or obtain or attempt to buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give, or obtain a diploma, certificate, academic record, certificate of enrollment, or other instrument which purports to signify merit or achievement conferred by an institution of education in this state with the intent to use fraudulently such document or to allow the fraudulent use of such document.
  2. Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section or who aids another in violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year, or both.

(Code 1981, §20-1-7, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 1143, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For note on 1991 enactment of this Code section, see 8 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 66 (1992).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

20-1-8. Placement of lottery funds into Construction Reserve Trust Fund.

Any lottery funds appropriated for purposes of new capital construction shall be placed in a Construction Reserve Trust Fund to be maintained by the appropriate fiscal officers of state government. Funds so placed in the Construction Reserve Trust Fund shall be deemed to be committed for educational purposes and programs in compliance with subsection (d) of Code Section 50-27-13. Any such funds must be designated by project by the appropriate educational agency no later than June 30 of the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated. Any such funds must be contractually obligated no later than June 30 of the fiscal year following the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated. Any funds not designated or contractually obligated within such time periods shall lapse; and additionally any funds not expended as originally designated and obligated within 24 months after the close of the fiscal year for which such funds were originally appropriated shall lapse. Any funds so lapsing shall lapse to the general fund of the state treasury and shall be credited to the Lottery for Education Account.

(Code 1981, §20-1-8, enacted by Ga. L. 1995, p. 701, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 20.)

Editor's notes.

- This Code section applies with respect to appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, as well as all future fiscal years.

20-1-9. "Local school system," "local boards of education," and "county boards of education" defined.

Except as may otherwise be specifically provided, as used in this title, the term "local school system" shall refer to both any county school system and any independent school system which may be in existence in a county. The terms "local boards of education" and "county boards of education" shall refer to both any county board of education and the board of education of any independent school system which may be in existence in a county.

(Code 1981, §20-1-9, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 378, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1996, this Code section, originally enacted as Code Section 20-1-8, was redesignated as Code Section 20-1-9.

20-1-10. Certification by Department of Public Safety required prior to contracting with motor or contract carrier.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "educational institution" means any elementary or secondary school, any child care learning center, and any college, university, technical school, or other institution of higher learning.
  2. No educational institution receiving state funds shall enter into an agreement with a motor carrier or contract carrier for the purpose of transporting students without first verifying that such carrier is certified by the Department of Public Safety as required by Article 5 of Chapter 2 of Title 35, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or any other similarly required certifying agency.

(Code 1981, §20-1-10, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 409, § 1/SB 392; Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 20/HB 142; Ga. L. 2012, p. 580, § 4/HB 865.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2010, p. 409, § 3/SB 392, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that this Code section shall apply to agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2010.

ARTICLE 1A CAREGIVER EDUCATIONAL CONSENT

Effective date.

- This article became effective July 1, 2017.

20-1-14. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as "The Caregiver Educational Consent Act."

(Code 1981, §20-1-14, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186.)

20-1-15. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Child" means any individual under 18 years of age.
  2. "Fictive kin" means an individual who is known to a child as a relative but is not in fact related by blood or marriage to such child and with whom such child has resided or had significant contact.
  3. "Kinship caregiver" means a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, cousin, sibling, or fictive kin who has assumed responsibility for raising a child in an informal, noncustodial, or guardianship capacity upon the parents or legal custodians of such child:
    1. Losing or abdicating the ability to care for such child; or
    2. Being unable to ensure that the child will attend school for reasons, including, but not limited to:
      1. A parent or legal custodian being unable to provide care due to the death of a parent or legal custodian;
      2. A serious illness or terminal illness of a parent or legal custodian;
      3. The physical or mental condition of the parents or legal custodians such that proper care and supervision of the child cannot be provided;
      4. The incarceration of a parent or legal custodian;
      5. The inability to locate the parents or legal custodians;
      6. The loss or uninhabitability of the child's home as the result of a natural disaster; or
      7. A period of active military duty of the parents or legal custodians exceeding 24 months.
  4. "Legal custodian" means a person who has been awarded permanent custody of a child by court order.
  5. "Parent" means the legal father or the legal mother of a child.
  6. "Reasonable efforts" means actions that a reasonable individual would find sufficient to determine whether one conclusion is more likely than the other.

(Code 1981, §20-1-15, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted the subsection (a) designation at the beginning of this Code section and substituted "a person who" for "a person that" in paragraph (4).

20-1-16. Kinship caregiver authorized to provide legal consent.

  1. A kinship caregiver shall be authorized, on behalf of a child residing with the kinship caregiver, which child is not in the custody of the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services, to give legal consent for such child to:
    1. Receive any educational services;
    2. Receive medical services directly related to academic enrollment; or
    3. Participate in any curricular or extracurricular activities

      for which parental consent is usually required by executing the affidavit described in Code Section 20-1-18. The affidavit shall not be valid for more than one year after the date on which it is executed.

  2. Upon transmitting to a school an executed affidavit described in Code Section 20-1-18, the kinship caregiver shall serve as the school's point of contact for the child regarding truancy, discipline, and educational progress for as long as such affidavit shall continue to be in effect.
  3. The decision of a kinship caregiver to consent to or refuse educational services or medical services directly related to academic enrollment or any curricular or extracurricular activities for a child residing with the kinship caregiver shall be superseded by any contravening decision of a parent or a person having legal custody of the child, provided that the decision of the parent or legal custodian does not jeopardize the life, health, safety, or welfare of the child.
  4. Reasonable efforts shall be made by the kinship caregiver to locate at least one of the child's parents prior to the notarization and submission of the affidavit set forth in Code Section 20-1-18.
  5. Nothing in this Code section shall apply to, or give authority for, an abortion as provided in Code Section 15-11-682 or any other provision of law.

(Code 1981, §20-1-16, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186.)

20-1-17. Reliance on properly executed affidavit; notice of child ceasing to reside with kinship caregiver; provision of false information in execution of affidavit.

  1. No person who acts in good faith reliance on a properly executed kinship caregiver's affidavit, having no actual knowledge of any facts contrary to those stated in the affidavit, shall be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution, or to professional disciplinary procedure, for any action which would have been proper if the facts had been as they believed them to be. This subsection shall apply even if educational services or medical services directly related to academic enrollment or any curricular or extracurricular activities are rendered to a child in contravention of the wishes of the parent or legal custodian of such child; provided, however, that the person rendering the educational services or medical services directly related to academic enrollment or any curricular or extracurricular activities shall not have actual knowledge of the wishes of the parent or legal custodian.
  2. A person who relies on a properly executed kinship caregiver's affidavit has no obligation to make further inquiry or investigation. Nothing in this article shall relieve any person of responsibility for violations of other provisions of law, rules, or regulations.
  3. If a child ceases to reside with a kinship caregiver for a period in excess of 30 days, such kinship caregiver shall, not later than 30 days after such period, notify all parties to whom he or she has transmitted the affidavit or to whom he or she has caused the affidavit to be transmitted.
  4. Any individual who knowingly provides false information in executing the affidavit required by this article commits the offense of false swearing within the meaning of Code Section 16-10-71 and shall be subject to the penalties prescribed by such Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-1-17, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "person who" for "person that" at the beginning of subsections (a) and (b).

20-1-18. Requirements for validly executed affidavit; form.

  1. A kinship caregiver's affidavit shall be invalid unless it substantially contains, in not less than ten-point boldface type or a reasonable equivalent thereof, the form set forth in subsection (b) of this Code section. The warning statement shall be enclosed in a box with three-point rule lines.
  2. The kinship caregiver's affidavit shall be substantially in the following form:

    INSTRUCTIONS: Please print clearly.

    I hereby certify that the child named below lives in my home and I am 18 years of age or older.

    1. Name of child: _______________________________________________________

    2. Child's date of birth: _______________________________________________

    3. My full name (kinship caregiver giving authorization): _______________

    4. My home address: _____________________________________________________

    5. [ ] I am a kinship caregiver.

    6. I have assumed kinship caregiver status because of one or more of the following circumstances (check at least one):

    [ ] A parent being unable to provide care due to the death of the other parent;

    [ ] A serious illness or terminal illness of a parent;

    [ ] The physical or mental condition of the parent or the child such that proper care and supervision of the child cannot be provided by the parent;

    [ ] The incarceration of a parent;

    [ ] The loss or uninhabitability of the child's home as the result of a natural disaster;

    [ ] A period of active military duty of a parent exceeding 24 months; or

    [ ] I am unable to locate a parent or parents at this time to notify them of my intended authorization because (list reasons):

    _________________________________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________________________________.

    7. Names of parent(s) or legal custodian(s): ____________________________

    8. Address of parent(s) or legal custodian(s): __________________________

    9. Phone numbers and email addresses of parent(s) or legal custodian(s):

    _________________________________________________________________________

    10. Kinship caregiver's date of birth: __________________________________

    11. Kinship caregiver's State of Georgia driver's license number or identification card number: _______________________________________________________

    WARNING: DO NOT SIGN THIS FORM IF ANY OF THE STATEMENTS ABOVE ARE INCORRECT OR YOU WILL BE COMMITTING A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY A FINE, IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH.

    I recognize that if I knowingly and willfully make a false statement in this affidavit, I will be guilty of the crime of false swearing.

    ________________________________

"KINSHIP CAREGIVER'S AFFIDAVIT Use of this affidavit is authorized by O.C.G.A. Section 20-1-16.

(Kinship caregiver's signature)

________________________________

(Kinship caregiver's printed name)

Sworn to and subscribed

before me this ________

day of _____________, ____.

________________________

Notary public (SEAL)

My commission expires: _____________.

NOTICES: 1. This declaration does not affect the rights of the named child's parent or legal guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child and does not mean that the kinship caregiver has legal custody of the child.

2. A person who relies on this affidavit has no obligation to make any further inquiry or investigation.

3. This affidavit is not valid for more than one year after the date on which it is executed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: TO KINSHIP CAREGIVERS:

1. If the child stops living with you for a period of more than 30 days, you are required to provide notice not later than 30 days after such period to anyone to whom you have given this affidavit as well as anyone of whom you have actual knowledge who received the affidavit from a third party.

2. If you do not have the information in item 11 of the affidavit (State of Georgia driver's license or identification card), you must provide another form of identification, such as your social security number.

TO SCHOOL OFFICIALS:

The school system may require additional reasonable evidence that the kinship caregiver resides at the address provided in item 4 of the affidavit.

TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND HEALTH CARE SERVICE PLANS:

1. No person who acts in good faith reliance upon a kinship caregiver's affidavit to render educational services or medical services directly related to academic enrollment or any curricular or extracurricular activities, without actual knowledge of facts contrary to those stated in the affidavit, shall be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability to any person, or subject to any professional disciplinary action, for such reliance if the applicable portions of the form are completed.

2. This affidavit does not confer dependency for health care coverage purposes."

(Code 1981, §20-1-18, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, at the end of the kinship caregiver's affidavit in subsection (b), under notices and additional information, substituted "person who" for "person that" in two places, and revised punctuation in paragraph (2) under "TO KINSHIP CAREGIVERS:".

20-1-19. Article does not supersede "Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child Act".

Nothing in this article shall be construed to supersede Article 4 of Chapter 9 of Title 19, the "Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child Act."

(Code 1981, §20-1-19, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 113, § 2/SB 186.)

Editor's notes.

- The Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child Act, referred to in this Code section, was repealed and reenacted as the "Supporting and Strengthening Families Act", codified in Article 4 of Chapter 9 of Title 19, by Ga. L. 2018, p. 19, § 2-2/HB 159, effective September 1, 2018.

ARTICLE 2 DRUG-FREE POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION ACT

Law reviews.

- For note on 1990 enactment of this article, see 7 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 379 (1990).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

First offender treatment as "conviction".

- First offender treatment upon a verdict or plea of guilty is a "conviction" within the meaning of the Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act (O.C.G.A. § 20-1-20 et seq.), applicable to students in institutions of higher learning. 1992 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 92-10.

20-1-20. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990."

(Code 1981, §20-1-20, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.)

20-1-21. Legislative findings and intent.

The General Assembly finds that the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs in an unlawful manner is a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare and to the academic achievement of students enrolled in the public and nonpublic colleges, universities, and postsecondary technical institutes of this state. It is declared to be a primary purpose and goal of this state, of all of its agencies and instrumentalities, and of all of its public officials and employees to take all reasonable steps possible to eradicate the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, and use of marijuana, controlled substances, and dangerous drugs. With this purpose in mind, the General Assembly declares that the public and nonpublic colleges, universities, and postsecondary technical institutes in this state must be absolutely free of any person who would knowingly manufacture, distribute, sell, possess, or use marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug in an unlawful manner. For this reason, the General Assembly enacts this article.

(Code 1981, §20-1-21, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.)

20-1-22. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Authority" means the Georgia Student Finance Authority created pursuant to Code Section 20-3-313.
  2. "Controlled substance" means any drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in the definition of the term "controlled substance" in paragraph (4) of Code Section 16-13-21.
  3. "Convicted" or "conviction" refers to a plea of guilty, a finding of guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction, or the acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere or affording of first offender treatment by a court of competent jurisdiction, irrespective of the pendency or availability of any appeal or application for collateral relief.
  4. "Dangerous drug" means any drug or substance defined as such under Code Section 16-13-71.
  5. "Date of conviction" means the date that the trial court determines guilt and enters judgment thereon or the date on which the court accepts a plea of nolo contendere or formally allows a person to receive first offender treatment.
  6. "Marijuana" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined in paragraph (16) of Code Section 16-13-21.
  7. "Nonpublic educational institution" means any postsecondary educational institution not established, operated, or governed by the State of Georgia.
  8. "Public educational institution" means:
    1. Any two-year college, college, university, or other institution of higher learning under the management and control of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; and
    2. Any postsecondary technical school under the management and control of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia.
  9. "Student" means any person who is enrolled as a student in courses for academic credit on a full-time, part-time, temporary, or intermittent basis in any public or nonpublic educational institution.

(Code 1981, §20-1-22, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1; Ga. L. 2011, p. 632, § 3/HB 49.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1990, the word "on" was inserted following "academic credit" in paragraph (9).

20-1-23. Disciplinary action for student of public educational institution.

Any student of a public educational institution who is convicted, under the laws of this state, the United States, or any other state, of any felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug shall as of the date of conviction be suspended from the public educational institution in which such person is enrolled. Except for cases in which the institution has previously taken disciplinary action against a student for the same offense, such suspension shall be effective as of the date of conviction, even though the educational institution may not complete all administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension until a later date. Except for cases in which the institution has already imposed disciplinary sanctions for the same offense, suchsuspension shall continue through the end of the term, quarter, semester, or other similar period for which the student was enrolled as of the date of conviction. The student shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for such term, quarter, semester, or other similar period; and the educational institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit which is granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension.

(Code 1981, §20-1-23, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Conviction of felony after end of academic period.

- Although the Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990, O.C.G.A. § 20-1-20 et seq., does not require the suspension of a student convicted of a felony involving the illegal use of drugs when the conviction occurs after the end of an academic period but prior to the commencement of the following academic period, the policy manual of the board of regents would permit such disciplinary action during the pendency of criminal charges or after final conviction. 1992 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 92-21.

20-1-24. Disciplinary action for student of nonpublic educational institution.

  1. Any student of a nonpublic educational institution who is convicted, under the laws of this state, the United States, or any other state, of any felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug shall as of the date of conviction be denied state funds for any loans, grants, or scholarships administered under the authority of Part 3 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of this title, the "Georgia Student Finance Authority Act," or similar loans, grants, or scholarships, including but not limited to Georgia Higher Education Loan Program loans, student incentive grants, or tuition equalization grants. The authority is authorized to define such terms and prescribe such rules, regulations, and procedures as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
  2. Such denial of state funds shall be effective as of the first day of the term, quarter, semester, or other similar period for which the student was enrolled immediately following the date of conviction or the date on which the court accepts a plea of nolo contendere or formally allows a student to receive first offender treatment and shall continue through the end of such term, quarter, semester, or other similar period for which the student was enrolled. Any nonpublic educational institution operating within this state that receives state funds shall agree to comply with this article in order to be eligible for its students to receive state funds through scholarships, grants, or loan programs.

(Code 1981, §20-1-24, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 20.)

20-1-25. Additional sanctions permissible.

The suspension sanctions and sanctions involving denial of state funds as prescribed in this article are intended as minimum sanctions, and nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit any educational institution from establishing and implementing additional or more stringent sanctions for felony offenses and other conduct involving the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug.

(Code 1981, §20-1-25, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Conviction of felony after end of academic period.

- Although the Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990, O.C.G.A. § 20-1-20 et seq., does not require the suspension of a student convicted of a felony involving the illegal use of drugs when the conviction occurs after the end of an academic period but prior to the commencement of the following academic period, the policy manual of the board of regents would permit such disciplinary action during the pendency of criminal charges or after final conviction. 1992 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 92-21.

20-1-26. Promulgation of administrative procedures for implementation of article.

Administrative procedures for the implementation of this article shall be promulgated for the educational institutions under their respective management and control by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia or the individual nonpublic educational institutions. Such procedures shall provide for relief from sanctions previously imposed under this article against a person whose conviction is subsequently overturned on appeal or through collateral relief.

(Code 1981, §20-1-26, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1; Ga. L. 2011, p. 632, § 3/HB 49.)

20-1-27. Applicability of article.

This article shall apply only with respect to felony offenses committed on or after July 1, 1990; provided, however, that nothing in this Code section shall prevent any educational institution from implementing sanctions additional to or other than those provided for in this article with respect to offenses committed prior to July 1, 1990.

(Code 1981, §20-1-27, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2037, § 1.)

CHAPTER 1A EARLY CARE AND LEARNING

Article 1 General Provisions.
Article 2 Background Checks.
Article 3 Child Care Council [Repealed].
Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Education Reform Act of 1996.'"

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Family day care homes, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Department of Human Resources, Family and Children Services, Group Day Care Services, Chapter 290-2-3.

ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1, effective October 1, 2004, designated the existing provisions of this chapter as this article.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Child care learning centers, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Bright from the Start Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Chapter 591-1-1.

20-1A-1. Creation.

The Department of Early Care and Learning is created as a department of the executive branch of state government and shall have the duties, responsibilities, functions, powers, and authority set forth in this chapter and otherwise provided by law. The Department of Early Care and Learning is the successor to the Office of School Readiness and shall have the duties, responsibilities, functions, powers, authority, employees, office equipment, furniture, and other assets formerly held by the Office of School Readiness. The Department of Early Care and Learning shall be a separate budget unit.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-1, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

Law reviews.

- For review of 1996 education legislation, see 13 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 160 (1996).

20-1A-2. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the term:

  1. "Board" means the Board of Early Care and Learning.
  2. "Change of ownership applicant" means any licensed or commissioned early care and education program applying for a new license or commission to operate an early care and education program.
  3. "Child care learning center" means any place operated by a person, society, agency, corporation, institution, or group wherein are received for pay for group care for less than 24 hours per day, without transfer of legal custody, seven or more children under 18 years of age; provided, however, that this term shall not include a private school which provides kindergarten through grade 12 education, meets the requirements of Code Section 20-2-690, and is accredited by one or more of the entities listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519 and which provides care before, after, or both before and after the customary school day to its students as an auxiliary service to such students during the regular school year only.
  4. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of early care and learning.
  5. "Department" means the Department of Early Care and Learning.
  6. "Early care and education programs" include all support centers, family child care learning homes, and child care learning centers, regardless of whether such homes or centers offer education.
  7. "Early childhood" means the period of childhood from birth to age six.
  8. "Family child care learning home" means a private residence operated by any person who receives therein for pay for supervision and care less than 24 hours per day, without transfer of legal custody, at least three but not more than six children under 13 years of age who are not related to such person and whose parents or guardians are not residents in the same private residence; provided, however, that the total number of unrelated children cared for in such home, for pay and not for pay, may not exceed six children under 13 years of age at one time.
  9. "License" means the document issued by the department authorizing the operation of a family child care learning home or child care learning center.
  10. "Permit" means the temporary document issued by the department authorizing a family child care learning home or child care learning center to operate without a license for a limited term to be determined by the department.
  11. "Registration" means the document issued by the department to any business entity operating as a support center.
  12. "Support center" means any business entity registered with the department that makes available potential employees for family child care learning homes or child care learning centers and that receives no children for care. Such term shall include but not be limited to a temporary staffing agency, a university, or an independent contractor.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-2, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 798, § 1/HB 1169; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 1/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401; Ga. L. 2016, p. 846, § 20/HB 737.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, added paragraph (2); redesignated former paragraphs (2) through (6) as present paragraphs (3) through (7), respectively; substituted "seven" for "19" in paragraph (3); substituted "support centers, family child care learning" for "group day-care" in the middle of paragraph (6); deleted former paragraph (7), which read: "'Family day-care home' means a private residence operated by any person who receives therein for pay for supervision and care fewer than 24 hours per day, without transfer of legal custody, at least three but not more than six children under 13 years of age who are not related to such person and whose parents or guardians are not residents in the same private residence; provided, however, that the total number of unrelated children cared for in such home, for pay and not for pay, may not exceed six children under 13 years of age at one time."; substituted the present provisions of paragraph (8) for the former provisions, which read: "'Group day-care home' means any place operated by any person or group wherein are received for pay not less than seven nor more than 18 children under 18 years of age for care and supervision for less than 24 hours per day."; and added paragraphs (9) through (12).

The 2016 amendment, effective May 3, 2016, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, in paragraph (6), deleted "family day care homes," and substituted "child care learning centers" for "care learning centers" near the middle; and, in paragraph (8), substituted "less than 24 hours" for "fewer than 24 hours".

20-1A-3. Commissioner; board; duties and powers; salary; personnel; rules and regulations.

  1. There is created a Board of Early Care and Learning and a commissioner of early care and learning.
  2. The board shall consist of one member from each congressional district appointed by the Governor. In as far as it is practical, the members of the board shall be representative of all areas and functions encompassed within the early childhood care and education community. In appointing members to their initial terms, the Governor shall designate five members for two-year terms, four members for three-year terms, and four members for five-year terms. Subsequent appointments shall be for five-year terms. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed. In the event of a vacancy on the board for any reason other than expiration of a term, the Governor shall appoint a person from the same congressional district to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
  3. The board shall elect from its members a chairperson and such other officers as the board considers necessary. The board shall adopt bylaws for the conduct of its activities. The members of the board shall receive per diem and expense reimbursement as shall be determined and approved by the Office of Planning and Budget in conformity with rates and allowances determined for members of other state boards.
  4. The board shall determine policies and promulgate rules and regulations for the operation of the department including:
    1. Functions formerly performed by the Office of School Readiness, including, but not limited to, Even Start;
    2. Functions transferred to the department from the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) relating to day-care centers (now known as child care learning centers), group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes), and other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-8; and
    3. Functions relating to early childhood education programs transferred from the Department of Education by agreement in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-17.
  5. The board shall oversee the budget of the department and shall submit an annual request for funding to the Office of Planning and Budget in accordance with Code Section 45-12-78.
  6. The commissioner shall be the chief administrative and executive officer of the department. The commissioner shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The commissioner shall be in the unclassified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 and shall receive a salary to be determined by the Governor.
  7. The commissioner shall have the authority to employ all personnel of the department, subject to the provisions of this chapter, all applicable provisions of other laws governing public employment, and the policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the board.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-3, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-9/HB 228; Ga. L. 2009, p. 745, § 1/SB 97; Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 2-21/HB 642; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 2/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401; Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 5-3/HB 553.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, in paragraph (d)(2), substituted "group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes)" for "group day-care homes, family day-care homes".

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, added "and" at the end of paragraph (d)(2); deleted former paragraph (d)(3), which read: "Functions transferred to the department from the Georgia Child Care Council pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-63; and"; and redesignated former paragraph (d)(4) as present paragraph (d)(3).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-1/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Personnel, equipment, and facilities that were assigned to the State Personnel Administration as of June 30, 2012, shall be transferred to the Department of Administrative Services on the effective date of this Act." This Act became effective July 1, 2012.

Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-2/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Appropriations for functions which are transferred by this Act may be transferred as provided in Code Section 45-12-90."

20-1A-4. Powers and duties.

The Department of Early Care and Learning shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. To administer such programs and services as may be necessary for the operation and management of voluntary pre-kindergarten, which shall be known as "Georgia's Pre-K Program";
  2. To administer such programs and services as may be necessary for the operation and management of preschool and child development programs, such as Even Start and child care regulation and food programs;
  3. To act as the agent of the federal government in conformity with this chapter and the administration of any federal funds granted to the state to aid in the furtherance of any functions of the department;
  4. To assist local units of administration in this state so as to assure the proliferation of services under this chapter;
  5. To regulate early care and education programs in accordance with this chapter;
  6. To improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in this state;
  7. To serve as the Head Start state collaboration office;
  8. To establish and collect annual fees for licensure, registration, or commission of early care and education programs. Such fees so established shall be reasonable and shall be determined in such a manner that the total amount of fees established shall help defray the direct and indirect costs to the department in performing such function. The department shall remit all fees collected to the general fund of the state;
  9. To recommend in writing to the owner of any early care and education program licensed by the department that such program carry liability insurance coverage sufficient to protect its clients. Any such program which after receiving such recommendation is not covered by liability insurance shall post that fact in a conspicuous place in the program and shall notify the parent or guardian of each child under the care of the program in writing. Such notice shall be in at least 1/2 inch letters. Each such parent or guardian must acknowledge receipt of such notice in writing and a copy of such acknowledgment shall be maintained on file at the program at all times while the child attends the program and for 12 months after the child's last date of attendance. Failure to do so may subject the owner of the program to a civil fine of $1,000.00 for each such infraction;
  10. To administer any programs assigned to it administratively by the Governor pursuant to his or her powers or any programs for which the Governor designates the department as the lead agency in the state for a federal program;
  11. To perform any other functions as agreed upon between the department and the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services), pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-8;
  12. To perform any other functions as agreed upon between the department and the Department of Education, in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-17;
  13. To exercise the powers reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, contracting for services; and
  14. To solicit and accept donations, contributions, grants, bequests, gifts of money and property, facilities, or services, with or without consideration, from any person, firm, or corporation or from any state, county, municipal corporation, local government, or governing body, or from the federal government to enable it to carry out its functions and purpose.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-4, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1083, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-10/HB 228; Ga. L. 2010, p. 9, § 1-45/HB 1055; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 3/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401; Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 5-4/HB 553.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "education program" for "learning program" in the first sentence of paragraph (9); deleted "and" at the end of paragraph (12); substituted "; and" for the period at the end of paragraph (13); and added paragraph (14).

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted the present provisions of paragraph (6) for the former provisions, which read: "To perform the functions set out in Code Section 20-1A-64, relating to improvement of the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in this state;".

20-1A-4.1. Department authorized to establish nonprofit corporation to qualify as a public foundation to aid in carrying out department's powers and purposes; requirements; annual report.

  1. The department shall have the power and authority to incorporate a nonprofit corporation that could qualify as a public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to aid the department in carrying out any of its powers and in accomplishing any of its purposes.Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this power shall be created pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 14, the "Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code," and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to accept such filing.
  2. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall be subject to the following provisions:
    1. In accordance with the Constitution of Georgia, no governmental functions or regulatory powers shall be conducted by any such nonprofit corporation;
    2. Upon dissolution of any such nonprofit corporation incorporated by the department, any assets shall revert to the department or to any successor to the department or, failing such succession, to the State of Georgia;
    3. As used in this paragraph, the term "direct employee costs" means salary, benefits, and travel expenses.To avoid the appearance of undue influence on regulatory functions by donors, no donations to any such nonprofit corporation from private sources shall be used for direct employee costs of the department;
    4. Any such nonprofit corporation shall be subject to all laws relating to open meetings and the inspection of public records;
    5. The department shall not be liable for the action or omission to act of any such nonprofit corporation;
    6. No debts, bonds, notes, or other obligations incurred by any such nonprofit corporation shall constitute an indebtedness or obligation of the State of Georgia nor shall any act of any such nonprofit corporation constitute or result in the creation of an indebtedness of the state.No holder or holders of any such bonds, notes, or other obligations shall ever have the right to compel any exercise of the taxing power of the state nor to enforce the payment thereof against the state; and
    7. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall not acquire or hold a fee simple interest in real property by any method, including but not limited to gift, purchase, condemnation, devise, court order, and exchange.
  3. Pursuant to this Code section, the department may establish a nonprofit corporation to be designated as the Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning to Promote Public-Private Partnerships between businesses, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, local school systems, public schools, and early care and education programs for the purpose of supporting educational excellence for children and families.Funds received by the foundation may be awarded through a competitive grant process administered by the department. The General Assembly may appropriate funds for purposes of this foundation.
  4. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall make public and provide an annual report showing the identity of all donors and the amount each person or entity donated as well as all expenditures or other disposal of money or property donated.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-4.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2017, p. 6, § 1/HB 463.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2017.

20-1A-5. Impact of transfer of operations on individuals.

This chapter shall not be construed to impair or affect the rights of persons previously transferred to the Office of School Readiness who were members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia created in Chapter 3 of Title 47 and who elected to continue membership in such retirement system in accordance with previous law.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-5, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-6. Department to succeed to applicable rules and regulations.

The department shall succeed to all rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and pending and finalized administrative orders of the Office of School Readiness which are in effect on September 30, 2004. Such rules, regulations, policies, and procedures shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the board or commissioner, as applicable.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-6, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 167, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-7. Pre-kindergarten name change required in publications, posters, banners, and signs.

Each newly printed publication, poster, banner, or sign created for the pre-kindergarten program by the department or a provider of pre-kindergarten services shall refer to the program as "Georgia's Pre-K Program."

(Code 1981, §20-1A-7, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1083, § 2; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-8. Transfer of functions, powers, personnel, equipment, and assets to department; funding.

  1. Effective October 1, 2004, the department shall carry out all of the functions and exercise all of the powers formerly held by the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services) for the regulation and licensure of early care and education programs and any other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources. Subject to subsection (c) of this Code section, all persons employed by and positions authorized for the Department of Human Resources to perform functions relating to the licensure and certification of early care and education programs and any other functions as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Human Resources on September 30, 2004, shall on October 1, 2004, be transferred to the department. All office equipment, furniture, and other assets in possession of the Department of Human Resources which are used or held exclusively or principally by personnel transferred under this subsection shall be transferred to the department on October 1, 2004.
  2. Effective October 1, 2004, the department shall carry out the functions and exercise the powers formerly held by the Georgia Child Care Council under former Article 11 of Chapter 5 of Title 49.
  3. All transfers of employees and assets provided for in subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner, and such personnel or assets shall not be transferred if the commissioner determines that a specific employee or asset should remain with the transferring agency.
  4. Employees of the department shall serve in the unclassified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2. Persons who have transferred to the department pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section who are in the classified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 at the time of the transfer may elect to remain in such classified service and be governed by the provisions thereof; provided, however, that if any such person accepts a promotion or transfers to another position, that person shall become an employee in the unclassified service.
  5. All rights, credits, and funds in the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia created in Chapter 2 of Title 47 which are possessed by state personnel transferred by provisions of this Code section to the department, or otherwise held by persons at the time of employment with the department, are continued and preserved, it being the intention of the General Assembly that such persons shall not lose any rights, credits, or funds to which they may be entitled prior to becoming employees of the department. No employment benefit of any employee transferring to the department shall be impaired.
  6. Funding for functions and positions transferred to the department under this Code section shall be transferred as provided in Code Section 45-12-90.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-8, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-11/HB 228; Ga. L. 2009, p. 745, § 1/SB 97; Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 2-22/HB 642; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401; Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 5-5/HB 553.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted the present provisions of subsection (b) for the former provisions, which read: "Effective October 1, 2004, notwithstanding the advisory functions of the Georgia Child Care Council included in Code Section 20-1A-63, the department shall carry out the functions and exercise the powers formerly held by the Georgia Child Care Council under former Article 11 of Chapter 5 of Title 49. Subject to subsection (c) of this Code section, all persons employed by and positions authorized for the Georgia Child Care Council to perform functions relating to the recommendation of measures to improve the quality, availability, and affordability of child care in this state on September 30, 2004, shall on October 1, 2004, be transferred to the department. All office equipment, furniture, and other assets in possession of the Georgia Child Care Council or the Department of Human Resources, (now known as the Department of Human Services) which are used or held exclusively or principally by personnel transferred under this subsection shall be transferred to the department on October 1, 2004."

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-1/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Personnel, equipment, and facilities that were assigned to the State Personnel Administration as of June 30, 2012, shall be transferred to the Department of Administrative Services on the effective date of this Act." This Act became effective July 1, 2012.

Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-2/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Appropriations for functions which are transferred by this Act may be transferred as provided in Code Section 45-12-90."

Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-9. Authority to license and regulate child care learning centers and family child care learning homes transferred to department.

The department shall succeed to all rights and responsibilities relating to licensure and regulation of day-care centers (now known as child care learning centers), group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), and family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes), including such rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and pending and finalized administrative orders of the Department of Human Resources (now known as the Department of Human Services), the Georgia Child Care Council, and the Office of State Administrative Hearings, where applicable, which are in effect on September 30, 2004, and which relate to the functions transferred to the department pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-8. Such rights, responsibilities, licenses issued pursuant to previous law, procedures, and orders shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the commissioner. Such rules, regulations, and policies shall remain in effect until amended, repealed, superseded, or nullified by the board.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-9, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-12/HB 228; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 4/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "group day-care homes (now known as child care learning centers), and family day-care homes (now known as family child care learning homes)" for "group day-care homes, and family day-care homes" near the beginning of the first sentence.

20-1A-10. Regulation of early care and education programs.

  1. The department is authorized and empowered to establish, maintain, extend, and improve throughout the state, within the limits of funds appropriated for such purposes, the regulation of early care and education programs by providing consultation and making recommendations concerning establishment and implementation of such programs and by licensing and inspecting periodically all such programs to ensure their adherence to this chapter and rules and regulations promulgated by the board. An early care and education program registered as a support center shall be subject only to paragraph (3) of subsection (m) of this Code section, paragraphs (1), (3), and (6) of subsection (b) and paragraphs (1), (4), and (5) of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-1A-12, Article 2 of this chapter, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the board regarding criminal records checks; provided, however, that adverse action taken against the registration of a support center shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
  2. Child care learning centers operated as part of a local church ministry or a nonprofit religious school or a nonprofit religious charitable organization may notify the department annually and be commissioned in lieu of being licensed upon request for commission. Commissioned child care learning centers shall operate in accordance with the same procedures, standards, rules, and regulations which are established by the board for the operation of licensed child care learning centers. Any child care learning center operated as part of a local church ministry or a nonprofit religious school or a nonprofit religious charitable organization may elect to apply for a commission as provided for in subsection (c) of this Code section.
  3. All early care and education programs that care for children shall be licensed or commissioned annually, and all licenses and commissions issued by the department shall be subject to annual renewal by the department in accordance with procedures, standards, rules, and regulations to be established by the board.
  4. The department shall publish in print or electronically and make available to early care and education programs and interested persons a list of guidelines for quality child care.
  5. After an early care and education program has been licensed, commissioned, permitted, or registered by the department as provided in this chapter, the program shall not be required to have a permit to operate a food service establishment as required in Code Section 26-2-371, provided that rules and regulations for food service have been incorporated in the regulations for licensing, commissioning, registering, or permitting such programs.
  6. The department shall not be authorized to prescribe, question, or regulate the specific content of educational curriculum taught by an early care and education program, except to the extent that a program operates Georgia's Pre-K Program or any other voluntary educational program administered by the department.
  7. Persons who operate licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall be required to post in a conspicuous place next to telephones in the home or center the telephone numbers of the nearest or applicable providers of emergency medical, police, and fire services.
  8. Persons who operate licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall post signs prohibiting smoking to carry out the purposes of Chapter 12A of Title 31.
  9. Child care learning centers shall provide a minimum of 35 square feet of usable space consisting of indoor play areas, rest areas, and dining facilities for each child present in the facility. Child care learning centers will be allowed to designate in writing to the department two one-hour periods daily during which 25 square feet of usable space per child for children aged three years and older may be provided. Notwithstanding the limitation to six children prescribed in Code Section 20-1A-2, a family child care learning home operator may care for two additional children aged three years and older for two designated one-hour periods daily. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, all other applicable rules and regulations shall apply.
  10. The department shall assist applicants, license holders, registrants, commission holders, and permit holders in meeting applicable rules and regulations of the department for early care and education programs.
    1. Noncompliance with the rules and regulations for family child care learning homes or child care learning centers which are designated in writing to the facilities as being related to children's health and safety;
    2. Flagrant and continued operation of an unlicensed, uncommissioned, or unpermitted facility in contravention of the law;
    3. Prior license, commission, registration, or permit denial or revocation within one year of application; or
    4. Failure to pay the required annual license or commission fee.

(k) (1) Application for a license, commission, registration, or permit for an early care and education program shall be made to the department upon forms furnished by the department. Upon receipt of an application for a license, commission, registration, or permit and upon presentation by the applicant of evidence that the early care and education program meets the rules and regulations prescribed by the department, the department shall issue such early care and education program a license, registration, commission, or permit in accordance with procedures, standards, rules and regulations established by the board.

(2) The following annual fees shall apply to applications for any license or commission: (A) Capacity of one to 25 children ..$ 50.00 (B) Capacity of 26 to 50 children ..100.00 (C) Capacity of 51 to 100 children ..150.00 (D) Capacity of 101 to 200 children ..200.00 (E) Capacity of more than 200 children ..250.00

(1)If the department finds that an early care and education program that currently cares for children plans to undergo a change in ownership, the department may issue a permit to such program to facilitate such change of ownership without disruption of care. If such program complies with all licensing requirements prior to the expiration of the permit, the department may issue a license to such program in accordance with this Code section.

If the department finds that any early care and education program applicant does not meet rules and regulations prescribed by the department but is attempting to meet such rules and regulations, the department may, in its discretion, issue a temporary license, registration, or commission to such early care and education program, but such temporary license, registration, or commission shall not be issued for more than a one-year period. Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that such program is making progress toward meeting prescribed rules and regulations of the department, the department may, in its discretion, reissue such temporary license, registration, or commission for one additional period not to exceed one year. As an alternative to a temporary license, registration, or commission, the department, in its discretion, may issue a restricted license, registration, or commission which states the restrictions on its face.

The department shall refuse to issue a license, commission, registration, or permit upon a showing of:

All licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs shall prominently display the license, commission, or permit issued to such program by the department at some point near the entrance of the premises of such program that is open to view by the public.

The department's action revoking or refusing to renew or issue a license, commission, registration, or permit required by this Code section shall be preceded by notice and opportunity for a hearing and shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," except that only 30 days' notice in writing from the commissioner's designee shall be required prior to such revocation or refusal to renew and except that hearings held relating to such action by the department may be closed to the public if the hearing officer determines that an open hearing would be detrimental to the physical or mental health of any child who will testify at that hearing.

It shall be the duty of the department to inspect at regular intervals all licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education programs within the state. The department shall have right of entrance, privilege of inspection, and right of access to all children under the care and control of the license, commission, or permit holder.

If any abuses, derelictions, or deficiencies are made known to the department or its duly authorized agents during their inspection of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program or if, at any time, such are reported to the department, the department shall immediately investigate such matters and take such action as conditions may require.

If any abuses, derelictions, or deficiencies are found in the operation and management of any early care and education program, including failure to pay the required annual license or commission fee, they shall be brought immediately to the attention of the management of such program; and if correctable, but not corrected within a reasonable time, the department shall revoke the license, commission, registration, or permit of such program in the manner prescribed in this Code section.

The department may require periodic reports from early care and education programs in such forms and at such times as the department may prescribe.

Any person who shall operate an early care and education program without a license, commission, registration, or permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding 12 months, or both, for each such offense. Each day of operation without a license, commission, registration, or permit shall constitute a separate offense.

The department may, without regard to the availability of other remedies, including administrative remedies, seek an injunction against the continued operation of an early care and education program without a license, commission, registration, or permit or the continued operation of an early care and education program in willful violation of this chapter or of any regulation of the department or of any order of the department.

Each family child care learning home and child care learning center shall be required to obtain a separate license, commission, or permit for each facility and shall have a separate director for each facility.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-10, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 9, § 1-46/HB 1055; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 10/SB 388; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 5/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, rewrote this Code section.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2009, "Chapter 12A of Title 31" was substituted for "paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 16-12-2" in subsection (h).

20-1A-10.1. Determination of payments and eligibility.

A determination by the department regarding payments and eligibility pursuant to any federal program or grant shall be preceded by notice and opportunity for a hearing and shall constitute a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §20-1A-10.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 6/HB 354; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 402, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-11. Penalties; notice.

  1. Any person who violates the provisions of Code Section 20-1A-10 or who hinders, obstructs, or otherwise interferes with any representative of the department in the discharge of that person's official duties in making inspections or in investigating complaints as provided in such Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    1. Any person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder who:
      1. Violates any licensing, commissioning, or permitting provision of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order issued under this chapter or any term, condition, or limitation of any license, commission, or permit issued under this chapter thereby subjecting a child in care to injury or a life-threatening situation; or
      2. Commits any violation for which a license, commission, or permit may be revoked under rules or regulations issued pursuant to this chapter

        may be subject to a civil penalty, to be imposed by the department, not to exceed $500.00. If any violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation for the purpose of computing the applicable civil penalty.

    2. Whenever the department proposes to subject a person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder to the imposition of a civil penalty under this subsection, it shall notify such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder in writing:
      1. Setting forth the date, facts, and nature of each act or omission with which the person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder is charged;
      2. Specifically identifying the particular provision or provisions of the Code section, rule, regulation, order, or license, commission, or permit requirement involved in the violation; and
      3. Advising of each penalty which the department proposes to impose and its amount.

        Such written notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery by the department to the last known address of such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder. The person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder so notified shall be granted an opportunity to show in writing, within such reasonable period as the department shall by rule or regulation prescribe, why such penalty should not be imposed. The notice shall also advise such person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder that, upon failure to pay the civil penalty subsequently determined by the department, if any, the penalty may be collected by civil action. Any person, license holder, commission holder, or permit holder upon whom a civil penalty is imposed may appeal such action pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

    3. A civil penalty finally determined under this Code section may be collected by civil action in the event that such penalty is not paid as required. On the request of the department, the Attorney General is authorized to institute a civil action to collect a penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall have the exclusive power to compromise, mitigate, or remit such civil penalties as are referred to the Attorney General for collection.
    4. All moneys collected from civil penalties shall be paid to the state for deposit in the general fund.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-11, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 775, § 20/HB 942; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, deleted "as provided in such Code section" following "inspections" in the middle of subsection (a); in paragraph (b)(1), inserted ", license holder, commission holder, or permit holder" in the introductory language, in subparagraph (b)(1)(A), substituted "permitting" for "registration" and substituted "permit issued" for "registration certificate", and, in subparagraph (b)(1)(B), substituted "permit" for "registration certificate"; in paragraph (b)(2), twice inserted ", license holder, commission holder, or permit holder" in the introductory language, in subparagraph (b)(2)(A), inserted ", license holder, commission holder, or permit holder", and, in subparagraph (b)(2)(B), inserted "or" near the middle and substituted "permit requirement" for "registration certificate"; and inserted ", license holder, commission holder, or permit holder" throughout the ending undesignated paragraph of subsection (b).

20-1A-12. Application; "license" defined; actions authorized by department in event of violations; investigations; governmental immunity.

  1. This Code section shall be applicable to any early care and education program which is subject to regulation by the department in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of this Code section, the term "license" shall be used to refer to any license, commission, or permit issued by the department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and the term "licensing requirements" shall be used to refer to any conditions related to the issuance and retention of any license, commission, or permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
  2. The department shall have the authority to take any of the actions enumerated in subsection (c) of this Code section upon a finding that the applicant or holder of a license or registration has:
    1. Knowingly made any false statement of material information in connection with the application for a license or registration, or in statements made or on documents submitted to the department as part of an inspection, survey, or investigation, or in the alteration or falsification of records maintained by the early care and education program;
    2. Failed or refused to provide the department with access to the premises subject to regulation or information pertinent to the initial or continued licensing of the program;
    3. Failed to comply with the licensing requirements or registration requirements of this state;
    4. Failed to pay the annual fee required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10; or
    5. Failed to comply with any provisions of this chapter.
  3. When the department finds that any applicant or holder of a license or registration has violated any provision of subsection (b) of this Code section or laws, rules, regulations, or formal orders related to the initial or continued licensing of the program, the department, subject to notice and opportunity for hearing, may take any of the following actions:
    1. Refuse to grant a license or registration; provided, however, that the department may refuse to grant a license or registration without holding a hearing prior to taking such action. The early care and education program shall have the right to appeal the denial in accordance with subsection (o) of Code Section 20-1A-10; provided, however, that the program shall remain closed until the appeal decision is issued;
    2. Administer a public reprimand;
    3. Suspend any license or registration for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition which may be attached to the restoration of said license or registration;
    4. Prohibit any applicant or holder of a license or registration from allowing a person who previously was involved in the management or control, as defined by rule, of any program which has had its license or registration revoked or denied within the past 12 months to be involved in the management or control of such program;
    5. Revoke any license or registration;
    6. Impose a fine, not to exceed a total of $25,000.00, of up to $500.00 per day for each violation of a law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the initial or ongoing licensing requirement of any program;
    7. Impose a late fee of up to $250.00 for failure of an early care and education program to pay the annual fee required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10 within 30 days of the due date as established by the department; or
    8. Limit or restrict any license as the department deems necessary for the protection of the public or enforcement of any law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the licensing requirements of any program, including, but not limited to, restricting some or all services of or admissions into a program for a time certain.

      In taking any of the actions enumerated in this subsection, the department shall consider the seriousness of the violation, including the circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited acts, and the hazard or potential hazard created to the health or safety of the public.

  4. The department shall deny a license or registration or otherwise restrict a license or registration for any applicant who has had a license or registration denied, revoked, or suspended within one year of the date of an application or who has transferred ownership or governing authority of a program subject to regulation by the department within one year of the date of a new application when such transfer was made in order to avert denial, revocation, or suspension of such license or registration.
  5. With regard to any contested case instituted by the department pursuant to this Code section or other provisions of law which may now or hereafter authorize remedial or disciplinary grounds and action, the department may, in its discretion, dispose of the action so instituted by settlement. In such cases, all parties, successors, and assigns to any settlement agreement shall be bound by the terms specified in such agreement and violation of such agreement thereof by any applicant or holder of a license shall constitute grounds for any action enumerated in subsection (c) of this Code section.
  6. The department shall have the authority to make public or private investigations or examinations inside or outside of this state to determine whether the provisions of this Code section or any other law, rule, regulation, or formal order relating to any licensing requirement of a program has been violated. Such investigations may be initiated at any time, in the discretion of the department, and may continue during the pendency of any action initiated by the department pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section.
  7. For the purpose of conducting any investigation, inspection, or survey, the department shall have the authority to require the production of any books, records, papers, or other information related to any licensing requirement of any program.
  8. Pursuant to the investigation, inspection, and enforcement powers given to the department by this Code section and other applicable laws, the department may assess against a program reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the department pursuant to any administrative or legal action required by the failure of the program to fully comply with the provisions of any law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the initial or continued licensing. Assessments shall not include attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, shall not exceed other actual expenses, and shall only be assessed if such investigations, inspections, or enforcement actions result in adverse findings, as finally determined by the department, pursuant to administrative or legal action.
  9. For any action taken or any proceeding held under this Code section or under color of law, except for gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, the department, when acting in its official capacity, shall be immune from liability and suit to the same extent that any judge of any court of general jurisdiction in this state would be immune.
  10. In an administrative or legal proceeding under this Code section, a person or entity claiming an exemption or an exception granted by law, rule, regulation, or formal order has the burden of proving this exemption or exception.
  11. This Code section and all actions resulting from its provisions shall be administered in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
  12. The provisions of this Code section shall be supplemental to and shall not operate to prohibit the department from acting pursuant to those provisions of law which may now or hereafter authorize remedial or disciplinary grounds and action for the department. In cases where those other provisions of law so authorize other disciplinary grounds and actions, but this Code section limits such grounds or actions, those other provisions shall apply.
  13. The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-12, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 9, § 1-46.1/HB 1055; Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 20/HB 142; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, inserted "or registration" throughout this Code section; in subsection (a), substituted "commission, or permit issued by the department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and the term 'licensing requirements' shall be used to refer to any conditions related to the issuance and retention of any license, commission, or permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter" for "registration, or commission issued by the department pursuant to the provisions of this chapter"; in paragraph (b)(3), inserted "or registration requirements"; in paragraph (b)(4), substituted "required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10" for "for licensure, registration, or commission of early care and education programs"; in paragraph (b)(5), substituted "chapter" for "Code section"; added the last sentence to paragraph (c)(1); in paragraph (c)(7), substituted "required by subsection (k) of Code Section 20-1A-10" for "for licensure, registration, or commission"; inserted "or enforcement of any law, rule, regulation, or formal order related to the licensing requirements of any program" in paragraph (c)(8); in subsection (d), substituted "shall" for "may" near the beginning and substituted "such" for "a" near the end; in subsection (f), substituted "any licensing requirement" for "the licensing"; and, in subsection (g), substituted "any licensing requirement" for "the initial or continued licensing".

20-1A-13. Emergency placement of monitors; emergency closure upon minor's death; requirements and procedures.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Emergency order" or "order" means a written directive by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee placing a monitor in a program or providing notice of intended emergency closure of a program.
    2. "Monitor" means a person designated by the department to remain on site in a program as an agent of the department, observing conditions.
    3. "Preliminary hearing" means a hearing held by the Office of State Administrative Hearings as soon as possible after the order is entered at the request of a program which has been affected by an emergency order placing a monitor in the program or upon notice of intended emergency closure of a program in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
    4. "Program" means a child care learning center or a family child care learning home.
    1. The commissioner or his or her designee may order the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors in a program upon a finding that rules and regulations of the department are being violated which threaten the health, safety, or welfare of children in the care of the program and when one or more of the following conditions are present:
      1. The program is operating without a license, commission, or permit;
      2. The department has denied application for license, commission, or permit or has initiated action to revoke the existing license, commission, or permit of the program; or
      3. Children are suspected of being subjected to injury or life-threatening situations or the health or safety of a child or children is in danger.
    2. A monitor may be placed in a program for no more than ten consecutive calendar days, during which time the monitor shall observe conditions and regulatory compliance with any recommended remedial action of the department. Upon expiration of the ten-day period, should the conditions warrant, the initial ten-day period may be extended for an additional ten-day period. The monitor shall report to the department. The monitor shall not assume any administrative or child-caring responsibility within the program, nor shall the monitor be liable for any actions of the program. The salary and related costs and travel and subsistence allowance as defined by department policy of placing a monitor in a program shall be reimbursed to the department by the program, unless the order placing the monitor is determined to be invalid in a contested case or by final adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction, in which event the cost shall be paid by the department.
    1. The commissioner or his or her designee may issue an order providing notice of intended emergency closure of a program:
      1. Upon the death of a minor at such program, unless such death was medically anticipated or no serious rule violations related to the death by the program were determined by the department; or
      2. Where a child's safety or welfare is in imminent danger.
    2. If a preliminary hearing is not requested pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section, the commissioner shall immediately close such program for a period of not more than 21 days. If a preliminary hearing is requested pursuant to subsection (f) of this Code section, the commissioner may place a monitor in the program until the Office of State Administrative Hearings issues a decision, which shall be considered the final decision of the agency, on the emergency closure. If the Office of State Administrative Hearings finds that the emergency closure is warranted, the commissioner shall immediately close such program for a period of not more than 21 days. If the Office of State Administrative Hearings finds that the emergency closure is not warranted, the commissioner shall not order the emergency closure of the program, but may continue investigating the incident and may place a monitor in the program in accordance with this Code section.
    3. Upon a closure, the program shall be required to immediately notify the parent or guardian of each child enrolled in the program. Upon a closure, the commissioner or his or her designee shall immediately conduct a review into the circumstances of the minor's death or the circumstances where a child's safety or welfare is in imminent danger. If the commissioner determines that the program where such minor's death occurred or where imminent danger exists fails to meet the specifications and requirements of this chapter, the commissioner shall immediately revoke such program's license, commission, or permit. The program shall have the right to appeal the revocation in accordance with subsection (o) of Code Section 20-1A-10; provided, however, that the program shall remain closed until the appeal decision is issued. If the commissioner determines that the administration or conditions of the program were not the cause of the minor's death or that a child's safety and welfare is not in imminent danger or if the department has not issued a revocation notice within the initial closure period, the commissioner shall immediately reopen the program for its continued operation.
  2. An emergency order shall contain the following:
    1. The scope of the order;
    2. The reasons for the issuance of the order;
    3. The effective date of the order if other than the date the order is issued;
    4. The person to whom questions regarding the order are to be addressed; and
    5. Notice of the right to a preliminary hearing.
  3. Unless otherwise provided in the order, an emergency order shall become effective upon its service. Service of an emergency order may be made upon the owner of the facility, the director of the facility, or any other agent, employee, or person in charge of the facility at the time of the service of the order.
  4. A request for a preliminary hearing shall be made in writing within 48 hours from the time of service, excepting weekends. The request shall be made to the representative of the department designated in the order and may be made in person, by facsimile, by e-mail, or by any other means designated in the order.
  5. Upon receipt of a request for a preliminary hearing, the department shall immediately forward the request to the Office of State Administrative Hearings, which shall set and give notice of the date, time, and location of the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing shall be held as soon as possible after a request therefor but in no event later than 48 hours after such request, provided that a program may request that such hearing be held earlier and that in no event shall a hearing be held on a weekend or holiday.
  6. If a hearing is requested, the preliminary hearing shall consist of a review of all oral and written evidence introduced at the hearing and any arguments made. Hearsay shall be admissible in a preliminary hearing in determining the issues relevant to emergency closure of a program or the emergency placement of a monitor or monitors. A recording shall be made of the hearing.
  7. The Office of State Administrative Hearings shall, where practicable, issue an immediate oral order and shall, in all instances, issue a written order within two business days after the close of the hearing.
  8. Pending final appeal of the validity of any emergency order issued as provided in this Code section, such emergency order shall remain in full effect until vacated or rescinded by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.
  9. The department is not precluded from other actions permitted by other laws or regulations during the time an emergency order is in force.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-13, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 20/HB 95; Ga. L. 2011, p. 579, § 1/SB 185; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 1/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "a program" for "an early care and education program" throughout; added paragraph (a)(4); in subsection (b), substituted "permit" for "registration" in subparagraph (b)(1)(A), and, in subparagraph (b)(1)(B), twice substituted "commission, or permit" for "registration, or commission"; and substituted ", commission, or permit" for "in accordance with subsection (o) of Code Section 20-1A-10" in paragraph (c)(3).

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added the second sentence in subsection (h).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2012, "Office of State Administrative Hearings" was substituted for "Office of Administrative Hearings" three times in paragraph (c)(2).

20-1A-14. Variances and waivers to regulatory requirements.

  1. The department upon application or petition may grant variances and waivers to specific rules and regulations which establish standards for early care and education programs regulated by the department as follows:
    1. The department may authorize departure from the literal requirements of a rule or regulation by granting a variance upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the particular rule or regulation that is the subject of the variance request should not be applied as written because strict application would cause undue hardship. The applicant or petitioner additionally must show that adequate standards affording protection of health, safety, and care exist and will be met in lieu of the exact requirements of the rule or regulation in question;
    2. The department may dispense entirely with the enforcement of a rule or regulation by granting a waiver upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the purpose of the rule or regulation is met through equivalent standards affording equivalent protection of health, safety, and care;
    3. The department may grant waivers and variances to allow experimentation and demonstration of new and innovative approaches to delivery of services upon a showing by the applicant or petitioner that the intended protections afforded by the rule or regulation which is the subject of the request are met and that the innovative approach has the potential to improve service delivery;
    4. Waivers or variances which affect an entire class of programs may only be approved by the board and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the board. A notice of the proposed variance or waiver affecting an entire class of programs shall be made in accordance with the requirements for notice of rule making in Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act"; or
    5. Variances or waivers which affect only one program in a class may be approved or denied by the department and shall be for a time certain, as determined by the department. The department shall maintain a record of such action and shall make this information available to the board and all other persons who request it.
  2. The department may exempt classes of programs from regulation when, in the department's judgment, regulation would not permit the purpose intended or the class of programs is subject to similar requirements under other rules and regulations. Such exemptions shall be provided in rules and regulations promulgated by the board.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-14, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-15. Issuance of inspection warrants; evidence generated inadmissible in criminal proceedings.

  1. As used in this chapter, the term "inspection warrant" means a warrant authorizing a search or inspection of private property where such a search or inspection is one that is necessary for the enforcement of any of the provisions of laws authorizing licensure, inspection, or regulation by the department.
  2. The commissioner or the commissioner's delegate, in addition to other procedures now or hereafter provided, may obtain an inspection warrant under the conditions specified in this Code section. Such warrant shall authorize the commissioner or the commissioner's agents to conduct a search or inspection of property, either with or without the consent of the person whose property is to be searched or inspected, if such search or inspection is one that is elsewhere authorized under the rules and regulations duly promulgated under this chapter or any provision of law which authorizes licensure, inspection, or regulation by the department.
  3. Inspection warrants shall be issued only by a judge of a court of record whose territorial jurisdiction encompasses the property to be inspected.
  4. The issuing judge shall issue the warrant when such judge is satisfied that the following conditions are met:
    1. The one seeking the warrant must establish under oath or affirmation that the property to be inspected is to be inspected as a part of a legally authorized program of inspection which includes that property or that there is probable cause for believing that there is a condition, object, activity, or circumstance which legally justifies such an inspection of that property; and
    2. The issuing judge determines that the issuance of the warrant is authorized by this Code section.
  5. The inspection warrant shall be validly issued only if it meets the following requirements:
    1. The warrant is attached to the affidavit required to be made in order to obtain the warrant;
    2. The warrant describes, either directly or by reference to the affidavit, the property upon which the inspection is to occur and is sufficiently accurate that the executor of the warrant and the owner or possessor of the property can reasonably determine from it the property of which the warrant authorizes an inspection;
    3. The warrant indicates the conditions, objects, activities, or circumstances which the inspection is intended to check or reveal; and
    4. The warrant refers, in general terms, to the statutory or regulatory provisions sought to be enforced.
  6. No facts discovered or evidence obtained in an inspection conducted under authority of an inspection warrant issued pursuant to this chapter shall be competent as evidence in any criminal proceeding against any party.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-15, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-16. Coordination of efforts between departments and agencies.

It shall be the duty of all other state departments, agencies, officers, and employees to assure the most effective coordination and use of state resources, personnel, and facilities for the benefit of children and youths and to assist the department in effectuating the purposes of this chapter by making available to the department upon request of the board or commissioner and to the extent permissible by law the services, resources, personnel, and facilities of their respective departments and agencies.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-16, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-17. Transfer of programs from Department of Education.

The commissioner and the State School Superintendent, with the concurrence of the board for the department and the State Board of Education, are authorized to transfer programs relating to early childhood education from the Department of Education to the department, as long as such programs are not expressly assigned to the Department of Education by statute.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-17, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-18. Information on influenza vaccine.

  1. Each child care learning center and family child care learning home shall, by September 1 of each year, provide to the parent or guardian of each child enrolled therein educational information on the influenza vaccine. Such information shall include, but not be limited to:
    1. The causes and symptoms of influenza and the means by which it is spread;
    2. The risks associated with influenza;
    3. The availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of the influenza vaccine; and
    4. Related recommendations issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the recommended ages at which children receive the influenza vaccine.
  2. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Code section shall not subject any such child care learning center or family child care learning home to any civil or criminal liability.
  3. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require any child care learning center or family child care learning home to provide or pay for immunizations against influenza.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-18, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 734, § 1/HB 845; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 1/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "child care learning center and family child care learning home shall, by September 1 of each year, provide to the parent or guardian of each child enrolled therein" for "early care and education program shall, by September 1 of each year, provide to the parent or guardian of each child enrolled in the program" in subsection (a); substituted the present provisions of subsection (b) for the former provisions, which read: "The failure on the part of an early care and education program to comply with the provisions of this Code section shall not subject such program to any civil or criminal liability.; and in subsection (c), substituted "child care learning center or family child care learning home" for "early care and education program".

ARTICLE 2 BACKGROUND CHECKS

20-1A-30. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Comprehensive records check determination" means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the department, based upon a Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint check, a search of the National Crime Information Center's National Sex Offender Registry, and a search of the following registries, repositories, or data bases in the state where the actual or potential employee or director resides and in each state where such individual resided during the preceding five years: criminal registry or repository, with the use of fingerprints being required in the state where the individual resides and optional in other states; state sex offender registry or repository; and state based child abuse and neglect registry and data base.
  2. "Conviction" means a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought.
  3. "Crime" means:
    1. Any felony;
    2. A violation of Code Section 16-5-23 when the victim is a minor;
    3. A violation of Code Section 16-5-23.1 when the victim is a minor;
    4. A violation of Code Section 16-12-1;
    5. A violation of Chapter 6 of Title 16;
    6. A violation of Code Section 16-4-1;
    7. A violation of Code Section 16-5-29;
    8. A violation of Code Section 16-5-60 when the victim is a minor;
    9. A violation of Code Section 16-5-70;
    10. A violation of Code Section 16-12-1.1;
    11. A violation of Code Section 16-12-100, 16-12-100.1, 16-12-100.2, or 16-12-100.3;
    12. A violation of Code Section 40-6-391 when a child is endangered;
    13. A violation of Code Section 19-7-5; or
    14. Any other offenses committed in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would be one of the enumerated crimes listed in this paragraph.
  4. "Criminal record" means:
    1. Conviction of a crime;
    2. Arrest, charge, and sentencing for a crime where:
      1. A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge;
      2. First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16, relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or
      3. Adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge; provided, however, that this division shall not apply to a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16, relating to controlled substances, or any other offense committed in another jurisdiction which, if it were committed in this state, would be a violation of Chapter 13 of Title 16 if such violation or offense constituted only simple possession; or
    3. Arrest and being charged for a crime if the charge is pending, unless the time for prosecuting such crime has expired pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 17.
  5. "Director" means the on-site manager of a facility, designated by the legal owner, who is responsible for the supervision, operation, and maintenance of an early care and education program and meets the minimum qualifications as determined by the department.
  6. "Employee" means any person, other than a director, who is compensated by an early care and education program; or who cares for, supervises, or has unsupervised access to children at the facility; or who is 17 years of age or older and resides at the facility; or who, with or without compensation, performs duties or services that benefit the early care and education program which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for by the early care and education program; however, a parent or legal guardian of a child in care shall not be considered an employee unless such parent or legal guardian is deemed an employee by the early care and education program or either resides at the early care and education program or is compensated in any fashion by the early care and education program except through appropriate state or federal funds.
  7. "Employment history" means a record of where a person has worked for the past ten years.
  8. "Facility" means an early care and education program's real property at which children are received for care.
  9. "Fingerprint" means an inked fingerprint card or an electronic image of a person's fingerprint.
  10. "Fingerprint records check determination" means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the department based upon fingerprint based national criminal history record information.
  11. "GCIC" means the Georgia Crime Information Center established under Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 35.
  12. "GCIC information" means criminal history record information, as defined in Code Section 35-3-30.
  13. "Provisional employee" means an individual other than a director whose duties involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility and who is hired for a limited period of time.
  14. "Records check application" means a document created by the department to be completed and submitted to the department by every actual and potential director and employee that indicates such information as the department deems appropriate and which authorizes the department to receive any sex offender registry, child abuse and neglect registry, and criminal history record information pertaining to such individual from any local, state, or national agency or appropriate jurisdiction and render a fingerprint or comprehensive records check determination.
  15. "Satisfactory determination" means a written declaration that a person for whom a fingerprint or comprehensive records check determination was performed was found to have no criminal record.
  16. "Unsatisfactory determination" means a written declaration that a person for whom a fingerprint or comprehensive records check determination was performed was found to have a criminal record.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-30, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 135, § 7/HB 354; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 4-31/HB 242; Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20/SB 340; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 2/HB 494; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2014 amendment, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted ", relating to battery," preceding "when the victim" in subparagraph (3)(C).

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, deleted former paragraph (1) which read: " 'Center' means a group day care home, family day care home, or child care learning center which is allowed to operate or is required to be licensed, commissioned, or registered under Article 1 of this chapter."; redesignated former paragraphs (2) through (12) as present paragraphs (1) through (11), respectively; substituted "an early care and education program" for "the center" in paragraph (4); in paragraph (5), substituted "an early care and education program to perform" for "a center to perform at any of the center's facilities", twice substituted "early care and education program" for "center" and added "; however, a parent or legal guardian of a child in care shall not be considered an employee unless such parent or legal guardian is deemed an employee by the early care and education program or either resides at the early care and education program or is compensated in any fashion by the early care and education program except through appropriate state or federal funds" to the end; substituted "an early care and education program's" for "a center's" in paragraph (7); deleted former paragraph (13), which read: " 'License' means the document issued by the department to authorize the center to which it is issued to operate a facility."; redesignated former paragraphs (14) through (18) as present paragraphs (12) through (16), respectively; and, in paragraph (14), deleted ", notarized," following "completed" near the beginning and substituted "early care and education program name and" for "center".

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added paragraph (1); redesignated former paragraphs (1) through (11) as present paragraphs (2) through (12), respectively; inserted a comma in paragraph (2); deleted "or" at the end of subparagraph (3)(F); added subparagraphs (3)(G) through (3)(M); redesignated former subparagraph (3)(G) as present subparagraph (3)(N); in paragraph (5), added a comma following "facility" and "legal owner" near the middle; in paragraph (6), near the middle, substituted "who is compensated by an early care and education program; or who cares for, supervises, or has unsupervised access to children at the facility; or who is 17 years of age or older and resides at the facility; or who, with or without compensation, performs duties or services that benefit" for "who is 17 years of age or older and is employed by an early care and education program to perform any duties which involve personal contact between that person and any child being cared for at the facility and also includes any adult person who resides at the facility or who, with or without compensation, performs duties for"; deleted former paragraph (12), which read: " 'Preliminary records check determination' means a satisfactory or unsatisfactory determination by the director based only upon a comparison of GCIC information obtained solely from a law enforcement agency within the state with other than fingerprint information regarding the person upon whom the records check is being performed for purposes of this article."; substituted "time" for "employment" at the end of paragraph (13); substituted the present provisions of paragraph (14) for the former provisions, which read: " 'Records check application' means a document created by the department to be completed and submitted to the department by every actual and potential director and employee that indicates such director's name, early care and education program name and type, and such other information as the department deems appropriate and which authorizes the department to receive and render a fingerprint records check determination pursuant to any criminal history record information pertaining to such individual from any local, state, or national criminal justice or law enforcement agency."; and substituted "fingerprint or comprehensive" for "preliminary or fingerprint" in paragraphs (15) and (16).

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "fingerprint based" for "fingerprint-based" in paragraph (10).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section28-9-3, in 2013, the amendment to paragraph (3) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2013, p. 285/HB 350, § 2, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2013, p. 294/HB 242, § 4-31, due to irreconcilable conflict. See County of Butts v. Strahan, 151 Ga. 417 (1921); Keener v. McDougall, 232 Ga. 273 (1974), and Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 54(d)/HB 79.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 5-1/HB 242, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014, and shall apply to all offenses which occur and juvenile proceedings commenced on and after such date. Any offense occurring before January 1, 2014, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense and shall be considered a prior adjudication for the purpose of imposing a disposition that provides for a different penalty for subsequent adjudications, of whatever class, pursuant to this Act. The enactment of this Act shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before January 1, 2014, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions."

20-1A-31. Records check application for potential employees; comprehensive records check determination.

  1. A support center may furnish to the department a records check application for each potential employee of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program. Before a person affiliated with a support center may become an employee of any licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program, such person shall obtain a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory. All potential employees, excluding students currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education, may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such potential employee received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory and that includes a records check determination clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that any employee whose fingerprint records check determination revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. A student currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such student received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory and that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 24 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that such student whose comprehensive records check determination revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the employee's personnel file, which is available to the department upon request, and which reflects that a comprehensive records check determination that was satisfactory was received before the employee is allowed to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility. If the comprehensive records check determination for any potential employee reveals a criminal record of any kind, such potential employee shall not be allowed to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility until such potential employee has either obtained a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. If the comprehensive records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of such unsatisfactory determination, take such steps as are necessary so that such employee is no longer present at a facility while children are present for care and no longer resides in the facility. The time frames set forth in this subsection shall not apply when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33.
  2. Notwithstanding the limited period of portability, every person affiliated with a support center as a potential employee of a licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall undergo additional comprehensive records check determinations such that the time between such additional comprehensive records check determinations and that person's previous comprehensive records check determination shall not exceed five years, except when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45.
  3. After the issuance of a registration, the department may require additional comprehensive records check determinations on any person affiliated with a support center during the course of a child abuse investigation involving such person or when the department has reason to believe such person has a criminal record that renders such person ineligible to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-31, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-1/SB 336; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 3/HB 494; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "(a) Each center shall be required to obtain a separate license for each facility and shall have a separate director for each facility.

"(b) An applicant for a new license shall apply for a separate license for each new facility in this state owned or operated by that applicant and shall have a separate director for each such facility."

The 2018 amendments. The first 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, rewrote subsection (a); in subsection (b), inserted "an" near the middle, substituted "check determination" for "checks" twice in the middle, inserted "determination" near the end, and added the exception at the end. The second 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" throughout this Code section; rewrote subsection (a); in subsection (b), inserted "determinations" twice, inserted "determination" near the end, and added ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" at the end; and, in subsection (c), substituted "be present at a facility" for "reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program" and added "or to reside in a facility" at the end. See the Code Commission note regarding the effect of these amendments.

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, in subsection (b), substituted "comprehensive records check determinations" for "comprehensive records checks determinations" in two places and added a comma following "Code Section 35-3-33".

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2018, the amendment of portions of subsection (b) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-1/SB 336, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 3/HB 494, due to irreconcilable conflict.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 119 (2018).

20-1A-32. Program license or commission applicants; comprehensive records check requirements; change of ownership.

  1. Accompanying any application for a new license or commission for an early care and education program, the applicant shall furnish to the department a records check application for the director and each employee. In lieu of such records check applications, the license applicant may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that such individual received a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that any director or employee whose comprehensive records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. Either the department or the appropriate agencies may charge reasonable and additional processing fees for providing information pursuant to a records check application as required by statute, regulation, or policy or by GCIC.
  2. Each change of ownership applicant shall furnish to the department a records check application for the director and each employee. In lieu of such records check applications, the change of ownership applicant may submit evidence that the director and each employee at that facility received a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 60 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that any director or employee whose comprehensive records check determination revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. Failure to comply with this provision shall prevent the department from issuing a license or commission.
  3. Any change of ownership applicant that operates under a permit granted by the department shall verify and maintain evidence sufficient to the department that each employee and director who was employed under the former ownership and will continue to work during the permit period has a satisfactory records check determination. If the department determines a change of ownership applicant knows or should reasonably know that any such individual has a criminal record and allows the individual to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care, the department shall revoke the permit to operate and deny the license or commission for that early care and education program. Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, all requirements for new and provisional employees hired after the issuance of a permit shall apply.
  4. The time frames set forth in this Code section shall not apply when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-32, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-2/SB 336; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 4/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "Effective January 1, 2014, accompanying any application for a new license for a facility, the applicant shall furnish to the department a records check application for the director and each employee. In lieu of such records check applications, the license applicant may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that within the immediately preceding 12 months the director or employee received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination, or that any director or employee whose fingerprint records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. Either the department or the appropriate law enforcement agencies may charge reasonable and additional processing fees for performing fingerprint records checks as required by statute, regulation, or policy or by GCIC."

The 2018 amendments. The first 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added subsection (d). The second 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" throughout this Code section; in subsection (a), inserted ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" twice in the second sentence, and, in the last sentence, deleted "law enforcement" preceding "agencies" and substituted "providing information pursuant to a records check application" for "performing fingerprint records checks" near the end; and, in the second sentence of subsection (b), inserted ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" twice, and inserted "determination" near the end.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 119 (2018).

20-1A-33. Notification to applicant on comprehensive records check.

After being furnished the required records check application under Code Section 20-1A-32, the department shall notify the license, commission, or change of ownership applicant and the records check applicant in writing whether the department's determination as to a potential director or potential employee is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If the comprehensive records check determination was satisfactory as to the potential director and each potential employee of a license applicant's facility, that applicant may be issued a license or commission for that facility if the applicant otherwise qualifies for a license or commission under Article 1 of this chapter. If the comprehensive records check determination for a potential director or any potential employee revealed a criminal record, such potential director or potential employee shall not be allowed to be present at the facility while any child is present for care or to reside in the facility until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-33, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 5/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, inserted "potential" throughout this Code section; inserted ", commission, or change of ownership" in the first sentence; inserted "or commission" in the second sentence; substituted "reside at an early care and education program or be present in the early care and education program while any child is present for care" for "work in the center while any child is present" in the third sentence; and substituted "or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program" for "of a center if the center" in the last sentence.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" three times; deleted "fingerprint" preceding "records check" in the first sentence; and, in the third sentence, inserted "determination" near the beginning, substituted "be present at the facility" for "reside at an early care and education program or be present in the early care and education program" in the middle, inserted "or to reside in the facility", and added ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" at the end.

20-1A-34. Check of fingerprints on national level; satisfactory determination prior to employment; additional records checks; retention of fingerprints.

  1. The department shall receive a records check application, as may be required by the department and allowed under federal law, for any individual that cares for children through a program that receives, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children. Upon receipt of such records check application, the department shall comply with all rules of GCIC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the request and receipt of national fingerprint based criminal history reports. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to GCIC. Within ten days after receiving fingerprints acceptable to GCIC, the application, and fee, GCIC shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including, but not limited to, any criminal record, of the state fingerprint records check or if there is no such finding. GCIC shall also conduct a search of Federal Bureau of Investigation records and fingerprints and notify the department in writing of the results of such search. Upon receipt of the bureau's report, the department shall make a national fingerprint records check determination. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory for an individual, the department shall notify the provider and the employee of such determination in writing, and no such individual shall be allowed to be present at the facility when any child is present for care or to reside in the facility until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall cease to issue funds, either directly or indirectly, to any individual or program that willfully and continually fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.
  2. Every potential employee of the department or contractor performing duties on behalf of the department who may have any reason to be present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while any child is present for care must receive a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or have had an unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, prior to being present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while children are present for care. Every current employee of the department who may have any reason to be present at a licensed or commissioned early care and education program while any child is present for care must receive a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or have had an unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. Every employee of the department shall undergo additional comprehensive records check determinations such that the time between such additional comprehensive records check determinations and that employee's previous comprehensive records check determination shall not exceed five years except when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall maintain documentation in the appropriate personnel file indicating that such person has obtained such current comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had an unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45.
  3. If the department is participating in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be authorized to retain fingerprints obtained pursuant to this Code section for such program and the department shall notify the individual whose fingerprints were taken of the parameters of such retention.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-34, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-3/SB 336; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 6/HB 494; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "(a) The department shall transmit to GCIC both sets of fingerprints and the records search fee from each fingerprint records check application. Upon receipt thereof, GCIC shall promptly transmit one set of fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of bureau records and an appropriate report and shall retain the other set and promptly conduct a search of its records and records to which it has access. Within ten days after receiving fingerprints acceptable to GCIC, the application, and fee, GCIC shall notify the department in writing of any derogatory finding, including but not limited to any criminal record, of the state fingerprint records check or if there is no such finding. After a search of Federal Bureau of Investigation records and fingerprints and upon receipt of the bureau's report, the department shall make a national fingerprint records check determination.

"(b) Every potential employee of the department who may have any reason to be present at a center while any child is present for care must receive a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43 prior to employment. Every current employee of the department who may have any reason to be present at a center while any child is present for care must receive a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43 by January 1, 2014. Every employee of the department shall undergo additional fingerprint records checks such that the time between such additional fingerprint records checks and that employee's previous fingerprint records check shall not exceed five years. The department shall maintain documentation in the appropriate personnel file indicating that such person has obtained such current satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or has had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43."

The 2018 amendments. The first 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in subsection (b), inserted "that is satisfactory" in the middle of the first, second, and fourth sentences, deleted "satisfactory" preceding "fingerprint records check" near the middle of the first, second, and fourth sentences, deleted "fingerprint records check" following "unsatisfactory" in the middle of the first, second, and fourth sentences, in the third sentence, inserted "an" near the beginning, substituted "check determination" for "checks" in two places in the middle, and added the exception at the end; and added subsection (c). The second 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, throughout this Code section, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" and inserted ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45"; in subsection (a), revised punctuation in the middle of the fourth sentence, in the middle of the seventh sentence, inserted a comma following "writing", deleted "reside at the location or" preceding "be present", substituted "facility" for "location", and inserted "or to reside in the facility", and inserted "willfully and continually" in the last sentence; and, in subsection (b), in the third sentence, inserted "determinations" twice and inserted "determination". See the Code Commission note regarding the effect of these amendments.

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, in subsection (a), substituted "rules of GCIC" for "rules of the GCIC" in the second sentence, "fingerprints to GCIC" for "fingerprints to the GCIC" at the end of the third sentence, and "GCIC shall" for "The GCIC shall" at the beginning of the fifth sentence; and, in subsection (b), substituted "comprehensive records check determinations" for "comprehensive records checks determinations" in two places in the third sentence.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2018, the amendment of portions of subsection (b) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-3/SB 336, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 6/HB 494, due to irreconcilable conflict.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 119 (2018).

20-1A-35. Provisional employees; receipt of satisfactory determination; revocation of license, commission, or permit for violations.

  1. Where there is need for a provisional employee to work at a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program facility, such early care and education program may utilize an individual as a provisional employee only after the individual receives a satisfactory determination pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the department in accordance with this article. No such provisional employee shall be present at a facility while any child is present for care or reside in a facility until such satisfactory determination has been made. The board shall be authorized to define and enforce all regulations pertaining to provisional employees. The department may revoke the license, commission, or permit of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the rules and regulations pertaining to provisional employees.
  2. If the department determines a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program knows or should reasonably know that a provisional employee has a criminal record and allows the provisional employee to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside at a facility, the department shall revoke the license, commission, or permit for that early care and education program.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-35, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 7/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "Where there is need for a provisional employee to work at a center's facility, such center may utilize an individual as a provisional employee only after the director reviews a preliminary records check and makes a satisfactory determination in accordance with this article. No such provisional employee shall be present in the facility while any child is present for care until such satisfactory preliminary records check determination has been made based upon GCIC information obtained from local law enforcement within the prior ten days. The board shall be authorized to define and enforce by regulations, including, but not limited to, the length of time a provisional employee may be present at a facility without a fingerprint records check determination. The department may revoke the license of a center if the center fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section and employs a person with an unsatisfactory preliminary records check determination."

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, rewrote subsection (a); and, in subsection (b), substituted "employee to be present at a facility" for "employee to reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program" in the middle and inserted "or to reside at a facility" near the end.

20-1A-36. Certain offenders prohibited as employees of facilities.

No licensed, commissioned, or permitted facility operated as an early care and education program or similar facility or any operator of such a facility shall allow any person who has been convicted of or who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any offense specified in Code Section 16-12-1.1 to be present at a facility while children are present for care or allow any such person to reside in or be domiciled at such facility in violation of Code Section 16-12-1.1. The department shall either deny the issuance of or revoke the license, commission, or registration of any such facility violating the provisions of this Code section. The powers and duties set forth in this Code section are cumulative and not intended to limit the powers and duties set forth throughout this article.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-36, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 8/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, in the first sentence, inserted "licensed, commissioned, or permitted" at the beginning, substituted "allow" for "employ" near the beginning, and inserted "to reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care" near the middle.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in the first sentence, substituted "be present at a facility" for "reside in an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program" and substituted "reside in" for "reside at".

20-1A-37. Director or employee residing in family child care learning home or at certain programs; comprehensive records check requirements.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a director or employee who resides in a family child care learning home, as defined by Code Section 20-1A-2, or at any program as determined by the department and allowed under federal law to receive, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children shall be required to provide a records check application to the department. Upon receipt of such records check application, the department shall comply with all the rules and regulations promulgated by GCIC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the request and receipt of national fingerprint based criminal history reports. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to GCIC and appropriate agencies. If the comprehensive records check determination is unsatisfactory, the department shall notify the provider and the employee of such determination in writing, and no such individual shall be allowed to be present at the facility when any child is present for care or to reside in the facility until he or she either has obtained a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall revoke the license, commission, or permit of a family child care learning home if the family child care learning home fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-37, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 9/HB 494; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "child care learning home, as defined by Code Section 20-1A-2, or at any program as determined by the department and allowed under federal law to receive, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children" for "day-care home, as defined by Code Section 20-1A-2" in the first sentence; added the second and third sentences; substituted "individual shall be allowed to reside at the location or be present at the location" for "employee shall be allowed to reside at the day-care home or be present at the day-care home" in the fourth sentence; and added the last sentence.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in the first sentence, substituted "a director or employee" for "an individual" near the beginning and deleted "fingerprint" preceding "records check" near the end; added "and appropriate agencies" at the end of the third sentence; and, in the fourth sentence, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" twice, inserted a comma following "determination in writing" near the middle, substituted "be present at the facility" for "reside at the location or be present at the location", inserted "or to reside in the facility" in the middle, and added ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" at the end.

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted "the" preceding "GCIC" in the second and third sentences.

20-1A-38. Change of directors; records check requirements.

  1. If the director of a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program ceases to be the director of that early care and education program, the license holder, commission holder, or permit holder shall thereupon designate a new director. After such change, the license holder, commission holder, or permit holder of that early care and education program shall notify the department of such change and of any additional information the department may require regarding the newly designated director of that early care and education program, including a records check application. Such individuals shall also submit all necessary applications, fees, and acceptable fingerprints to GCIC and appropriate agencies. If the department determines that such newly designated director has received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory and that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or had an unsatisfactory determination reversed pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-43 within the prior 12 months, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, such determination shall be deemed to be satisfactory for purposes of this article. The time frames set forth in this subsection shall not apply when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33.
  2. If the department determines under subsection (a) of this Code section that a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program knows or should reasonably know that the newly designated director has a criminal record or an unsatisfactory determination issued by the department that has not been reversed pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, and allows the director to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in the facility, then the license, commission, or permit for that program shall be revoked.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-38, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-4/SB 336; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 10/HB 494.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "(a) If the director of a facility ceases to be the director of that facility, the licensee shall thereupon designate a new director. After such change, the licensee of that facility shall notify the department in writing of such change and of any additional information the department may require regarding the newly designated director of that facility, including a fingerprint records check application. If the department determines that such newly designated director has had a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or an unsatisfactory determination reversed pursuant to Code Section 20-1A-43 within the prior 12 months, such determination shall be deemed to be satisfactory for purposes of this article. The license of that facility shall not be adversely affected by that change in director, and the licensee shall be so notified.

"(b) If the department determines under subsection (a) of this Code section that there has ever been an unsatisfactory preliminary or state or national fingerprint records check determination of the newly designated director which has not been legally reversed, the center and that director shall be so notified. The license for that director's facility shall be indefinitely suspended or revoked unless the unsatisfactory determination as to that director is reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43 or the center designates another director pursuant to the provisions of this Code section relating to a change of director.

"(c) If the department determines under subsection (a) of this Code section that there have been no satisfactory or legally reversed fingerprint records check determinations regarding the newly designated director within the immediately preceding 12 months, the department shall so notify the center. Upon such notification, the newly designated director shall follow the procedures for new directors as outlined in Code Section 20-1A-39, or the license of that facility shall be indefinitely suspended or revoked."

The 2018 amendments. The first 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in subsection (a), deleted "the" preceding "GCIC" near the end of the third sentence, in the fourth sentence, deleted "satisfactory" preceding "fingerprint records check" near the middle, inserted "is satisfactory and that" in the middle, and added the fifth sentence. The second 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, inserted ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45" twice in the last sentence of subsection (a) and in the middle of subsection (b); in subsection (a), deleted "fingerprint" preceding "records check" near the end of the second sentence, substituted "fingerprints to GCIC and appropriate agencies" for "fingerprints to the GCIC" at the end of the third sentence, and substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" near the middle of the last sentence; and substituted "be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in the facility, then the license, commission, or permit for that program" for "reside at an early care and education program or be present at an early care and education program while children are present for care, then the license, commission, or permit for that facility" near the end of subsection (b).

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 119 (2018).

20-1A-39. Potential employees; current employees and directors; comprehensive records check requirements; satisfactory determination; liability for hiring ineligible employee.

  1. Before a person may become an employee of any early care and education program after that early care and education program has received a license or commission, that early care and education program shall require that person to obtain a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory. All potential employees, excluding students currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education, may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that the potential employee received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory and that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 12 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that any potential employee whose comprehensive records check revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. A student currently enrolled in an early education curriculum through an accredited school of higher education may submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, that the student received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory and that includes a records check clearance date that is no more than 24 months old, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45, or that such student whose comprehensive records check determination revealed a criminal record of any kind has either subsequently received a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the employee's personnel file, which is available to the department upon request, which reflects that a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory was received before the employee is eligible to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility. If the comprehensive records check determination for any potential employee reveals a criminal record of any kind, such potential employee shall be ineligible to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility until such potential employee has either obtained a comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had the unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. If the comprehensive records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of such unsatisfactory determination, take such immediate steps as are necessary so that such person is no longer present at the facility while children are present for care and no longer resides in the facility. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section. The time frames set forth in this subsection shall not apply when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33.
  2. Effective January 1, 2019, every employee and director of any licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall undergo additional comprehensive records check determinations such that the time between such additional comprehensive records check determinations and that employee's or director's previous comprehensive records check determination shall not exceed five years except when fingerprints have been retained by the department due to its participation in the program described in subparagraph (a)(1)(F) of Code Section 35-3-33, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The early care and education program shall maintain documentation in the appropriate personnel file, which is available to the department immediately upon request, indicating that such person has obtained such current comprehensive records check determination that is satisfactory or has had an unsatisfactory comprehensive records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.
  3. A license or commission shall be subject to revocation and the department may refuse to issue a license or commission if a director or employee does not undergo the comprehensive records check determination applicable to that director or employee and receive acceptable determinations.
  4. After the issuance of a license, commission, or permit, the department may require additional comprehensive records check determinations on any director or employee when the department has reason to believe the director or employee has a criminal record that renders the director or employee ineligible to have contact with children in the early care and education program, or during the course of a child abuse investigation involving the director or employee.
  5. No licensed or commissioned early care and education program may allow any person to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility as a director or an employee unless there is on file in the early care and education program an employment history and a satisfactory comprehensive records check determination or proof that an unsatisfactory determination has been reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43, notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45. The department shall revoke the license or commission of any early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section.
  6. A license holder, commission holder, permit holder, or director of a licensed, commissioned, or permitted early care and education program that allows an employee or director about whom such license holder, commission holder, permit holder, or director knows or should reasonably know to have a criminal record that renders the employee or director ineligible to have contact with children to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-39, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401; Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-5/SB 336; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 11/HB 494; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, rewrote this Code section.

The 2018 amendments. The first 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, deleted "satisfactory" preceding "fingerprint records check" and inserted "that is satisfactory" throughout subsection (a) and in the second sentence of subsection (c); in subsection (a), in the second and third sentences, inserted "is satisfactory and that" in the middle, deleted "fingerprint records check" following "unsatisfactory" near the end of the fifth sentence and in the second sentence of subsection (c), and added the eighth sentence; in subsection (c), in the first sentence, inserted "an" near the middle, substituted "check determination" for "checks" two times in the middle, and added the exception at the end. The second 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, throughout this Code section, substituted "comprehensive" for "fingerprint" and inserted ", notwithstanding Code Section 20-1A-45"; rewrote subsection (a); deleted former subsection (b), which read: "By no later than January 1, 2017, every current employee and director of any licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall obtain either a satisfactory fingerprint records check determination or shall have had an unsatisfactory fingerprint records check determination reversed in accordance with Code Section 20-1A-43. The early care and education program shall maintain such documentation in the appropriate personnel file, which is available to the department immediately upon request. If the fingerprint records check determination is unsatisfactory, the licensed or commissioned early care and education program shall, after receiving notification of the determination, take such steps as are necessary so that such person no longer resides at the early care and education program or is no longer present at the early care and education program while children are present for care. The department shall revoke the license or commission of an early care and education program if the early care and education program fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section."; redesignated former subsections (c) through (g) as present subsections (b) through (f), respectively; and, in subsection (b), in the first sentence, inserted "determinations" twice and inserted "determination"; deleted "suspension or" preceding "revocation" near the beginning of subsection (c); substituted "be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility" for "reside at an early care and education program or be present at a licensed or permitted early care and education program while children are present for care" in the middle of the first sentence of subsection (e); and, in subsection (f), substituted "program that allows an employee or director about" for "program having an employee or director" in the middle and substituted "to be present at a facility while children are present for care or to reside in a facility" for "in the early care and education program" near the end. See the Code Commission note regarding the effect of these amendments.

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "comprehensive records check determinations" for "comprehensive records checks determinations" in two places in the first sentence of subsection (b).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2018, the amendment of portions of subsection (b) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2018, p. 507, § 2-5/SB 336, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 11/HB 494, due to irreconcilable conflict.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 119 (2018).

20-1A-40. Cooperation with GCIC and other law enforcement agencies; fees; penalty for misuse of information.

  1. GCIC and law enforcement agencies which have access to GCIC information shall cooperate with the department in performing preliminary and fingerprint records check determinations required under this article and shall provide such information so required for such records checks notwithstanding any other law to the contrary and may charge reasonable fees therefor.
  2. Any person who knowingly and under false pretenses requests, obtains, or attempts to obtain GCIC information otherwise authorized to be obtained pursuant to this article, or who knowingly communicates or attempts to communicate such information obtained pursuant to this article to any person or entity except in accordance with this article, or who knowingly uses or attempts to use such information obtained pursuant to this article for any purpose other than as authorized by this article shall be fined not more than $5,000.00, imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-40, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-41. Liability for information or determinations made based upon records check.

  1. Neither GCIC, the department, any law enforcement agency, nor the employees of any such entities shall be responsible for the accuracy of information nor have any liability for defamation, invasion of privacy, negligence, or any other claim in connection with any dissemination of information or determination based thereon pursuant to this article.
  2. An early care and education program, its director, and its employees shall have no liability for defamation, invasion of privacy, or any other claim based upon good faith action thereby pursuant to the requirements of this article.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-41, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, substituted "An early care and education program" for "A center" at the beginning of subsection (b).

20-1A-42. Construction with Article 1.

The requirements of this article are supplemental to any requirements for a license imposed by Article 1 of this chapter.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-42, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-43. Contested case procedure following rejection or other suspension of license or application.

A determination by the department regarding preliminary or fingerprint records checks under this article, or any action by the department revoking, suspending, or refusing to grant or renew a license based upon such determination, shall constitute a contested case for purposes of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," except that any hearing required to be held pursuant thereto may be held reasonably expeditiously after such determination or action by the department. It is expressly provided that upon motion from any party, the hearing officer may, in his or her discretion, consider matters in mitigation of any conviction only if all terms of probation have been successfully completed, provided that the hearing officer examines the circumstances of the case and makes an independent finding that no physical harm was done to a victim and also examines the character and employment history since the conviction and determines that there is no propensity for cruel behavior or behavior involving moral turpitude on the part of the person making a motion for an exception to sanctions normally imposed. If the hearing officer deems a hearing to be appropriate, he or she shall also notify at least 30 days prior to such hearing the office of the prosecuting attorney who initiated the prosecution of the case in question in order to allow such prosecutor to object to a possible determination that the conviction would not be a bar for the grant or continuation of a license or employment as contemplated within this chapter. If objections are made, the hearing officer shall take such objections into consideration in considering the case.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-43, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401.)

The 2015 amendment, effective January 1, 2016, inserted "only if all terms of probation have been successfully completed" in the second sentence.

20-1A-44. Regulatory authority.

The board is authorized to provide by regulation for the administration of this article.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-44, enacted by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 285, § 2/HB 350; Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 965, § 2/HB 401, effective January 1, 2016, reenacted this Code section without change.

20-1A-45. Valid period for records check for separated employees.

A satisfactory comprehensive records check determination shall be no longer valid for an employee or director who has been separated from employment for more than 180 consecutive days from an early care and education program or any program that received, either directly or indirectly, federal funds through the department for the care of children.

(Code 1981, §20-1A-45, enacted by Ga. L. 2018, p. 1101, § 12/HB 494.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2018.

ARTICLE 3 CHILD CARE COUNCIL

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1993, p. 1063, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, amends Ga. L. 1991, p. 1648, § 3 to read: "The Georgia Child Care Council shall continue in existence so long as federal child care funds are available to the State of Georgia for support of such council." As of June, 2012, federal child care funds were not available to the State of Georgia for support of such council.

Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, § 3, effective October 1, 2004, designated these provisions as Article 3.

20-1A-60 through 20-1A-64.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 5-1/HB 553, effective July 1, 2019.

Editor's notes.

- This article consisted of Code Sections20-1A-60 through20-1A-64, relating to child care council, and was based on Code 1981, §§ 49-5-240 through49-5-244, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 1648, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1063, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 49; Code Section20-1A-61, as redesignated by Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 2004, p. 645, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 2004, p. 690, § 23;Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 20/HB 95; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, §§ 2-2/HB 228, 2-4/HB 228.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 5-2/HB 553, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "Any assets of the Child Care Council existing as of June 30, 2019, shall devolve by operation of law and without further action to the State of Georgia on July 1, 2019. Any liabilities and obligations of the Child Care Council existing as of June 30, 2019, shall be transferred to and assumed by the State of Georgia, by such instruments as may be required to maintain the same."

CHAPTER 2 ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Article 1 State Board of Education.
Article 2 State School Superintendent.
Article 3 Local Boards of Education.
Article 4 Increased Flexibility for Local School Systems.
Article 4A Community Involvement in Education.
Article 5 Local School Superintendents.
Article 6 Quality Basic Education.
Part 1 SHORT TITLE AND PURPOSE.
Part 2 COMPETENCIES AND CORE CURRICULUM.
Part 3 EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
Part 4 FINANCING.
Part 5 Program Weights and Funding
Requirements. Part 6

E MPLOYMENT

Subpart 1 Certificated Professional Personnel.
Subpart 2 Conditions of Employment.
Part 7 STAFF DEVELOPMENT.
Part 8 STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.
Part 9 GRANTS FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
Part 10 CAPITAL OUTLAY FUNDS.
Part 11 Regional Educational Service
Agencies. Part 12
Effectiveness of Educational Programs. Part 13

O RGANIZATION OF SCHOOLS AND SYSTEMS

Part 14 OTHER EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.
Part 15 MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.
Part 16 BUILDING RESOURCEFUL INDIVIDUALS TO DEVELOP GEORGIA'S ECONOMY.
Part 17 STATE EDUCATION FINANCE STUDY COMMISSION [Repealed].
Article 6.1 Implementation of Educational Programs
[Repealed]. Article 7
Additional State Aid. Article 8
Consolidation of Independent and County School Systems.
Article 9 Local Public School Finances.
Part 1 BORROWING FOR OPERATING EXPENSES.
Part 2 RECEIPT AND DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS.
Part 3 BOND ISSUES.
Subpart 1 County, District, and Joint High School
Bonds. Subpart 2
Refunding Bonds. Subpart 3
Withholding Appropriations to Pay Indebtedness. Part 4

T AXATION

Article 10 Contracts and Purchases by Public Schools.
Article 11 Public School Property and Facilities.
Part 1 POWERS OF LOCAL BOARDS.
Part 2 EXEMPTION FROM LEVY AND SALE.
Part 3 Georgia Education Authority
(Schools). Article 12
Leasing Public School Property for Private Purposes.
Article 13 Suspending and Reopening
Local School Systems. Article 14
Education Grants [Repealed]. Article 15
Student Data Privacy, Accessibility, and Transparency. Article 16
Students. Part 1

S CHOOL ATTENDANCE

Subpart 1 Transfer Students.
Subpart 2 Compulsory Attendance.
Subpart 2A Clubs and Organizations.
Subpart 3 Records.
Part 2 DISCIPLINE.
Subpart 1 Corporal Punishment.
Subpart 1A Improved Student Learning Environment and Discipline.
Subpart 2 Public School Disciplinary Tribunals.
Subpart 3 Chronic Disciplinary Problem Students.
Subpart 4 Alternative Educational Systems.
Part 3 HEALTH.
Part 4 REMOVAL OF CHILD FROM SCHOOL TO GAIN CUSTODY.
Part 5 REVIEW OF REMOVAL.
Article 17 Teachers and Other School Personnel.
Part 1 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES COMMISSION [Repealed].
Part 2 TEACHERS' LOCAL LICENSES.
Part 3 PAYMENT OF SALARIES.
Part 4 SICK, PERSONAL, AND MATERNITY LEAVE.
Part 5 JURY LEAVE FOR TEACHERS.
Part 6 HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS.
Subpart 1 School Personnel Post-employment Health Benefit Fund.
Subpart 2 Plan for Public School Teachers.
Subpart 3 Plan for Public School Employees.
Part 6A PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE.
Part 7 TERMINATION, SUSPENSION, NONRENEWAL, DEMOTION, OR REPRIMAND.
Part 8 BONDS AND ACCOUNTS OF PRINCIPALS.
Part 9 PROVIDING UNIFORMS.
Part 10 PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS.
Part 11 COMPLAINTS POLICY.
Part 12 GRADE INTEGRITY.
Article 18 Liability Insurance for State and Local School Officials and Employees.
Article 18A Liability of Educators for Disciplining Students.
Article 19 Instructional Materials and Content.
Article 19A American History Recognition and Significant Documents.
Article 20 Education Partnership Act of 1990.
Article 21 Brief Period of Quiet Reflection.
Article 22 School Buses.
Part 1 POWERS OF STATE AND LOCAL SCHOOL OFFICIALS.
Part 2 INSURANCE.
Part 3 SICK LEAVE FOR SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS.
Part 4 RANDOM DRUG TESTING FOR SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS.
Part 5 SCHOOL BUSES.
Article 23 Traffic Safety.
Article 24 Elimination of Adult Illiteracy.
Article 25 School Law Tribunals; Appeals.
Article 26 Obtaining School Meals by False Information.
Article 27 Loitering at or Disrupting Schools.
Article 28 Sick Leave for Food Service Personnel.
Article 29 Interlocal Risk Management Agency.
Article 30 Multiracial" Classification.
Article 31 Charter Schools Act of 1998.
Article 31A State Charter Schools.
Article 31B Charter School Capital Finance.
Article 32 High School Athletics Overview Committee.
Article 33 Scholarship Program for Special Needs Students.
Article 34 Intradistrict Transfers.
Article 35 Education of Military Dependents.
Cross references.

- Property taxation for school purposes generally, § 48-5-400 et seq.

Duty of Department of Audits and Accounts to audit books and accounts of school systems, § 50-6-6.

Law reviews.

- For note on 1991 amendments to this chapter, see 8 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 66 (1992).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Absence from or inability to attend school or college as affecting liability for or right to recover payments for tuition or board, 20 A.L.R.4th 303.

Circumstances warranting judicial determination or declaration of unitary status with regard to schools operating under court-ordered or court-supervised desegregation plans and the effect of such declarations, 94 A.L.R. Fed. 667.

ARTICLE 1 STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Cross references.

- State Board of Education generally, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. II, Para. I.

Leave to appeal, Rules of the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia, Rule 31.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1432 et seq., which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this article, are included in the annotations for this article.

Only conflicting existing law repealed by 1919 provisions.

- Only that part of the existing law which was in conflict with certain provisions enacted in 1919 was repealed by Ga. L. 1919, p. 288. Orr v. Riley, 160 Ga. 480, 128 S.E. 669 (1925) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1432 et seq.)

Testimony on fiscal affairs of board of education.

- County school superintendent acts as the chief fiscal officer of the board of education; in this capacity the superintendent qualifies to testify concerning the fiscal affairs of the board, and there is no error in the admission of testimony by the county school superintendent outlining the expenditure required of the board of education under the Quality Basic Education Act, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-130 et seq. Hicks v. Arnall, 258 Ga. 296, 368 S.E.2d 733 (1988).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Board of education is not liable for accidental injuries to students. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 175.

Board cannot establish quorum less than majority of membership.

- State Board of Education may not legally establish a quorum for the transaction of business which is less than a majority of the board's membership. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-292.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Transportation of school pupils at expense of public, 63 A.L.R. 413; 118 A.L.R. 806; 146 A.L.R. 625.

Power and duty of school authorities to maintain kindergartens or specialized departments, 70 A.L.R. 1313.

Status of teacher as an officer or employee, 75 A.L.R. 1352.

Power of school authorities to transfer teacher from one school or district to another, 103 A.L.R. 1382.

Right of student to hearing on charges before suspension or expulsion from educational institution, 58 A.L.R.2d 903.

Libel and slander: Privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

20-2-1. Board created; appointment of members; powers.

  1. The State Board of Education is created. The state board shall be composed of one member from each congressional district in this state, who shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall not be a member of the state board. The state board provided for by this article shall have the powers and duties provided by law for the state board on January 25, 1943, and such as may be thereafter provided and shall be subject to all provisions of law with respect to the state board not inconsistent with this article.
  2. Except as provided in this article, the state board shall also have all the powers conferred by law upon the former State Board of Education abolished by Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, and shall perform all the duties required by law of such former state board as constituted on July 1, 1937.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 9; Code 1933, § 32-401; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, §§ 1, 4; Ga. L. 1941, p. 568, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 142, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1943, p. 636, §§ 2, 3, 6; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, § 1001; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 20.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551, which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Under the 1876 Constitution, the legislature was empowered to create court or courts which would have jurisdiction of all controversies arising in the administration of the common school system. Board of Educ. v. Board of Educ., 173 Ga. 203, 159 S.E. 712 (1931).

Judgment of the State Board of Education is the judgment of a tribunal which can properly be held to be a court whose final adjudications stand upon a like footing with other courts from whose judgment there is no appeal. Board of Educ. v. Board of Educ., 173 Ga. 203, 159 S.E. 712 (1931).

Court will take judicial cognizance of rules and regulations issued for the supervision of schools. Board of Educ. v. Bacon, 22 Ga. App. 72, 95 S.E. 753, cert. denied, 22 Ga. App. 803 (1918) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551(12)).

Cited in Cook v. Davis, 178 F.2d 595 (5th Cir. 1949); Sheffield v. State Sch. Bldg. Auth., 208 Ga. 575, 68 S.E.2d 590 (1952).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 66.

22 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts, Schools, § 2.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 98, 99.

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of statutes or regulations, concerning recreational or social activities of pupils of public schools, 134 A.L.R. 1274.

Regulations as to fraternities and similar associations connected with educational institution, 10 A.L.R.3d 389.

Applicability and application of § 2 of Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 USCS § 1973) to members of school board, 105 A.L.R. Fed. 254.

20-2-2. Terms of office of members.

The first State Board of Education appointed under this article shall hold office as follows: two for three years; four for five years; and four for seven years. All of such terms shall date from January 1, 1943. The Governor in making the appointments shall designate the holders of the respective terms. Successors to persons so appointed shall hold terms of office of seven years from the expiration of the previous term. All members of the state board appointed for a first or succeeding full term shall hold office until their successors are appointed and have qualified. Any appointment of a member of the state board for a full term made when the Senate is not in session shall be effective until the appointment is acted on by the Senate.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 9; Code 1933, § 32-401; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 636, §§ 4, 7.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 49 et seq., 76.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 100.

20-2-3. Vacancies on board.

In case of a vacancy on the State Board of Education by death, resignation, removal, or from any cause other than the expiration of such member's term of office, such vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed by Article VIII, Section II, Paragraph I of the Constitution.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 9; Code 1933, § 32-401; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 636, §§ 5, 8; Ga. L. 1983, p. 495, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 67.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 100.

20-2-4. Qualifications and disqualifications of members.

The members of the State Board of Education shall be citizens of this state who have resided in Georgia continuously for at least five years preceding their appointment. No person employed in a professional capacity by a private or public educational institution or by the Department of Education shall be eligible for appointment or to serve on the state board. No person who is or has been connected with or employed by a schoolbook publishing concern shall be eligible for membership on the state board and, if any person shall be so connected or employed after becoming a member of the state board, his place shall immediately become vacant.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 9; Code 1933, § 32-401; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Keever v. Board of Educ., 188 Ga. 299, 3 S.E.2d 886 (1939); Davis v. Haddock, 191 Ga. 639, 13 S.E.2d 657 (1941); Cook v. Davis, 178 F.2d 595 (5th Cir. 1949); Irwin v. Crawford, 210 Ga. 222, 78 S.E.2d 609 (1953).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

"Professional" construed.

- Word "professional" within the context of this section refers to educational, rather than to legal, capacity. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U71-124.

Fee from local board did not disqualify attorney from state board.

- Receipt by an attorney at law under a legal partnership agreement of a prorated share of a fee for legal services furnished by the partner to a local board of education does not disqualify the attorney from appointment to the State Board of Education. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U71-124.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 68, 69.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 101.

20-2-5. Oaths of members; board meetings.

The members of the State Board of Education shall take an oath of office for the faithful performance of their duties and the oath of allegiance to the federal and state Constitutions. The state board shall meet quarterly in regular session at such time as it may by regulation provide and may hold additional meetings at the call of the chairperson, provided that upon the written request of a majority of the members of the state board, the State School Superintendent shall call a meeting at any time.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 10; Code 1933, § 32-402; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 3; Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 1/HB 706.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947); Cook v. Davis, 178 F.2d 595 (5th Cir. 1949).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State board cannot establish quorum less than majority.

- State Board of Education may not legally establish a quorum for the transaction of business which is less than a majority of the board's membership. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-292.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 74, 75, 167.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 152, 200 et seq.

ALR.

- Libel and slander: privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

20-2-5.1. Annual public hearings in congressional district from which each State Board of Education member is appointed.

  1. Each member of the State Board of Education shall hold one or more public hearings annually during the regular school calendar year in the respective congressional district from which the member was appointed.The purpose of the public hearing shall be to hear testimony from interested citizens and educators within the congressional district regarding the performance and problems of public education within the congressional district. The public hearing will be held in an appropriate public building located within the respective congressional district.Each board member shall attempt to hold the public hearings at locations throughout such member's respective congressional district.The public hearing will begin at 7:00 P.M. if held on Monday through Friday or at 10:00 A.M. if held on Saturday.No public hearing required by this Code section shall be held on Sunday.
  2. A member of the State Board of Education holding a public hearing required by this Code section shall:
    1. Cause a notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the public hearing to be published at least once during each of two consecutive weeks immediately preceding the week during which the hearing is held, which notice shall be published in the official legal organ of each county wholly or partially within the congressional district unless there is any other newspaper having a general paid circulation in said county which exceeds that of the official organ, in which event the notice shall be published in any such other newspaper;
    2. Issue a press release to the print and broadcast media serving the congressional district announcing the date, time, place, and purpose of the public hearing; and
    3. Take such other action as may be necessary to bring the public hearing to the attention of the public and to encourage public attendance at and participation in the public hearing.
  3. A member of the State Board of Education shall constitute a committee of one for the purpose of holding a public hearing required by this Code section and, in connection therewith, shall be entitled to receive the per diem and expenses provided for by Code Section 20-2-9.
  4. The costs incurred in holding public hearings required by this Code section shall come from funds appropriated or available to the State Department of Education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-5.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 678, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 353, § 1.)

20-2-5.2. Chairperson and other officers; election; term and duties of chairperson.

The State Board of Education shall elect a chairperson and such other officers it may deem appropriate. The term of the chairperson shall be fixed by the state board. The chairperson shall preside at meetings of the state board, set the agenda for the state board, and perform such other duties as required by the state board.

(Code 1981, §20-2-5.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 4; Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 2/HB 706.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Chair of the State Board of Education has the authority to set the Board's agenda and may require employees of the Department of Education to provide information to or perform functions for the board, but must first make a reasonable attempt to consult with the State School Superintendent. 2001 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2001-5.

Chair of the State Board of Education may, after reasonable attempts at consultation with the State School Superintendent, direct the designation of one or more employees of the Department of Education to carry out various executive or administrative functions of the board. However, the board's authority is limited in that the board may not infringe on the Superintendent's authority to manage the day-to-day operations of the Department. 2001 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2001-5.

State Board of Education may require that the Board be provided with information about Department of Education employees. However, the frequency with which such information is required or the amount of such information could reach a point at which the information improperly infringes on the day-to-day operation of the Department. 2001 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2001-5.

20-2-6. Inspection committees.

The State Board of Education is authorized to appoint committees composed of members of the state board as a majority vote of the state board may determine to travel within this state and inspect the institutions and facilities under its jurisdiction and control.

(Ga. L. 1952, p. 155, § 1.)

20-2-7. Where committee meetings may be held.

The members of the State Board of Education as a committee or any committee of the state board may hold committee meetings anywhere within or outside this state when necessary to obtain information for future guidance of the state board; provided, however, that no action of the state board shall be of force and effect unless such action is taken at a regular or called meeting of the state board.

(Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 110, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 3/HB 706.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 74, 75.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 200 et seq.

20-2-8. Travel by members within or outside state.

The State Board of Education may authorize any member of the state board to travel within or outside this state if necessary to obtain information for the guidance of the state board; provided, however, no member shall be authorized to make commitments for the state board on any matter that requires action of the state board as provided by law.

(Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 110, § 2.)

20-2-9. Per diem allowances and expenses of members.

Each member of the State Board of Education shall receive the sum provided for by Code Section 45-7-21 for each day of actual attendance at meetings of the state board or for each day of travel, within or outside the state, as a member of a committee of the state board which has been authorized by the chairman or by action of the state board, in addition to actual expenses incurred in connection therewith and actual costs of transportation to and from the place of meeting or place of visits or inspections. No member shall be authorized to receive the sums, expenses, and costs provided for by this Code section for more than 60 days per year. Such sums, expenses, and costs shall be paid from funds appropriated to or otherwise available to the Department of Education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 10; Code 1933, § 32-402; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 2; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 110, § 3; Ga. L. 1973, p. 701, § 4; Ga. L. 1977, p. 226, § 2; Ga. L. 1978, p. 4, § 4.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Cook v. Davis, 178 F.2d 595 (5th Cir. 1949).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Application to board's regular work.

- Language of this section strongly suggests that the compensation provided and the limitation imposed were intended to apply only to the regular work of the board, either at the board's meetings, or in committees of the board authorized by the board or the board's chair. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-54.

Board may not authorize payment except as provided by section.

- State Board of Education may not authorize the payment of per diem and traveling expenses to any of the board's members for services performed as a member of the board except as specifically provided by this section. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 132.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 308 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 189 et seq.

20-2-10. Gifts or compensation to members, appointees, or their families from publishers prohibited; reporting offers; penalty.

  1. No member or appointee of the State Board of Education or any other person having authority to select or aid in the selection of textbooks for the schools shall for himself or any member of his family receive any gift, compensation, or remuneration from any schoolbook publishing house, corporation, individual, or agent or representative of either; nor shall any such person, publishing house, or corporation offer, directly or indirectly, to any member of the state board or his family or appointees any gift, compensation, or remuneration. Should any such publishing house, corporation, or person offer to any such officers, their families, or appointees any compensation, remuneration, or gift, they shall report such offer to the grand juries of their respective counties. The judges of the superior courts in charging the grand jury from term to term shall give instructions concerning this Code section and article.
  2. Any person violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 94, § 23; Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 15; Code 1933, §§ 32-406, 32-9901, 32-9902; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, §§ 8, 9.)

Cross references.

- Textbooks, T. 20, C. 2, A. 19.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 29.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 96 et seq.

ALR.

- Gift for public school as a valid charitable gift, 48 A.L.R. 1126.

Gift for lectures as a valid charitable gift, 48 A.L.R. 1142.

20-2-11. Budgets; supervision of Department of Education; funds for state office.

The State Board of Education shall prepare and submit to the Governor and General Assembly an estimate of the funds necessary for the operation of the state public school system.It shall have general supervision of the Department of Education and may delegate to the State School Superintendent the authority to employ and dismiss such clerical employees, supervisors, administrators, and other employees who are members of the classified service under Article 1 of Chapter 20 of Title 45 as may be necessary for the efficient operation of the Department of Education.It shall set aside the necessary funds for the maintenance of the office of the department and the State School Superintendent, the amount and sufficiency of such funds to be in the discretion of the state board, such funds to be disbursed by the superintendent in the payment of salaries and travel expenses of employees and for printing, communication, equipment, repairs, and other expenses incidental to the operation of the department.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 11; Code 1933, § 32-403; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 3; Ga. L. 1961, p. 39, § 3; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1630, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, "superintendent" was substituted for "Superintendent" in the last sentence of this Code section.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

State Board of Education has authority to administer the state funds allocated to local schools. The local boards have no authority to divert these funds. Chatham Ass'n of Educators v. Board of Pub. Educ., 231 Ga. 806, 204 S.E.2d 138 (1974).

When board acts lawfully, effect on private schools not considered.

- So long as the State Board of Education is acting within the board's lawful rights, the effect of public schools on private schools cannot be considered. Worth v. Board of Pub. Educ., 177 Ga. 166, 170 S.E. 77 (1933).

Cited in Sheffield v. State Sch. Bldg. Auth., 208 Ga. 575, 68 S.E.2d 590 (1952); Bedingfield v. Parkerson, 212 Ga. 654, 94 S.E.2d 714 (1956); Wells v. Banks, 153 Ga. App. 581, 266 S.E.2d 270 (1980).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Constitutionality.

- Law does not exceed the constitutional limitations on use of moneys derived from state taxation. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 697.

Delegation of discretionary authority prohibited.

- Discretionary authority or power which is vested by law in the State Board of Education cannot, absent specific legal authorization, be delegated to the State School Superintendent. 1986 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 86-29.

Supervisory authority of board.

- Under the 1996 amendment of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-241, the State School Superintendent has the sole authority to organize and reorganize the Department of Education, while the State Board of Education retains the board's authority to provide general direction to, and inspect the performance of, the department. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-12.

Recommendation, dealing with control of employees, is not to be construed as mandatory on the part of the State Board of Education, but simply as a suggestion or recommendation to be followed or disregarded in the discretion of the State Board of Education. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 525 (decided under Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, prior to its revision by Ga. L. 1961, p. 39).

Board not authorized to prescribe standards for nonpublic schools.

- There is no specific grant of authority to the State Board of Education to prescribe any standards or require a license for nonpublic schools, other than those enumerated elsewhere in the statutes. Therefore, it is presumed that the General Assembly did not intend for the board to have such authority. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 119.

Final decision in determining question of merging school systems vested in voters.

- While former Code 1933, § 32-403 clearly gave the State Board of Education general supervision over the common schools of this state and contained no inhibitions against the Board making suggestions or recommendations as to the advisability of merging independent school districts with county school systems, nevertheless, the final decision in determining the question of merger was vested exclusively in the qualified voters residing within the municipality or district as provided for in former Code 1933, § 32-1201. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 513.

Local board authorized to include R.O.T.C. training in curriculum.

- State Board of Education has no specific regulation concerning military or R.O.T.C. training; however, the local board of education has the discretionary authority to include such training in the local curriculum, but no state educational funds would come into the program. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 108.

State board may regulate releasing children during school hours.

- State Board of Education has the legal authority to establish regulations governing the release of school children during school hours. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 343.

State board may pay city superintendents directly.

- Under former Code 1933, § 32-403, the State Board of Education could adopt the administrative policy of paying the state salaries of superintendents of independent city school systems directly to the superintendents in the same manner as now being done in the case of county school superintendents under former Code 1933, § 32-1006, provided the specific provisions of the various municipal charters are not in conflict with this policy; in such an event an exception should be made to the policy so as to conform to the intent of the General Assembly as expressed by that charter. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 111.

Inclusion in Employees' Retirement System.

- Current and future employees of the State Department of Education must be included within the membership of the Employees' Retirement System of Georgia. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 83-2.

Department employees not entitled to overtime pay during week spent on annual leave.

- Employee of the State Department of Education is not entitled to overtime pay for 12 hours of work performed during a week which the employee otherwise spent on annual leave, when the overtime rule, included in the administrative procedures of the State Department of Education, promulgated by the State Board of Education, defines overtime as hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-132.

Department may pay salary of staff member completing work related course studies.

- If the course of advanced study being pursued by a staff member is directly related to assignment in the Department of Education or to assignments and the staff member is expected to undertake the completion of those studies, the State Board of Education may lawfully continue to pay the member's salary while temporarily away from assigned duties in the department. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 697.

Expenditure of state funds to provide insurance on television leasehold interest proper.

- Because a lease arrangement under Ga. L. 1963, p. 431, § 1 is a proper activity or agreement on the part of the State Board of Education, the expenditure of state funds to protect such a properly acquired leasehold interest, through the purchase of property insurance, is also proper. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 404.

Fees upon public schools and teachers and students therein violates section.

- To permit a regulatory board to impose a registration fee upon a public school and a license fee upon teachers therein and to require a registration fee from students taking a course of study would be in violation of the law. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 250.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 78, 83.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 103 et seq.

ALR.

- Schools: extent of legislative power with respect to attendance and curriculum, 39 A.L.R. 477; 53 A.L.R. 832.

Power and duty of school authorities to maintain kindergartens or specialized departments, 70 A.L.R. 1313.

Determination of school attendance, enrollment, or pupil population for purposes of apportionment of funds, 80 A.L.R.2d 953.

Regulations as to fraternities and similar associations connected with educational institution, 10 A.L.R.3d 389.

Marriage or pregnancy of public school student as ground for expulsion or exclusion, or of restriction of activities, 11 A.L.R.3d 996.

20-2-12. Educational television programs.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 4/HB 706, effective July 1, 2012.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1963, p. 431, § 1.

20-2-13. Educational research; preparation and publication of instructional material.

The State Board of Education may use and allocate money for educational research and preparation and publication of instructional material, and such funds may be paid upon approval of the Governor.

(Ga. L. 1951, p. 403, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1972, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 16, 125, 126, 129 et seq., 349 et seq., 353.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 736, 1074 et seq.

20-2-14. Acceptance of donations, grants, and federal aid for vocational or other educational purposes; matching funds; authorization to make transfers.

  1. The State Board of Education is authorized to receive, accept, hold, and operate, on behalf of the state, donations, grants, gifts, devises, and bequests of real, personal, and mixed property of every kind and character; to lease, manage, and otherwise administer such property for the use, benefit, and behalf of the public school system of Georgia; and to accept on behalf of the state any funds which may be now or hereafter provided for, or be, or hereafter become available or allotted to the state by virtue of any appropriation by Congress or under any governmental regulation, order, or declaration of policy for either vocational or other educational purposes conducted either in or out of school, in connection with, or as an incident of, any program of vocational education now or hereafter established as essential to national defense either for industrial or agricultural occupations, and whether as part of a federal or a state program or a combination of both, in furtherance of vocational educational objectives generally. The state board is authorized to acquire and hold title for and on behalf of the state for the benefit of the public school system thereof any equipment or supplies, both permanent and expendable, that may be necessary for such purposes; to act as the contracting agent therefor and the custodian thereof; to delegate, in whole or in part, any function or activity enumerated or contemplated under this Code section; to contract with and cooperate with any department, agency, or instrumentality, either of the state or of the United States in any manner which shall be requisite or incident to this Code section and which in the judgment of the state board may be deemed proper for the carrying into effect of the purposes of this article; and to use so much of the public school fund or other funds appropriated by the General Assembly as may be necessary to match any such federal aid or to meet the terms of any past, present, or future grant to the state or any local school unit whereby the state or any local school unit, respectively, may be enabled to derive full advantage of the benefits thereof to the state as contemplated under the terms and provisions of any such grant for educational purposes.
  2. The State Board of Education is authorized to transfer any donation, gift, devise, or bequest of real, personal, or mixed property of any kind and character held in trust by the state board to the Georgia Foundation for Public Education to be managed and otherwise administered by such foundation. This subsection shall apply to any donation, gift, devise, or bequest of real, personal, or mixed property of any kind and character held in trust by the state board pursuant to Paragraph I(c), Section II, Article VIII of the Georgia Constitution, subsection (a) of this Code section, or Code Section 20-2-18.

(Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 4; Ga. L. 1941, p. 568, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 769, § 1/HB 116.)

Cross references.

- Acceptance of bequests, donations, by State Board of Education, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. II, Para. I.

Acceptance of bequests, donations, by local boards of education, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. VI.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Grant programs, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-1-4.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Contract with Veterans Administration to use federal funds for veterans program.

- State Board of Education may contract with the Veterans Administration to use federal funds to carry on the Veterans Farm Training Program in the high schools of the state and may authorize the State School Superintendent to execute the contract on behalf of the board. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 197.

Delegation to state surplus agency of power to enter into agreement with federal department.

- State Board of Education can delegate by resolution to the state agency for surplus property to enter into a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Department of Health and Human Services) in order to utilize surplus property. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 105.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 91.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 508, 509.

ALR.

- Gift for public school as a valid charitable gift, 48 A.L.R. 1126.

Gift for lectures as a valid charitable gift, 48 A.L.R. 1142.

20-2-14.1. Georgia Foundation for Public Education; authorization to accept transfers of certain property held in trust by State Board of Education; authorization for nonprofit corporation; annual report.

  1. There is established the Georgia Foundation for Public Education existing as a public corporation and instrumentality of the state, exclusively limited to the following charitable and public purposes and powers:
    1. To solicit and accept contributions of money and in-kind contributions of services and property for the purpose of supporting educational excellence in Georgia;
    2. To solicit and accept contributions of money and in-kind contributions of services and property for the purpose of supporting educational excellence at Georgia Academy for the Blind, Georgia School for the Deaf, and Atlanta Area School for the Deaf;
    3. To accept transfer of any donation, gift, devise, or bequest of real, personal, or mixed property of any kind and character held in trust by the State Board of Education to manage and otherwise administer. This paragraph shall apply to any donation, gift, devise, or bequest of real, personal, or mixed property of any kind and character held in trust by the state board pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, Paragraph I(c) of the Georgia Constitution, subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-14, or Code Section 20-2-18;
    4. To sell and dispose of contributed property and securities in accordance with the prudent person rule;
    5. To make and disburse contributions to the department and others for such purposes;
    6. To contract and be contracted with for purposes of the foundation; and
    7. To seek recognition of tax exempt status by the United States Internal Revenue Service and to seek confirmation concerning the deductibility of contributions.
  2. The Georgia Foundation for Public Education shall be attached to the department for administrative purposes. The Attorney General shall be the attorney for the foundation. The State School Superintendent may solicit and accept contributions from the foundation. The department may cooperate and contract with the foundation for their mutual benefit and authorize others to do so. Upon any dissolution of the foundation, its assets shall devolve in trust to the State Board of Education or its successor for use only for the benefit of the department and the schools listed in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section.
  3. The creation of the foundation and the execution of its corporate purposes shall be in all respects for the benefit of the people of this state and constitute a public and charitable purpose. Further, the foundation performs an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this Code section. Accordingly, the foundation shall not be subject to taxation or assessment in any manner, including without limitation taxation or assessment upon any transaction, income, money, or other property or activity. The exemptions granted by this Code section shall not be extended to any private person or entity.
    1. The foundation shall be governed by a board of directors composed of between five and 15 members as determined by the State School Superintendent. Members of the board of directors shall be appointed by either the State School Superintendent or the State Board of Education. For every three board members appointed by the State School Superintendent, the State Board of Education may appoint two board members. At least two members of the board of directors appointed by the State Board of Education shall represent the interests of students who are blind or deaf. The chairperson of the Budget and Finance Committee of the State Board of Education, or such committee's successor, shall be an ex officio member of the foundation board of directors. The foundation board of directors shall draft and adopt governance bylaws, subject to approval by the State School Superintendent.
    2. The foundation shall have complete discretion to invest any and all assets as it sees fit in accordance with the prudent person rule, and at no time shall the assets of the foundation be considered assets of the state.
    3. The foundation shall not be subject to state purchasing laws, as contained in Article 3 of Chapter 5 of Title 50 or in other provisions of this Code, or required to dispose of property in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 5 of Title 50.
    4. The foundation shall be authorized to purchase insurance as provided by Code Section 50-5-16.
    5. The foundation shall have the authority to roll over any unused funds into the next fiscal year.
  4. The foundation's operations shall not be subject to Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
  5. The foundation shall be deemed to be a charitable organization for purposes of voluntary contributions from state employees pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 20 of Title 45.
  6. The foundation shall have the power and authority to incorporate a nonprofit corporation that could qualify as a public foundation under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code to aid the foundation in carrying out any of its powers and in accomplishing any of its purposes. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this power shall be created pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 14, the "Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code," and the Secretary of State shall be authorized to accept such filing. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall be subject to the following provisions:
    1. In accordance with the Constitution of Georgia, no governmental functions or regulatory powers shall be conducted by any such nonprofit corporation;
    2. Upon dissolution of any such nonprofit corporation incorporated by the foundation, any assets shall revert to the foundation or to any successor to the foundation or, failing such succession, to the State of Georgia;
    3. As used in this paragraph, the term "direct employee costs" means salary, benefits, and travel expenses. To avoid the appearance of undue influence on regulatory functions by donors, no donations to any such nonprofit corporation from private sources shall be used for direct employee costs of the foundation;
    4. Any such nonprofit corporation shall be subject to all laws relating to open meetings and the inspection of public records;
    5. The foundation shall not be liable for the action or omission to act of any such nonprofit corporation;
    6. No debts, bonds, notes, or other obligations incurred by any such nonprofit corporation shall constitute an indebtedness or obligation of the State of Georgia nor shall any act of any such nonprofit corporation constitute or result in the creation of an indebtedness of the state. No holder or holders of any such bonds, notes, or other obligations shall ever have the right to compel any exercise of the taxing power of the state nor to enforce the payment thereof against the state; and
    7. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall not acquire or hold a fee simple interest in real property by any method, including but not limited to gift, purchase, condemnation, devise, court order, and exchange.
  7. Members of the board of directors of the foundation may also serve on the board of any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section without regard to the prohibition set forth in Code Section 45-10-23 or any other similar prohibition.
  8. Any nonprofit corporation created pursuant to this Code section shall make and provide an annual report showing the identity of all donors and the amount each person or entity donated as well as all expenditures or other disposal of money or property donated. A copy of such annual report shall be provided to the chairpersons of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Education and Youth Committee.

(Code 1981, §20-2-14.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 411, § 1/SB 427; Ga. L. 2013, p. 769, § 2/HB 116; Ga. L. 2019, p. 316, § 1/HB 130.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Article VIII, Section II, Paragraph I(c) of the Georgia Constitution" for "Paragraph I(c), Section II, Article VIII of the Georgia Constitution" in the last sentence of paragraph (a)(3) and added subsections (g), (h), and (i).

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of law on administrative law, see 62 Mercer L. Rev. 1 (2010).

20-2-15. Acceptance of federal and other aid to educational television.

The State Board of Education is authorized and is designated the proper state agency to receive all federal funds and any other funds that may be appropriated, granted, or otherwise made available to the state for educational television purposes at all levels of education and shall, after receipt of such funds, use, allot, or distribute them in accordance with the intent, terms, and conditions of such appropriations and grants.

(Ga. L. 1963, p. 431, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Acceptance of bequests, donations, by State Board of Education, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. II, Para. I; Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. IV, Para. I(e).

Acceptance of bequests, donations, grants, and transfers by local boards of education, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. VI.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Board can accept donations and apply funds directly to support educational television.

- State Board of Education can accept donations and apply those funds to the support of educational television without depositing such funds in the state treasury. Since the funds would not be drawn from the state treasury, the funds would not be subject to the appropriations process. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-4.

If funds designated for solicitation purposes, board can so use.

- If the State Board of Education receives funds by appropriation, grant, or donation which are specifically designated for the purpose of soliciting other funds, then this section contains express authority for the board to use such funds for that purpose. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-4 (see O.C.G.A. § 20-2-13).

Board cannot expend state funds to make solicitations for donations.

- Implied power of the State Board of Education does not extend to the expenditure of state funds to make general solicitations for donations since such an expenditure is not clearly authorized, nor is it reasonably necessary to the exercise of the authority to receive voluntary donations. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-4.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Legal aspects of television, 15 A.L.R.2d 785; 56 A.L.R.3d 386; 57 A.L.R.3d 8.

20-2-16. Acceptance and allotment of federal aid and other funds for school construction; determining needs; planning financing; building code; safety inspections and recommendations.

  1. The State Board of Education is authorized to receive any federal funds or any other funds made available to it for schoolhouse construction or improvement of the schools under its jurisdiction and to allot such funds to the boards of education of county and independent school systems under such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the state board, subject to such limitations as may be imposed in the grant or appropriation of such funds.
  2. In order to assist the boards of education of county and independent school systems, upon their request, the state board is authorized to make comprehensive studies to determine the need for and the location of public school buildings, to determine the safety and educational requirements of public school buildings, to plan the methods of financing the cost of constructing and equipping such buildings, and to establish a code of school building practices and standards.
  3. The state board is authorized to inspect any public school building and, if such building is found to be dangerous to the lives or health of the pupils, to notify the county or independent board of education in writing of the unsafe or unhealthful conditions revealed, including in the notification specific suggestions for the correction of such unsafe or unhealthful conditions.

(Ga. L. 1945, p. 200, §§ 1-3.)

Cross references.

- Standards and requirements for construction of buildings and other structures generally, T. 8, C. 2.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Sheffield v. State Sch. Bldg. Auth., 208 Ga. 575, 68 S.E.2d 590 (1952).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Initiation of code of building standards.

- Establishment of code of school building standards cannot be initiated by State Department of Education but is dependent upon a request by a school system. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 86.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 357 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 566 et seq.

20-2-17. Lease of state property to local school boards.

The Department of Education, on behalf of the state, may lease for periods up to four years any state-owned property in its control and held for its use to county school boards, city school boards, or other like agencies in the state having the power to operate and regulate any public school in the state, provided that any such property so leased shall be used by the lessee only for administrative, maintenance, warehouse, or storage purposes.

(Ga. L. 1961, p. 472, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Power of school or local authorities as to granting leases of school property, 111 A.L.R. 1051.

Zoning regulations as applied to public elementary and high schools, 74 A.L.R.3d 136.

20-2-18. Continuation of trusts for institutions for blind and deaf; board to be trustee.

Any trust fund or property, real, personal, or mixed, specifically including the "Pupils' Trust Fund" pertaining to the Georgia Academy for the Blind, that may have been created by will or otherwise as a fund or gift or donation or devise to any board of trustees of the Georgia Academy for the Blind or the Georgia School for the Deaf or the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, or to any executor or trustee to and for the use, benefit, or on behalf of any such institution, shall not lapse but shall remain valid and of full force and effect; and such beneficial interest under any such deed or gift or will or other conveyance shall vest in the State Board of Education as trustee to and for the use, benefit, and on behalf of the institution intended to be benefited by the gift, devise, or other conveyance in its favor. In any case in which any deed or gift or will or other conveyance for the use or benefit of the Academy for the Blind or the schools for the deaf requires a trustee and no trustee shall exist, the state board shall be and become a substituted trustee to carry out the beneficial purposes of such gift, devise, or conveyance.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 230, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 645, § 7.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 90 C.J.S., Trusts, §§ 207, 208, 223.

20-2-19. Receipt and review of asbestos management plans by State Board of Education; disapproval of plans; funding; regulation; accreditation; effect on other powers of board.

  1. The Governor may designate the State Board of Education to receive and review asbestos management plans of local boards of education and of owners of private, nonprofit elementary and secondary school buildings, as provided in the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986, 100 Stat. 2970, P.L. 99-519, amending P.L. 99-469, hereinafter referred to as "AHERA." Any such designation by the Governor prior to March 31, 1988, is ratified and affirmed and shall have effect from the date thereof.
  2. The State Board of Education may receive and disapprove such plans upon the grounds stated in and as provided in AHERA.
  3. The State Board of Education may apply for, accept, and disburse federal funds to local boards of education and to owners of private, nonprofit elementary and secondary school buildings for activities involving the preparation and implementation of asbestos management plans. The State Board of Education may apply for, accept, and utilize federal funds for its activities under this Code section, including the training and accreditation of staff.
  4. The State Board of Education shall prescribe such policies, rules, regulations, and standards as it deems appropriate to carry out purposes of AHERA.
  5. The State Board of Education shall have the authority to adopt an accreditation program and accredit persons who inspect and prepare management plans and conduct response activities for local units of administration, as defined by AHERA.
  6. The powers bestowed by this Code section shall be cumulative of other powers of the State Board of Education and shall not diminish them in any way. This Code section shall not be construed to diminish the powers of any other state agency or instrumentality.

(Code 1981, §20-2-19, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Georgia Asbestos Safety Act, T. 12, C. 12.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, "March 31, 1988," was substituted for "the effective date of this Code section" in the second sentence of subsection (a).

U.S. Code.

- The federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986, referred to in this Code section, is codified primarily at 15 U.S.C. § 2641 et seq.

20-2-20. Regional offices authorized; employees.

The State Board of Education is authorized to establish regional offices of the Department of Education, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. Should the state board establish such regional offices of the Department of Education, their service areas shall be congruous with the service areas of regional educational service agencies as provided for in Code Section 20-2-270 and may include more than one regional educational service agency. All employees of such regional offices shall be employees of the Department of Education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-20, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 5.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

ARTICLE 2 STATE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT

Cross references.

- State School Superintendent generally, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. III, Para. I.

20-2-30. Election; office; forms, blanks, and instructions for subordinate officials; appeal of decisions to State Board of Education.

The State School Superintendent shall be elected by the persons qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly at the same time and in the same manner and for the same term as the Governor is elected. A suitable office shall be furnished him at the seat of government. He shall prescribe suitable forms for the reports required of subordinate school officers and blanks for their guidance in transacting their official business and shall from time to time prepare and transmit to them such instructions as he may deem necessary for the faithful and efficient execution of the school laws; and by what is thus communicated to them they shall be bound to govern themselves in the discharge of their official duties, provided there shall always be an appeal from the State School Superintendent to the State Board of Education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 54; Code 1933, § 32-501; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, § 1002.)

Cross references.

- Delegation of authority by state board, § 20-2-11.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Under the 1876 Constitution, the legislature was empowered to create court or courts having jurisdiction of school administrative controversies. Board of Educ. v. Board of Educ., 173 Ga. 203, 159 S.E. 712 (1931).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Superintendent authorized and obligated to recommend employment and dismissal of department employees.

- State School Superintendent has no authority in law to employ or dismiss employees of the Department of Education, but the superintendent has the authority and the duty to recommend employment and dismissal to the State Board of Education; employees of the department are employed and dismissed by the State Board of Education, but only on the recommendation of the superintendent. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 177.

Until employee dismissed by board, person remains employee.

- Until such time as an employee is dismissed by the State Board of Education on recommendation of the State School Superintendent, the employee is and remains an employee of the department and on pay status. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 177.

When employee dismissed, employee may obtain full hearing before board.

- When an employee is dismissed by the state board on the recommendation of the State School Superintendent, the causes necessitating the recommendations must first be made known to the board but without a hearing thereon; then the employee may, if desiring, request and obtain a full hearing before the State Board of Education on the causes necessitating the employee's dismissal. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 177.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 66, 67, 78.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 500 et seq.

ALR.

- Power to require construction or repair of school buildings, 1 A.L.R. 1559.

Power of school authorities to transfer teacher from one school or district to another, 103 A.L.R. 1382.

Right of student to hearing on charges before suspension or expulsion from educational institution, 58 A.L.R.2d 903.

Validity of regulation by public school authorities as to clothes or personal appearance of pupils, 14 A.L.R.3d 1201.

20-2-31. Qualifications.

To render a person eligible to hold the office of State School Superintendent, he or she shall hold a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. No person who has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude shall be eligible to hold the office of State School Superintendent.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 55; Code 1933, § 32-502; Ga. L. 1963, p. 510, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1997, p. 690, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Qualifications generally, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. V, Sec. III, Para. II.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Qualifications to be read broadly.

- Assuming O.C.G.A. § 20-2-31 is enforceable, the qualifications for the office of State School Superintendent contained in that section should be read broadly so that the requirement of three years' practical experience as a teacher could include three years' experience as a teacher in a school classroom even if the person has no teachers' certification. Whether a particular candidate meets such qualification is a factual issue to be determined on a case by case basis. 1993 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U93-7.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 68, 69.

20-2-32. Bond; oath.

Upon entering upon the discharge of his official duties, the State School Superintendent shall give bond in the penal sum of $50,000.00 to the state, with some approved surety company which shall be acceptable to the Secretary of State, conditioned that he will truly account for and apply all money or other property which may come into his hands in his official capacity for the use and benefit of the purposes for which it is intended and that he will faithfully perform the duties enjoined upon him by law. He shall take and subscribe an oath to discharge the duties of his office diligently and faithfully. The bond, with certified endorsement thereon, shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and the premium charged for such bond shall be paid out of the state treasury.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 56; Code 1933, § 32-503; Ga. L. 1964, p. 677, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Official bonds generally, T. 45, C. 4.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 369. 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 167.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 152, 324, 325.

20-2-33. Compensation and expenses.

The State School Superintendent shall be compensated as provided in Code Sections 45-7-3 and 45-7-4. He shall also be reimbursed for his expenses incurred in connection with the official duties of his office as provided in Code Section 45-7-21.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 66; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 96; Code 1933, § 32-510; Ga. L. 1937, p. 864, § 5; Ga. L. 1941, p. 573, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 639, § 1; Ga. L. 1947, p. 673, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 613, § 1; Ga. L. 1960, p. 1184, § 1; Code 1933, § 32-510, enacted by Ga. L. 1966, p. 394, § 1; Ga. L. 1970, p. 116, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 701, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1978, p. 4, §§ 1-3.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, §§ 308, 309, 311, 317.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 102.

20-2-34. Recommendations to State Board of Education; suspension of county school superintendents; appeal.

The State School Superintendent shall carry out and enforce all the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education and the laws governing the schools receiving state aid; he shall from time to time make such recommendations to the state board as may affect the welfare and efficiency of the public schools. He shall have authority to suspend a county school superintendent for incompetency, willful neglect of duty, misconduct, immorality, or the commission of any crime involving moral turpitude, provided that all of his acts in this matter shall be subject to the approval of the state board and the party so suspended may appeal his case to the state board, whose decision shall be final.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 58; Code 1933, § 32-505; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Section does not deny mandamus remedy to citizens and taxpayers against school officers.

- Power conferred upon the State School Superintendent to enforce the law governing schools of the state receiving state aid does not deny the remedy of mandamus to citizens and taxpayers who are patrons of the public schools against officers charged with the duty of building a schoolhouse in their district. Plainfield Consol. Sch. Dist. v. Cook, 173 Ga. 447, 160 S.E. 617 (1931).

Cited in Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Superintendent not authorized to determine title to county office upon suspending local superintendent.

- While the State School Superintendent has the right to suspend a county superintendent for certain causes, the law does not provide or empower the superintendent with the authority to determine the title to this county office. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 203.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 500 et seq.

20-2-35. Duty to visit counties.

It shall be the duty of the State School Superintendent to visit, as often as possible, the several counties for the purpose of examining into the administration of the school law, counseling with school officers, delivering public addresses, inspecting school operations, and doing such other acts as he may deem in the interest of public education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 59; Code 1933, § 32-506.)

20-2-36. Duty in case of misapplication of state funds.

In the event of a misapplication of any of the funds apportioned to any of the institutions of learning or schools receiving state aid, the State School Superintendent shall at once proceed to recover such funds by the institution of proper proceedings in the courts after demand to settle the matter is made upon the party misapplying the funds.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 60; Code 1933, § 32-507.)

Cross references.

- Accounting for public funds generally, T. 45, C. 8.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Funds usable for professional organization membership if school derives tangible educational benefit.

- School funds may be used to pay dues for membership in a professional organization if the school board and school system derive some tangible educational benefit from membership in the organization. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 74-72.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Right of school district to maintain action based on misapportionment of school money, 105 A.L.R. 1273.

20-2-37. Annual reports by State School Superintendent.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 2, effective July 1, 1986.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 61; Code 1933, § 32-508 and Ga. L. 1976, p. 540, § 1.

20-2-38. Requiring reports from local school officials.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 2, effective July 1, 1986.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 75 and Code 1933, § 32-515.

ARTICLE 3 LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION

Cross references.

- Local school systems generally, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

County superintendent and school board made constitutional offices by 1945 Constitution.

- Constitution of 1945 did not purport to disturb the comprehensive code of statutory school laws other than to make the offices of the county school superintendent and the county boards of education constitutional rather than statutory. Saxon v. Bell, 201 Ga. 797, 41 S.E.2d 536 (1947).

Board member entitled to hold office until successor elected.

- Member of the county board of education, whose term had not expired at the time of the adoption of the 1945 Constitution, was entitled to hold office until a successor was elected and qualified. Powell v. Price, 201 Ga. 833, 41 S.E.2d 539 (1947).

County board of education is not a natural person, a partnership, or a body corporate with authority to sue or be sued in the ordinary sense. Accordingly, the county board could not as sole plaintiff maintain a suit for an injunction to restrain the defendant from interfering with the possession and use of property claimed by the defendant. Verner v. Board of Educ., 203 Ga. 521, 47 S.E.2d 500 (1948).

Cited in Burke v. Wheeler County, 54 Ga. App. 81, 187 S.E. 246 (1936); Wheeler v. Board of Trustees, 200 Ga. 323, 37 S.E.2d 322 (1946); Davis v. Board of Educ., 203 Ga. 44, 45 S.E.2d 429 (1947).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

County superintendent and school board made constitutional offices by 1945 Constitution.

- The 1945 Constitution did not purport to disturb the comprehensive code of statutory school laws other than to make the offices of the county school superintendent and the county boards of education constitutional rather than statutory. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 143.

Local school districts have been abolished, and the trustees are required to turn over to the county board of education all funds derived from the maintenance tax or from the bond tax, the trustees retaining only advisory functions. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 186.

Provisions creating county bond commission invalid.

- Act creating a county bond commission to control the expenditure of funds raised by the issuance of bonds of a county school district is invalid as a special act in conflict with a general law on the same subject. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 172.

Student in vocational program remains in common or public school system.

- High school student who is assigned to a vocational education program operated by a county or independent school system remains in the common or public schools operated by the system, and the student may therefore continue to be included in the county or independent system's computations of "average daily attendance" for purposes of the system's general allotment of teachers and other professional personnel. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 775.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Extent of power of school district to provide for the comfort and convenience of teachers and pupils, 52 A.L.R. 249.

Right of student to hearing on charges before suspension or expulsion from educational institution, 58 A.L.R.2d 903.

Libel and slander: privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

Liability of university, college, or other school for failure to protect student from crime, 1 A.L.R.4th 1099.

Tort liability of public schools and institutions of higher learning for educational malpractice, 1 A.L.R.4th 1139.

Tort liability of public schools and institutions of higher learning for educational malpractice, 11 A.L.R.7th 5.

20-2-49. Standards for local board of education members.

The General Assembly finds that local boards of education play a critical role in setting the policies that lead to the operation and success of local school systems. School board members hold special roles as trustees of public funds, including local, state, and federal funds, while they focus on the singular objective of ensuring each student in the local school system receives a quality basic education. Board duties require specialized skills and training in the performance of vision setting, policy making, approving multimillion dollar budgets, and hiring a qualified superintendent. The motivation to serve as a member of a local board of education should be the improvement of schools and academic achievement of all students. Service on a local board of education is important citizen service. Given the specialized nature and unique role of membership on a local board of education, this elected office should be characterized and treated differently from other elected offices where the primary duty is independently to represent constituent views. Local board of education members should abide by a code of conduct and conflict of interest policy modeled for their unique roles and responsibilities. And although there are many measures of the success of a local board of education, one is clearly essential: maintaining accreditation and the opportunities it allows the school system's students.

(Code 1981, §20-2-49, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 1/SB 84.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Constitutionality of statute providing for removal from office.

- Georgia Supreme Court held that the removal of local school board members under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was not an unconstitutional infringement upon the governing authority of local school boards, nor was it a violation of any other constitutional provision or right. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

Whether characterized as setting a qualification for continued service on the local board in the extraordinary circumstance of an imminent loss of accreditation, or whether characterized as providing for removal for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was held by the Georgia Supreme Court to be a permissible exercise of the legislative power to provide for the removal for cause of members of local boards. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

20-2-50. County school districts; county board for each county.

Each county of this state, exclusive of any independent school system in existence in a county, shall compose one school district and shall be confined to the control and management of a county board of education, except to the extent that area school systems are created pursuant to Article VIII, Section V, Paragraph I of the Constitution of Georgia.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, §§ 76, 117; Code 1933, §§ 32-901, 32-1101; Ga. L. 1946, p. 206, § 8; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53.)

Cross references.

- Consolidation of independent and county school systems, § 20-2-370 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For survey article on local government law, see 34 Mercer L. Rev. 225 (1982).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81), which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Purpose.

- O.C.G.A. § 20-2-50 was not intended to prevent existence or growth of independent school systems. Upson County Sch. Dist. v. City of Thomaston, 248 Ga. 98, 281 S.E.2d 537 (1981).

Authority of local boards to govern local systems constitutional.

- Since the Georgia Constitution and Code provides local school boards with sweeping authority in the governing of local school systems, the fact that other school boards may choose to employ other methods to control the quality of education in their systems does not evince a denial of equal protection. Wells v. Banks, 153 Ga. App. 581, 266 S.E.2d 270 (1980).

"Teacher-Tenure Act for Richmond County" (Ga. L. 1937, pp. 1409-1413) was not invalid as without constitutional authority under Ga. Const. 1877, Art. VII, Sec. VI, Para. II (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. IV), or as contrary to the limitations of that paragraph. County Bd. of Educ. v. Young, 187 Ga. 644, 1 S.E.2d 739 (1939).

Section is exhaustive as to who shall and must control and manage schools of county.

- Boards alone can receive and expend all school funds. Stewart v. Davidson, 218 Ga. 760, 130 S.E.2d 822 (1963).

County schools' management and control confided in county board.

- Each county of the state is made a school district, and the management and control of the schools of the county is confided in the county board of education. Pass v. Pickens, 204 Ga. 629, 51 S.E.2d 405 (1949).

County cannot be sued unless law gives power.

- County cannot be sued unless there is a law which expressly or by necessary implication gives the county such power. Board of Educ. v. Hunt, 29 Ga. App. 665, 116 S.E. 900 (1923) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)).

School district is a body corporate with the capacity to sue and be sued. Foster v. Cobb County Bd. of Educ., 133 Ga. App. 768, 213 S.E.2d 38 (1975).

School district is a body corporate that may be sued when the district has incurred a liability under the law such as upon a district contract, bond issues, building contracts, etc. Ty Ty Consol. Sch. Dist. v. Colquitt Lumber Co., 153 Ga. 426, 112 S.E. 561 (1922) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)).

County board of education is not a body corporate with authority to sue and be sued in the ordinary sense. Mattox v. Board of Educ., 148 Ga. 577, 97 S.E. 532, 5 A.L.R. 568 (1918) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)); Ferguson v. Smith, 27 Ga. App. 806, 110 S.E. 42 (1921) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)); Smith v. Board of Educ., 153 Ga. 758, 113 S.E. 147 (1922) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)); Board of Educ. v. Hunt, 29 Ga. App. 665, 116 S.E. 900 (1923) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (81)).

Language of this section requires the conclusion that a county board of education is not a political subdivision and not a body corporate liable to suit in the ordinary sense (except in cases made so by an act of the legislature), and that the board of education of a particular county, through the board's members, merely has the control and management of the county's school district. Ray v. Cobb County Bd. of Educ., 110 Ga. App. 258, 138 S.E.2d 392 (1964).

School board of education is not a body corporate and does not have the capacity to sue or be sued. Foster v. Cobb County Bd. of Educ., 133 Ga. App. 768, 213 S.E.2d 38 (1975).

Trustees of various school districts of the counties of this state are public officials thereof, and a treasurer appointed by the trustees from among themselves for the purpose of handling and taking care of the funds of the school district acts in that capacity as a public official. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co. v. McCurdy, 51 Ga. App. 507, 180 S.E. 902 (1935).

County board is without power to delegate the board's authority to manage affairs of school district. State Bd. of Educ. v. Elbert County Bd. of Educ., 112 Ga. App. 840, 146 S.E.2d 344 (1965).

Invasion of privacy for use of Facebook photo.

- High school student's allegation against a school board and official for invasion of privacy by the use of a Facebook photo of the student in a bikini in a presentation on internet security failed to show that the student suffered a deprivation of federal rights caused by a school district policy or custom, given that there was an express policy against embarrassing students and given that the official who used the photo did not have policy-making authority. Chaney v. Fayette County Pub. Sch. Dist., 977 F. Supp. 2d 1308 (N.D. Ga. 2013).

County superintendent cannot contract debt on behalf of board without previous authority from the board. State Bd. of Educ. v. Elbert County Bd. of Educ., 112 Ga. App. 840, 146 S.E.2d 344 (1965).

Immunity.

- School district, as established by Georgia law, was not an arm of the state for purposes of Eleventh Amendment immunity. Lightfoot v. Henry County Sch. Dist., 771 F.3d 764 (11th Cir. 2014).

Cited in Huie v. Morris, 176 Ga. 562, 168 S.E. 566 (1933); Keever v. Board of Educ., 188 Ga. 299, 3 S.E.2d 886 (1939); Davis v. Haddock, 191 Ga. 639, 13 S.E.2d 657 (1941); Chappell v. Small, 194 Ga. 143, 20 S.E.2d 916 (1942); McCollum v. Bass, 201 Ga. 537, 40 S.E.2d 650 (1946); Robinson v. State, 82 Ga. App. 584, 61 S.E.2d 773 (1950); Walker v. McKenzie, 209 Ga. 653, 74 S.E.2d 870 (1953); Irwin v. Crawford, 210 Ga. 222, 78 S.E.2d 609 (1953); Tripp v. Martin, 210 Ga. 284, 79 S.E.2d 521 (1954); Cotton States Mut. Ins. Co. v. Keefe, 215 Ga. 830, 113 S.E.2d 774 (1960); Oconee County v. Rowland, 107 Ga. App. 108, 129 S.E.2d 373 (1962); Walton County Bd. of Educ. v. Academy of Social Circle, 229 Ga. 114, 189 S.E.2d 690 (1972); Battle v. Cherry, 339 F. Supp. 186 (N.D. Ga. 1972); Young v. State, 132 Ga. App. 790, 209 S.E.2d 96 (1974); Dougherty County v. White, 439 U.S. 32, 99 S. Ct. 368, 58 L. Ed. 2d 269 (1978); Banks County Sch. Dist. v. Blackwell, 191 Ga. App. 790, 383 S.E.2d 159 (1989); Evans v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 337 Ga. App. 690, 788 S.E.2d 577 (2016).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Law vests full power and authority for operation of schools in county board of education. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 137.

Management and control of local school systems are vested at the local level in Georgia, specifically in the boards of education of the various county and independent school systems, and this very broad power includes (subject to such minimum standards as may be established by the State Board of Education as a condition of continued state fiscal assistance) the right to decide upon educational programs, curricula, course offerings, and general educational opportunities. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-60.

Authority to provide educational opportunities not limited to specific ages.

- Authority vested in the boards of education of the various county and independent school systems to implement educational programs and in general to provide for educational opportunities is not limited to specific ages. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-60.

Matter of ages of children taught addressed by boards.

- Minimum and maximum ages of children who may be taught in the public schools is a matter which addresses itself to the local boards of education. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 65-10.

County board may divide county into attendance areas.

- County board of education may not divide the county into school districts, but it appears that a county board does have the power to divide the county into attendance areas, and require that persons of school age living in a certain area attend the school in that area. 1950-51 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 41.

County board may designate pupil assignment.

- Local board of education has the authority to designate which school within the board's school district shall be attended by a particular pupil, i.e., assignment of pupils in the public schools. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 137.

Local board of education has the authority to designate which school within the board's school district shall be attended by a particular pupil. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 142.

If board abuses discretion in pupil assignments, aggrieved party can take proper action.

- County board of education can determine where a pupil may attend school and can deny such pupil, in the board's discretion, the right to attend a school of the pupil's choice; when, however, it can be shown that the county board of education was abusing the discretion vested in the board, then the aggrieved party can take proper action as provided by law. 1950-51 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 273.

State board cannot stop student from passing should county board feel child reading sufficiently.

- Inasmuch as this section has been judicially endorsed numerous times, and in consideration of the fact that the State Board of Education has no express authority to preempt local boards in decisions concerning promotion of individual students, it would appear that the state board cannot directly stop an individual student from passing to the next grade level should the county board feel the child is reading sufficiently. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-63.

State board may, as condition of fiscal assistance, require implementation of state reading requirements.

- Although the State Board of Education does not have explicit authority to directly preclude a student in a local school district from progressing from one grade level to another if the child is not capable of reading in the higher grade level, the board may, as a condition of continued state fiscal assistance, require local boards of education to implement state board established reading requirements. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-63.

Charging fee for school transcripts is local matter within discretion of county board of education. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 97.

Sharing of services between boards of education unauthorized.

- Georgia boards of education are not empowered to share services by creating and utilizing a nonprofit corporation such as the Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia, Inc., for the purpose of challenging state school funding by litigation or otherwise. 2009 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2009-3.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 20 et seq., 66.

22 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts, Schools, § 4.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 14 et seq.

ALR.

- Power of school district or school board to employ counsel, 75 A.L.R.2d 1339.

20-2-51. Election of local board of education members; persons ineligible to be members or superintendent; ineligibility for local boards of education; ineligibility for other elective offices.

  1. No person shall be eligible for election as a member of a local board of education who is not a resident of the school district in which that person seeks election and of the election district which such person seeks to represent. Whenever there is in a portion of any county a local school system having a board of education of its own, receiving its pro rata of the public school fund directly from the State School Superintendent and having no dealings whatever with the local board, then the members of the board of such county shall be selected from that portion of the county not embraced within the territory covered by such local system.
  2. Whenever a member of a local board of education moves that person's domicile from the district which that person represents, such person shall cease to be a member of such local board of education, and a vacancy shall occur. The member shall provide notice of such move to the secretary of the local board of education and the election superintendent within ten days of such move.
    1. No person serving on the governing body of a private elementary or secondary educational institution shall be eligible to serve as a member of a local board of education.
    2. No person employed by a local board of education shall be eligible to serve as a member of that board of education.
    3. No person employed by the Department of Education or serving as a member of the State Board of Education shall be eligible to serve as a member of a local board of education.
      1. No person who has an immediate family member sitting on a local board of education or serving as the local school superintendent or as a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff in the local school system shall be eligible to serve as a member of such local board of education. As used in this paragraph, the term "immediate family member" means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent whose employment as the local school superintendent or as a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff in the local school system began on or after January 1, 2010. This paragraph shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2009. Nothing in this Code section shall affect the employment of any person who is employed by a local school system on or before July 1, 2009, or who is employed by a local school system when an immediate family member becomes a local board of education member for that school system.
      2. Notwithstanding subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-244, in local school systems in which the initial fall enrollment count conducted in 2009 pursuant to Code Section 20-2-160 does not exceed a full-time equivalent count of 2,800, the State Board of Education shall be authorized to waive this paragraph upon the request of a local board of education or an individual attempting to qualify to run for local board of education member and in accordance with the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of Code Section 20-2-244; provided, however, that prior to submitting any such request, the local board of education shall, upon its own initiative, or at the request of such individual attempting to qualify to run for local board of education member:
        1. Provide 30 days' notice of the individual's intent to run for office; and
        2. Conduct a public hearing for the purpose of providing an opportunity for full discussion and public input on the issue of potential nepotism problems and other concerns with regard to such waiver. The public hearing shall be advertised at least seven days prior to the date of such hearing in a local newspaper of general circulation which shall be the same newspaper in which other legal announcements of the local board of education are advertised. The public hearing may be conducted in conjunction with a regular or called meeting of the local board or may be conducted independently, at the local board's discretion.

        The cost of such notice and public hearing shall be borne by the local board. The State Board of Education shall approve or deny a waiver request no later than 45 days after receipt of such waiver request, taking into consideration whether the benefit to the public would justify approval of the waiver. An approved waiver must be received by the local election superintendent prior to an individual's filing of a declaration or notice of candidacy in accordance with Article 4 of Chapter 2 of Title 21.

  3. Reserved.
  4. In addition to any other requirements provided by law, no person shall be eligible for election as a member of a local board of education unless he or she:
    1. Has read and understands the code of ethics and the conflict of interest provisions applicable to members of local boards of education and has agreed to abide by them; and
    2. Has agreed to annually disclose compliance with the State Board of Education's policy on training for members of local boards of education, the code of ethics of the local board of education, and the conflict of interest provisions applicable to members of local boards of education.

      Each person offering his or her candidacy for election as a member of a local board of education shall file an affidavit with the officer before whom such person has qualified for such election prior to or at the time of qualifying, which affidavit shall affirm that he or she meets all of the qualifications required pursuant to this subsection. This subsection shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010.

  5. No person who is on the National Sex Offender Registry or the state sexual offender registry shall be eligible for election to or service on a local board of education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 77; Code 1933, § 32-902; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 334, § 1; Code 1933, § 32-903.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1972, p. 236, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 32-903.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1975, p. 828, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 602, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1549, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2107, § 17; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, §§ 16, 53; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 20; Ga. L. 1989, p. 425, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2339, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 367, § 1/SB 14; Ga. L. 2009, p. 782, § 2/HB 251; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 2/SB 84; Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 20/HB 142; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 1/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "Reserved" for the former provisions of subsection (d), which read: "In all counties of this state having a population of not less than 500,000 or more than 600,000 according to the United States decennial census of 1990 or any future such census, the members of the county boards of education taking office after December 1, 1975, shall not hold any other elective governmental office. If any member of any such board should qualify at any time after December 1, 1975, for nomination or election to any other elective governmental office other than for membership on such county board, such member's position on such county board shall thereby become vacant. Such vacancy shall be filled as provided by the law applicable to any such county board."

Law reviews.

- For survey article citing developments in Georgia local government law from mid-1980 through mid-1981, see 33 Mercer L. Rev. 187 (1981).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- Some of the cases cited below were decided prior to the 1993 amendment of this Code section. Under the former version, school board members were selected by the grand jury.

Section is on its face a general law unaffected by unreasonable classification. Gibson v. Hood, 185 Ga. 426, 195 S.E. 444 (1938) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Section is not unconstitutional on the statute's face.

- Georgia's constitutional and statutory scheme for selecting its grand juries and boards of education is not inherently unfair, or necessarily incapable of administration without regard to race; the federal courts are not powerless to remedy unconstitutional departures from Georgia law by declaratory and injunctive relief. Turner v. Fouche, 396 U.S. 346, 90 S. Ct. 532, 24 L. Ed. 2d 567 (1970) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Limitation of school board membership to freeholders violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Turner v. Fouche, 396 U.S. 346, 90 S. Ct. 532, 24 L. Ed. 2d 567 (1970) (decided under Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 334 and prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1983, p. 3).

Purpose of this section is to ensure that members of the respective county boards of education will not be hindered by conflicting interests or loyalties in achieving for their counties the best possible educational facilities. Turner v. Lashley, 239 Ga. 678, 238 S.E.2d 371 (1977) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Section does not exclude "unexpired terms" filled by election in event of resignation.

- This section expressly provides "terms" of tenure of office for the members of the county boards and is not to be construed as excluding "unexpired terms" to be filled by the election of another in the event of resignation of an incumbent. In the event of such an election of a successor, the succession would be for the remainder of the period the predecessor would have served had the member not resigned. Fulford v. Colston, 193 Ga. 893, 20 S.E.2d 579 (1942) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Not subject to strict scrutiny standard of review.

- Strict scrutiny review should not have been applied to plaintiff school board members' challenges under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-51(c)(2) because the statute's nepotism provision prohibited plaintiffs only from running for the school board in districts where certain family members were employed, but the statute did not otherwise impair plaintiffs' right to run for office or to vote; plaintiffs' injury was not so severe as to require strict scrutiny. Plaintiffs' claims that the statute was both too narrow and overbroad also failed; that the statute did not prevent nepotism in all its possible forms did not heighten the severity of the restriction to necessitate strict scrutiny. Grizzle v. Kemp, 634 F.3d 1314 (11th Cir. 2011).

Vocational technical school is not sufficient conflict of interest to bar membership on county board of education because it is considered to be an institution above the high school level. Turner v. Lashley, 239 Ga. 678, 238 S.E.2d 371 (1977) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

1872 Education Act not racially discriminatory.

- 1872 Education Act (Ga. L. 1872, p. 64) authorizing grand jury selection of county boards of education was not adopted with a racially discriminatory purpose. Vereen v. Ben Hill County, 743 F. Supp. 864 (M.D. Ga. 1990) (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

School board officials related to school employees.

- Neither the "constitutional trust" provision (Ga. Const. 1983, Art I, Sec. II, Para. I) nor the Education Code (O.C.G.A. § 20-1-1 et seq.) presume that elected school board officials whose family members are employed by the local school system act in violation of their public duty merely by participating in decisions affecting school operations. Ianicelli v. McNeely, 272 Ga. 234, 527 S.E.2d 189 (2000).

County residents' challenge to a school board candidate's residency qualification under O.C.G.A. § 45-2-1(1) and Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. II, was barred by res judicata because another challenger had raised the same challenge, and the challenge had been resolved against the challenger by the county's board of elections. Lilly v. Heard, 295 Ga. 399, 761 S.E.2d 46 (2014).

Cited in McCollum v. Bass, 201 Ga. 537, 40 S.E.2d 650 (1946).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions rendered under the former version of this Code section prior to its 1993 amendment are included in the annotations for this Code section. Under the former version, school board members were selected by the grand jury.

Constitution supersedes statutory terms.

- To the extent that this provision conflicts with the constitutional provision on boards of education, the latter controls, but such conflict does not otherwise render other provisions contained in the Code invalid. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 151 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Ga. Const. 1945, Art. VIII, Sec. IX, Para. I (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Paras. II and IV), to the extent that it conflicts with this section, supersedes the terms thereof, and this section must be read in conjunction with and pursuant to the constitutional provision. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 155 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Grand jury empowered to fix terms of first appointees after adoption of 1945 Constitution.

- Grand jury of the county is clothed with the power to fix the beginning and ending of the term of the first appointees made after the adoption of the 1945 Constitution and thereafter all subsequent terms are to conform with the beginning of the term of the first appointee. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 155 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Residency requirements for the election of local school board members cannot be established by board bylaws. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U97-25.

Members-elect cannot enter upon duties until qualified, commissioned, and administered appropriate oaths.

- Members-elect of a local board of education shall not enter upon the duties of office until the members are qualified, commissioned, and administered the appropriate oaths. An incumbent board member who has been reelected or reappointed may continue to serve as an official member of the board prior to receiving the commission and being administered the appropriate oaths for the new term. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-15 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

As local board members are public officers, their terms shall continue until successors are commissioned. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-15 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

When grand jury fails to make appointment, member continues until successor selected.

- When the local grand jury fails to make an appointment to fill the office of a member of the county board of education whose term has expired, if the member has not resigned, the member continues to be a member of the county board of education until a successor is selected and qualified. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 107 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Citizen-resident of independent district qualified to select county board member.

- Citizen-resident of an independent school district is not disqualified from participating in the selection of a member of a county board of education by a grand jury of which the citizen-resident is a member. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 151 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

No person employed by or serving on other board may serve on county board.

- No person employed by or serving as a member of the board of any other public school system may serve as a member of a county board of education. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U74-69 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

No employee of state department or county board may serve on county board.

- Neither an employee of the State Department of Education or of a county board of education is eligible for membership on the county board of education. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U74-69 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Principal or school teacher in elementary school could be candidate for county board of education. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 140 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Teacher may serve as a county commissioner unless prohibited by a local law or unless a local circumstance would allow the commission to affect the pay or other conditions of employment of teachers. 1999 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U99-3.

Members of a county board may be employed by a separate school system even if the board contracts with that system for use of the county's middle and high schools. 1999 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U99-7.

Local board member is required to take an oath affirming that the member is not the holder of public money due this state, that the member is not the holder of an office of the United States or of any one of the several states, that the member is otherwise qualified to hold office, that the member meets the residency requirements for office, and that the member will support the Constitution of the United States and of this state. Until the member takes that oath a local board member is not to enter upon the duties of that office. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-15 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Vacation equivalent of failed election.

- Vacancy in a county board of education, which resulted from a quo warranto action and determination that a board member was ineligible at the time the member was elected and sworn in and continues to be ineligible to hold that office, is the equivalent of a failed election and must be filled by special election under former Code 1933, § 34-1514. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-60 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 67 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 94, 95, 124 et seq.

ALR.

- Right of school teacher to serve as member of school board in school district where employed, 70 A.L.R.3d 1188.

Applicability and application of § 2 of Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 USCS § 1973) to members of school board, 105 A.L.R. Fed. 254.

20-2-52. Term of office; number of members; staggering of terms.

  1. Effective January 1, 2012, members of local boards of education shall be elected for terms of not less than four years, provided that longer terms of office may be provided by local Act or constitutional amendment.
    1. Each local board of education shall have no more than seven members as provided by local Act.
    2. This subsection shall not apply to a local board of education whose board size exceeds seven members as provided by local constitutional amendment or federal court order or pursuant to a local law in effect prior to July 1, 2010; provided, however, that if the local law of any such local board of education is amended to revise the number of members on such board, paragraph (1) of this subsection shall apply.
  2. Members of local boards of education in office on July 1, 2011, who are serving terms of office of less than four years shall serve until December 31, 2012, and until their respective successors are elected and qualified. Members elected in 2011 shall serve until December 31, 2014, and until their respective successors are elected and qualified. Successors to all such members shall be elected to serve four-year terms of office and until their respective successors are elected and qualified.
  3. The General Assembly, by local law, may provide for staggered terms of office and term limits for such offices. On and after January 1, 2015, the General Assembly by local law may provide for terms of less than four years for members of local boards of education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 78; Code 1933, § 32-903; Ga. L. 1965, p. 124, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 2; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 3/SB 84; Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 1/SB 79.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 4/SB 79, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "If a local school system or school is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act, local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-73 as they existed on the day prior to April 20, 2011." This Act became effective April 20, 2011.

Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 5/SB 79, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The Attorney General of Georgia shall cause Section 3 of this Act to be submitted for preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and such submission shall be made to the United States Department of Justice or filed with the appropriate court no later than 45 days after the date on which this Act is approved by the Governor or becomes law without such approval." The Governor approved this Act on April 20, 2011.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Applicability.

- Telfair County Tenure Law, Ga. L. 1963, p. 705, did not limit the terms a school board member could serve because although it is a local constitutional amendment, it does not apply to Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII and, thus, does not apply to school board members. Dyal v. Pope, 283 Ga. 463, 660 S.E.2d 725 (2008).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions rendered under former versions of this Code section are included in the opinions under this Code section.

Section remains in force and effect after the adoption of the 1945 Constitution because it does not conflict with the Constitution. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 148 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Constitutional provision controls.

- To the extent this provision conflicts with the constitutional provision on boards of education, the latter controls, but such conflict does not otherwise render other provisions contained in the Code invalid. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 151 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Section not relevant to elected school boards.

- O.C.G.A. § 20-2-52 would appear to relate only to school boards appointed by grand juries and not to elected school boards. In any event, the relocation of an elected member of the Fayette county board of education to another district within Fayette county after taking office would not create a vacancy in the office which the member holds. 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U88-35 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Enlargement of nonresidency qualification requirements by local law unconstitutional.

- If an attempt were made to enlarge the qualification requirements (other than residence requirements) by local law, there would be a violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. I, Sec. IV, Para. I (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. IV) which prohibits special legislation in cases where provision has been made by existing general law. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-103 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

If county has four districts, one member selected at large.

- When a county has four districts, one member of the county board of education should be selected from the county at large. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 146 (decided under Ga. L. 1919, p. 288 prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1965, p. 124).

Grand jury may not select two members of the board from the same district or locality. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 143 (decided under Ga. L. 1919, p. 288 prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1965, p. 124).

Constitution does not supersede this section so as to authorize a grand jury to elect more than one member of a county board of education from any one militia district. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 63 (decided under Ga. L. 1919, p. 288 prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1965, p. 124).

Member of the legislature may serve as a member of a county board of education. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 582 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Principal or school teacher in elementary school could be candidate for county board of education. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 140 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

Board members selected from area not within independent school district.

- It is clear from the Constitution and this section that members of the county board of education shall be selected from that portion of the county not embraced within the territory of an independent school district. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 510 (decided prior to 1993 amendment).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 68, 69.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 94, 95, 128 et seq.

ALR.

- Right of school teacher to serve as member of school board in school district where employed, 70 A.L.R.3d 1188.

20-2-52.1. Composition and election of county boards of education in counties in which there is a homestead option sales and use tax and a county sales and use tax for educational purposes; terms of service.

  1. On and after January 1, 2015, in counties in which there is being collected a homestead option sales and use tax pursuant to Article 2A of Chapter 8 of Title 48 and a county sales and use tax for educational purposes pursuant to Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 and the county board of education consists of more than seven members, such county boards of education shall comply with this Code section. Such county boards of education shall consist of seven members elected from separate single-member districts of approximately equal population. The number of members may be reduced to less than seven members by local legislation, but such members shall be elected from separate single-member districts of approximately equal population.
  2. Unless otherwise provided by local law, such county boards of education shall select from among their membership a chairperson and vice chairperson at the first meeting of each odd-numbered year.
  3. Unless otherwise provided by local law, such county boards of education shall serve staggered, four-year terms of office.
  4. In the event that a local law is not enacted prior to the qualifying period for the 2014 elections to conform the provisions of law regarding boards of education subject to this Code section to the size requirements of this Code section and if the election structure of such local board of education contains a plan for seven members from separate single-member districts encompassing all of the school district in addition to any other election provisions, then on January 1, 2015, the board of education shall consist only of seven members elected from such separate single-member districts and all other positions in excess of those seven shall be eliminated. In such case, those persons serving from odd-numbered districts shall serve for an initial term of two years and until their respective successors are elected and qualified. Those persons serving from even-numbered districts shall serve for an initial term of four years and until their respective successors are elected and qualified. Thereafter, successors to such members shall be elected at the general election immediately prior to the end of their respective terms of office to take office on January 1 immediately following such election for terms of four years and until their respective successors are elected and qualified. After January 1, 2015, the composition of such districts, number of districts, and staggering of terms may be changed by local law consistent with the provisions of this Code section, but shall not be changed prior to such date.

(Code 1981, §20-2-52.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 2/SB 79; Ga. L. 2012, p. 1133, § 1/SB 412; Ga. L. 2014, p. 11, § 1/HB 979.)

The 2014 amendment, effective February 26, 2014, in subsection (a), inserted "separate" preceding "single-member" in the second and third sentences; and added subsection (d).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 4/SB 79, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "If a local school system or school is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act, local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-73 as they existed on the day prior to April 20, 2011." This Act became effective April 20, 2011.

Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 5/SB 79, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The Attorney General of Georgia shall cause Section 3 of this Act to be submitted for preclearance under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and such submission shall be made to the United States Department of Justice or filed with the appropriate court no later than 45 days after the date on which this Act is approved by the Governor or becomes law without such approval." The Governor approved this Act on April 20, 2011.

20-2-53. Certifying election or appointment of county board members.

In addition to certifications of elections now required to be made to the Governor, it shall be the duty of the elections superintendent of each system or other political subdivision to transmit to the Secretary of State and to the State School Superintendent a certified statement of the election of members of a local board of education.Where board members are appointed under any law to fill vacancies, it shall be the duty of the local superintendent of schools to certify these appointments to the Secretary of State, the State School Superintendent, and to the Governor.All resignations from such boards, in addition to being submitted to the Governor, shall be submitted to the local superintendent of schools and a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Secretary of State and to the State School Superintendent.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 80; Code 1933, § 32-905; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1175, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 16; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 3.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions rendered prior to the 1993 amendment of this Code section are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Section is not unconstitutional on its face. Turner v. Fouche, 396 U.S. 346, 90 S. Ct. 532, 24 L. Ed. 2d 567 (1970) (decided under prior law).

Issuance of commission.

- Issuance of commission to one elected or appointed to county board is a ministerial act, and is not conclusive of the right of the person so commissioned to hold the office to which the person has been elected or appointed, and the writ of injunction will not lie to prevent the issuance of a commission to such a person by the proper officials. Hobbs v. Peavy, 210 Ga. 671, 82 S.E.2d 224 (1954) (decided under prior law).

Cited in McCollum v. Bass, 201 Ga. 537, 40 S.E.2d 650 (1946); State v. Walker, 209 Ga. 523, 74 S.E.2d 461 (1953).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions rendered prior to the 1993 amendment of this Code section are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Members-elect of board shall not enter upon duties until qualified, commissioned, and administered appropriate oaths.

- An incumbent board member who has been reelected or reappointed may continue to serve as an official member of the board prior to receiving the commission and being administered the appropriate oaths for the new term. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-15 (decided under prior law).

When certified statement regarding selection insufficient, inquiry made of clerk for additional information.

- When the certified statement of facts regarding the election or appointment of a member of a county board of education forwarded by the clerk of the superior court to the State School Superintendent is insufficient to enable the Secretary of State to properly prepare a commission for the Governor's signature, appropriate inquiry should be made of the clerk and additional information submitted by the clerk through established channels. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 178 (decided under prior law).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 71.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 94, 95, 124 et seq., 135 et seq.

20-2-54. Resignation of member of county board or superintendent.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1986, p. 996, § 3, effective July 1, 1986.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 81; Code 1933, § 32-906; and Ga. L. 1981, p. 643, § 1.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20(2)/SB 340, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, reserved the designation of this Code section.

20-2-54.1. Procedure for filling vacancies on local boards.

  1. In all instances where local laws applicable to local boards of education do not provide otherwise, a vacancy occurring for any reason on a local board of education shall be filled as follows:
    1. If the vacancy occurs more than 90 days prior to the date of a general election preceding the general election at which a successor will be elected to a new full term of office, then such vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term of office at a special election to be held on the same date as said general election preceding the general election at which a successor will be elected to a new full term of office; and in this case the remaining members of the board of education shall, by majority vote, select a qualified person to fill the vacancy until the person elected at such special election takes office; and
    2. If the vacancy does not occur more than 90 days prior to the date of a general election preceding the general election at which a successor will be elected to a new full term of office, then the remaining members of the local board of education shall, by majority vote, select a qualified person to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.
  2. Any person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section shall possess the same qualifications required for election to a full term of office as provided by law applicable to the office wherein the vacancy occurred.As applied to special elections under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section, if the office wherein the vacancy occurred is filled by election of voters within a portion of the local school district, then the special election shall be held within that portion of the local school district, but if the office wherein the vacancy occurred is filled by the voters within the entire school district, then the special election shall be held within the entire school district.

(Code 1981, §20-2-54.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 641, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 20; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1261, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 20; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 4.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1993, "paragraph (1) of subsection (a)" was substituted for "subparagraph (a)(1)(A)" in the second sentence of subsection (b).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Filling vacancy in recall situations.

- Former O.C.G.A. §§ 21-4-11 and21-4-12(g) (now O.C.G.A. §§ 21-4-12 and21-4-13(g), respectively) govern the manner of filling a vacancy on a county school board created by the resignation of a member of the county school board subsequent to the filing of an application for a recall petition, but prior to a recall election, or as a result of a recall election, respectively. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-46 (rendered prior to 1989 repeal and reenactment of T. 21, Ch. 4, which now provides for filling a vacancy by means of a special election).

20-2-55. Per diem, insurance, and expenses of local board members.

    1. In any local school system for which no local Act is passed, members of the local board of education shall, when approved by the local board affected, receive a per diem of $50.00 for each day of attendance at meetings of the board and while meeting and traveling within or outside the state as a member of a committee of the board on official business first authorized by a majority of the board, plus reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in connection therewith; provided, however, that in any independent school system with a full-time equivalent (FTE) program count of less than 4,000 students for which no local Act is passed, members of the local board of education may, when approved by the affected local board, receive a per diem of not less than $50.00 and not more than $100.00 for each day of attendance at meetings of the board and while meeting and traveling within or outside the state as a member of a committee of the board, plus reimbursement for actual expenses. The accounts for such service and expenses shall be submitted for approval to the local school superintendent. In all school districts, the compensation of members of local boards shall be paid only from the local tax funds available to local boards for educational purposes. This paragraph shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed prior to July 1, 2010.
    2. In any local school system for which no local Act is passed, members of the local board of education shall, when approved by the local board affected, receive a per diem of $50.00 for each day of attendance at a meeting, as defined in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-14-1, of the board, plus reimbursement for actual expenses necessarily incurred in connection therewith; provided, however, that in any independent school system with a full-time equivalent (FTE) program count of less than 4,000 students for which no local Act is passed, members of the local board of education may, when approved by the affected local board, receive a per diem of not less than $50.00 and not more than $100.00 for each day of attendance at a meeting, as defined in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-14-1, of the board, plus reimbursement for actual expenses. The accounts for such service and expenses shall be submitted for approval to the local school superintendent. In all school districts, the compensation of members of local boards shall be paid only from the local tax funds available to local boards for educational purposes. This paragraph shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010.
    1. A local board of education is authorized to provide group medical and dental insurance for its members who elect to participate. Such insurance may be provided through a group policy secured by the local school district, a group policy secured by several local school districts, a policy secured by an organization of local school boards, or in accordance with Code Section 45-18-5 providing for the inclusion of members of the local board of education and their spouses and dependents within any health insurance plan or plans established under Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45. It shall be the duty of the board to make the employer contributions required for the operation of such plan or plans. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, a board providing such insurance shall pay no greater percentage of the cost of that insurance than the percentage of the cost paid as an employer contribution by the state for the health insurance plan for state employees pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45. The remainder of such insurance costs, and all the costs of any coverage for family members, shall be paid as an employee contribution by the board member. It shall be the duty of the board to deduct from the salary or other remuneration of qualified members or otherwise collect such payment from the qualified members or dependents.
    2. Taxes levied by or on behalf of a local board of education may be expended for employer contributions, but not employee contributions, required for insurance coverage of members of that board as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection. Taxes levied by or on behalf of a local board of education also may be expended for contributions authorized in paragraph (3) of this subsection. Such expenditures on behalf of any member may continue only as long as that member continues in office and makes any employee contribution required for such coverage. That member, and eligible dependents thereof, shall be ineligible for coverage pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection upon such person's ceasing to serve as a member of a local board of education. Such expenditures on behalf of any member in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection may continue only as long as that member continues in office and makes any contribution which is not the result of the board of education's decision to allow its members to participate in the health insurance plan. Expenditures authorized by this Code section shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any salary, expense, per diem, or other compensation payable to that member of a local board of education.
    3. If a board member is already a member of a health insurance plan established by Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 45 as a retired employee and the result of the board of education's decision to allow its members to participate is to establish dual eligibility for a member and thus to increase the cost to such member of the state insurance plan, then the local board may pay any additional cost imposed on such member as a result of the local board's decision to allow its members to participate in coverage under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 79; Code 1933, § 32-904; Ga. L. 1943, p. 270, § 1; Ga. L. 1957, p. 648, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1959, p. 231, § 1; Ga. L. 1963, p. 279, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 447, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1446, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 529, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 934, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53; Ga. L. 1989, p. 685, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 782, § 3; Ga. L. 1999, p. 813, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1071, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 841, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 4/SB 84; Ga. L. 2012, p. 218, § 5/HB 397.)

Cross references.

- Compensation of school board members, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. II.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1993, "paragraph (1) of this subsection" was substituted for "subsection (b) of this Code section" in paragraph (b)(2).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1999, p. 813, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Nothing herein shall be construed to allow county officials or local school board officials to be included in the state employee's health insurance plan except that the appropriate agencies of state government may provide administrative services, only, for county officials and local school officials participating in various plans."

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Eligibility for coverage, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Department of Community Health, State Health Benefit Plan, Sec. 111-4-1-.04.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2012 amendment of this Code section, see 29 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 139 (2012).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Local board cannot establish program of self-insurance for itself.

- While a local board of education could establish a program of self-insurance to cover the deductible portion of any liability imposed upon the board's officers, or employees, the board could not do so for itself and would be limited to the protection expressly authorized by Ga. L. 1975, p. 1181, § 1. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-61.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 94, 95, 133, 134.

20-2-56. Nonpartisan elections for members of boards of education.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the General Assembly may provide by local law for the election in nonpartisan elections of candidates to fill the offices of members of boards of education and, in the case of independent school systems, for the election in nonpartisan elections of candidates to fill the offices of members of the boards of education of those independent school systems using the procedures established in Chapter 2 of Title 21, the "Georgia Election Code."

(Code 1981, §20-2-56, enacted by Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 6; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1027, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 295, § 3; Ga. L. 2001, p. 269, § 2; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 20/HB 95.)

Editor's notes.

- Former Code Section 20-2-56, pertaining to workshops for new members of county and other boards, was based on Ga. L. 1977, p. 711, § 1 and was repealed by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 2, effective July 1, 1986.

Law reviews.

- For note on the 2001 amendment to this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 96 (2001).

20-2-57. Organization of county boards; chairperson and secretary; quorum; record of proceedings.

  1. Unless otherwise provided by local law or, in the absence of local law, by local board policy, upon being called together by one of their number, the members of the local board shall organize by selecting one of their number as chairperson to serve as such during the term for which that person was chosen as a member of the local board. The local school superintendent shall act as secretary of the local board, ex officio. A majority of the local board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The votes of a majority of the members present shall be necessary for the transaction of any business or discharge of any duties of the local board of education, provided there is a quorum present. Any action taken by less than a majority of the board members may be rescinded by a majority of the board members at the next regular meeting or within 30 days of such action, whichever is later. It shall be the duty of the superintendent as secretary to be present at the meetings of the local board, to keep the minutes of its meetings and make a permanent record of them, and to do any other clerical work it may direct the superintendent to do. The superintendent shall cause to be recorded in a book, to be provided for the purpose, all official proceedings of the local board, which shall be a public record open to the inspection of any person interested therein; and all such proceedings, when so recorded, shall be signed by the chairperson and countersigned by the secretary.
  2. Pursuant to the authority of this subsection, any local board of education whose chairperson is required to be a member of that board who is elected at large from its school district, when such requirement is imposed by the terms of a local law which became effective before this subsection may become effective under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, shall continue to have as its chairperson that same member who is elected at large as designated by that local law, unless thereafter changed by local law.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, §§ 82, 88; Code 1933, §§ 32-907, 32-912; Ga. L. 1956, p. 747, § 1; Ga. L. 1965, p. 370, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, § 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 2107, § 18; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 20; Ga. L. 1985, p. 467, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 406, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 7; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 20; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1936, § 2.5; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 5/SB 84.)

Law reviews.

- For note on the 1994 amendment of this Code section, see 11 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 184 (1994).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Local act providing for selection of chair of board of education was unconstitutional bill of attainder.

- H.B. 563 was an unconstitutional bill of attainder under Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. X as applied to the chairperson of the Randolph County Board of Education because prior to the passage of the bill, the chairperson's term was not set to expire until December 31, 2010, but the bill operated to cut short the chairperson's four-year term that had previously been established by O.C.G.A. § 20-2-57(a) and local board policy. Cook v. Smith, 288 Ga. 409, 705 S.E.2d 847 (2010).

Superintendent not authorized to disclaim title to property vested in board.

- Authority given to the superintendent by former Code 1933, §§ 32-907, 32-912, and 32-1009 to act as an agent for the county school board did not include any authority to disclaim title to property vested in the board as public trustees. Ingram v. Doss, 217 Ga. 645, 124 S.E.2d 87 (1962).

Neither minutes nor signing thereof prerequisite condition to borrowing money.

- Neither the record on the minutes of the board of its resolution to borrow money, nor the signing of the minutes by the president (now the chair), is made a mandatory or prerequisite condition to the right to borrow money and execute notes for school purposes. American Sur. Co. v. Citizens' Bank, 48 Ga. App. 448, 172 S.E. 801 (1934), aff'd, 180 Ga. 827, 180 S.E. 635 (1935).

Official immunity upheld.

- Trial court properly granted summary judgment to a county school board and the board's superintendent in a parents' negligence action arising out of an attack on school grounds that injured their child as the board and the superintendent presented sufficient evidence that a school safety plan was in place at the elementary school at the time the child was attacked, entitling the board and the superintendent to official immunity barring the parents' negligence claims. Leake v. Murphy, 284 Ga. App. 490, 644 S.E.2d 328 (2007), cert. denied, 2007 Ga. LEXIS 671 (Ga. 2007).

Cited in American Sur. Co. v. Citizens' Bank, 44 Ga. App. 57, 160 S.E. 546 (1931); Marshall v. Walker, 183 Ga. 44, 187 S.E. 81 (1936); Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947); Mayor of Union Point v. Jones, 88 Ga. App. 848, 78 S.E.2d 348 (1953); Lilly v. Crisp County Sch. Sys., 117 Ga. App. 868, 162 S.E.2d 456 (1968); Grimes v. Clark, 226 Ga. 195, 173 S.E.2d 686 (1970); Callaway v. Kirkland, 320 F. Supp. 1135 (N.D. Ga. 1970); Knight v. Troup County Bd. of Educ., 144 Ga. App. 634, 242 S.E.2d 263 (1978).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Enlargement of nonresidency qualification requirements by local law unconstitutional.

- If an attempt were made to enlarge the qualification requirements (other than residence requirements) by local law, there would be a violation of Ga. Const. 1945, Art. I, Sec. IV, Para. I (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. IV) which prohibits special legislation in cases where provision has been made by existing general law. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-103.

Chair of local board is entitled to vote in same manner as are other members. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 146.

Chair is a board member whose voice and vote must be considered to the same extent as any other member of the school board in determining whether or not the will of the board has been expressed or manifested. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 568.

Chair of board can cast a vote to make a tie on some issues before the board. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 333.

Chair of board may vote to make or break a tie on some issues before the board. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 104.

Absence of chair or secretary.

- Local board of education must organize itself in the manner set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-57 and20-2-58; however, the board may select two of the board's members to serve temporarily in the absence of the chair or secretary and may designate the members as vice-chairs. 1987 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U87-9.

County superintendent must of necessity be permitted to attend any official meeting of county board. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 171.

County superintendent may utilize stenographer or recording equipment at board meetings.

- While the county school superintendent may not delegate statutory responsibility for causing the minutes of a board meeting to be kept and made into a permanent record, the superintendent may, to better meet responsibilities in the matter, utilize the services of a stenographer, or, for that matter, any sort of recording equipment. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-172.

Local policies adopted by a board of education which do not appear to be the equivalent of "local laws" would not exempt the county board of education from following the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-57. The term "local law," which is also referred to as a "special law," refers to acts passed by the General Assembly which are designed to be territorially local, not permitting of application to any other county in the state. The local policies of the board of education cannot take precedence over the requirements of that section and the statute itself must control. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U91-3.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 74 et seq., 163.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 140 et seq.

ALR.

- Necessity, sufficiency, and effect of minutes or record of meeting of school board, 12 A.L.R. 235.

School thrift system, 49 A.L.R. 712.

Libel and slander: privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

20-2-58. Regular monthly meeting of local boards; adjournment; temporary presiding officer; notice of date.

It shall be the duty of each local board of education to hold a regular meeting during each calendar month for the transaction of business pertaining to the public schools. Any such meeting may be adjourned from time to time, and, in the absence of the president or secretary, the members of the local board may appoint one of their own number to serve temporarily. The local board shall annually determine the date of its meeting and shall publish it either in the official county organ or, at the option of the local board of education, in a newspaper having a general circulation in said county at least equal to that of the official county organ for two consecutive weeks following the setting of the date; provided, however, that the date shall not be changed more often than once in 12 months and, if changed, the new date shall also be published as provided in this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 83; Code 1933, § 32-908; Ga. L. 1955, p. 625, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 700, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 2; Ga. L. 1991, p. 726, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1987, in the last sentence, a comma was deleted between "12 months" and "and" and a comma inserted between "and" and "if changed".

Law reviews.

- For article, "The Amended Open Meetings Law: New Requirements for Publicly Funded Corporations As Well As Governmental Agencies," see 25 Ga. St. B.J. 78 (1988).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Word "date" is to be construed to mean the day of the week or month on which county board meetings are to be held and includes the time for such meetings. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 146.

County superintendent must of necessity be permitted to attend any official meeting of county board. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 171.

Absence of chair or secretary.

- Local board of education must organize itself in the manner set forth in O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-57 and20-2-58; however, the board may select two of the board's members to serve temporarily in the absence of the chair or secretary and may designate the members as vice-chairs. 1987 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U87-9.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 74, 75.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 138 et seq.

ALR.

- Libel and slander: Privileged nature of statements or utterances by member of school board in course of official proceedings, 85 A.L.R.3d 1137.

20-2-58.1. "Immediate family" defined; employment of family members.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "immediate family" means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent.
  2. No local board of education shall employ or promote any person who is a member of the immediate family of any board member unless a public, recorded vote is taken on such employment or promotion as a separate matter from any other personnel matter. Any board member whose immediate family member is being considered for employment shall not vote on such employment. Nothing in this Code section shall affect the employment of any person who is employed by a local school system on July 1, 2000, or who is employed by a local school system when an immediate family member becomes a member of the local board of education for that school system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-58.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 6.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-59. Rules.

The county school superintendent and county board of education shall make rules to govern the county schools of their county.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 88; Code 1933, § 32-912; Ga. L. 1956, p. 747, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, § 2.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Local school boards may constitutionally employ different methods to control educational quality.

- Since the Georgia Constitution and Code provide local school boards with sweeping authority in the governing of local school systems, the fact that other school boards may choose to employ other methods to control the quality of education in their systems does not evince a denial of equal protection. Wells v. Banks, 153 Ga. App. 581, 266 S.E.2d 270 (1980).

Local school boards must be restricted to powers expressly granted or necessarily implied by statute, since their composition and function are extensively regulated by the state. Davis v. Griffin-Spalding County Bd. of Educ., 445 F. Supp. 1048 (N.D. Ga. 1975).

If state board acts lawfully, effect on private schools not considered.

- So long as the State Board of Education is acting within the board's lawful rights, the effect of public schools on private schools cannot be considered. Worth v. Board of Pub. Educ., 177 Ga. 166, 170 S.E. 77 (1933).

If election of teacher revoked before contract executed, notice and hearing not required.

- If a petition shows only an election of a teacher by a local board of education for an additional 12-month period, which was revoked by the board before a contract was executed although the teacher alleges the teacher notified the board of the teacher's acceptance, there was never any contract by and between the parties which would require the board to give the teacher notice and a hearing under this section since the teacher was no longer a teacher upon the termination of the present contract. Kelley v. Spence, 223 Ga. 506, 156 S.E.2d 351 (1967) (decided under Ga. L. 1956, p. 747 prior to revision by Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, deleting procedures for suspension of teachers).

Mandamus of teacher seeking only reinstatement, and not hearing, alleges no cause of action.

- When the plaintiff filed a petition for mandamus against the county school board and school superintendent to compel reinstatement in position as a teacher, although plaintiff demanded a hearing under the terms of this section and had not been given a hearing, plaintiff's writ of mandamus did not seek such a hearing, but only reinstatement; consequently, the petition alleges no cause of action. Westberry v. Taylor, 215 Ga. 464, 111 S.E.2d 77 (1959) (decided under Ga. L. 1956, p. 747 prior to revision by Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, deleting procedures for suspension of teachers).

Official immunity.

- In a wrongful death action by parents of a student who was murdered after leaving school early, the county superintendent and members of the board of education were entitled to official immunity based on their discretionary adoption of rules governing policies and procedures applicable to schools within the district, even though the rules did not address early dismissal of students. Perkins v. Morgan County Sch. Dist., 222 Ga. App. 831, 476 S.E.2d 592 (1996).

Preparation of school safety plan is discretionary, not ministerial, duty.

- Mandated action set forth in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-1185 with regard to every public school preparing a school safety plan is a discretionary duty rather than a ministerial duty; by so deciding, the Supreme Court of Georgia determined that the holding in Leake v. Murphy, 274 Ga. App. 219 (2005) was incorrect and overruled that holding. Murphy v. Bajjani, 282 Ga. 197, 647 S.E.2d 54 (2007).

Cited in Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947); Mayor of Union Point v. Jones, 88 Ga. App. 848, 78 S.E.2d 348 (1953); Lilly v. Crisp County Sch. Sys., 117 Ga. App. 868, 162 S.E.2d 456 (1968); Grimes v. Clark, 226 Ga. 195, 173 S.E.2d 686 (1970); Callaway v. Kirkland, 320 F. Supp. 1135 (N.D. Ga. 1970); Gold v. DeKalb County Sch. Dist., 346 Ga. App. 108, 815 S.E.2d 259 (2018), aff'd, 307 Ga. 330, 834 S.E.2d 808 (2019).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Power to manage and control county school systems in Georgia rests in the county board of education; the county school superintendent is obliged to comply with and carry out all rules, regulations, and instructions of the county board of education. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U74-65.

State board cannot stop student from passing should county board feel child reading sufficiently.

- Inasmuch as this section has been judicially endorsed numerous times, and in consideration of the fact that the State Board of Education has no express authority to preempt local boards in decisions concerning promotion of individual students, it would appear that the state board cannot directly stop an individual student from passing to the next grade level should the county board feel the child is reading sufficiently. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-63.

State board may, as condition of fiscal assistance, require implementation of state reading requirements.

- Although the State Board of Education does not have explicit authority to directly preclude a student in a local school district from progressing from one grade level to another if the child is not capable of reading in the higher grade level, the board may, as a condition of continued state fiscal assistance, require local boards of education to implement state board established reading requirements. 1975 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 75-63.

Rules and regulations adopted by school boards must be reasonable; otherwise the rules and regulations cannot be enforced. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 136.

County board may provide that no county bus shall transport students to unassigned areas.

- Under the general regulatory powers granted county boards of education, a county board, when the board deems it to be in the best interest and for the most efficient operation of the schools of the county, may, by regulations duly adopted, provide that no school bus under the jurisdiction of the board shall transport pupils to any attendance area other than areas to which the school bus has been assigned by the board. 1950-51 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 272.

Minimum age necessary for student to enroll in public schools of Georgia is administrative question to be decided by each county or city board of education. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 274.

Minimum and maximum ages of children who may be taught in the public schools is a matter which addresses itself to the local boards of education. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 65-10.

County board may suspend children for conducting themselves in a manner calculated to produce disorder or for committing immoral acts. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 136.

Use or possession of tobacco products.

- Local school board may promulgate a policy which prohibits the use of tobacco products by the board's employees while on school property, but may not impose a policy which prohibits the possession of tobacco products by the board's employees while on school property. 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U88-9.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 78 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 196 et seq.

ALR.

- Power of school authorities to employ physicians, nurses, oculists, and dentists, 12 A.L.R. 922.

Power of school authorities to transfer teacher from one school or district to another, 103 A.L.R. 1382.

Validity, construction, and application of statutes or regulations concerning recreational or social activities of pupils of public schools, 134 A.L.R. 1274.

Power of school district or school board to employ counsel, 75 A.L.R.2d 1339.

Regulations as to fraternities and similar associations connected with educational institution, 10 A.L.R.3d 389.

Validity, construction, and effect of municipal residency requirements for teachers, principals, and other school employees, 75 A.L.R.4th 272.

20-2-60. Consolidation of county schools.

The board of education of any county shall have the right, if, in its opinion, the welfare of the schools of the county and the best interests of the pupils require, to consolidate two or more schools into one school, to be located by the county board at a place convenient to the pupils attending the consolidated school.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 90; Code 1933, § 32-915; Ga. L. 1946, p. 206, § 3; Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 1/HB 283.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, §§ 1551(96) and 1551(97), which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Section is not unconstitutional. Branson v. Long, 159 Ga. 288, 125 S.E. 500 (1924) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (96)).

Right to unite schools conferred by section.

- Right of the county board of education to unite two or more schools in the same or different districts is conferred upon the board. Bramlett v. Callaway, 192 Ga. 8, 14 S.E.2d 454 (1941).

Former Code 1933, § 32-915 recognized that the high school grades were a part of the common school and not a school within themselves unless established under the provisions of former Code 1933, § 32-912. Irwin v. Crawford, 210 Ga. 222, 78 S.E.2d 609 (1953).

Only limitation placed upon the authority of the board to consolidate schools is that the board must be of the opinion that such consolidation will promote the welfare of the schools of the county and the best interests of the pupils and that the school be located conveniently to the pupils and as near to the center of the district or districts as practicable. Bramlett v. Callaway, 192 Ga. 8, 14 S.E.2d 454 (1941).

Board cannot consolidate rural and municipal schools.

- This section does not give county boards authority to consolidate rural schools with those established and maintained in municipalities; the policy of the state has been to keep independent municipal schools separate and distinct from the county schools. Board of Educ. v. Hunt, 159 Ga. 749, 126 S.E. 789 (1925) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (96)).

Word "consolidated" does not have to appear in name for consolidated district.

- If two or more local school districts are consolidated, it is not necessary that the word "consolidated" appear as a part of the name selected for the consolidated district; it is proper for a proceeding to validate bonds to be conducted in the name of the district as fixed by the proper school authorities. Hawthorne v. Turkey Creek Sch. Dist., 162 Ga. 462, 134 S.E. 103 (1926) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (96)).

School site chosen after hearings and approved by voters, board actions legal.

- When the site of a proposed school was chosen after several hearings by the board and was approved by the majority of the voters in the county, in view of the wide discretion given the board under this section, the actions of the board are not illegal as a matter of law nor are the actions an abuse of discretion. Berrie v. State, 119 Ga. App. 148, 166 S.E.2d 631 (1969).

No judicial review.

- Consolidation of school districts is a part of the political power of the state which the legislature has seen fit to confer upon the county board of education, with a referendum to the voters of the consolidated districts to approve or disapprove the consolidation; and in the absence of any provision made for a review in equity of the decision of the board, the remedy by popular vote is the only one open. Church v. Purcell, 186 Ga. 95, 196 S.E. 806 (1938).

Citizen, to prevent superintendent from paying over appropriated funds, must show special injury.

- In order for a private citizen to maintain an action against the State School Superintendent to prevent the superintendent from paying over funds appropriated for consolidated schools to county authorities, the citizen must show that the duty is owed to individuals and that special injury is incurred by the wrongful act. Sanders v. Ballard, 160 Ga. 366, 127 S.E. 851 (1925) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (97)).

Cited in Fitzpatrick v. Johnson, 174 Ga. 746, 163 S.E. 908 (1932); Keever v. Board of Educ., 188 Ga. 299, 3 S.E.2d 886 (1939); Burton v. Kearse, 204 Ga. 765, 51 S.E.2d 796 (1949); Irwin v. Crawford, 210 Ga. 222, 78 S.E.2d 609 (1953); Crawford v. Irwin, 211 Ga. 241, 85 S.E.2d 8 (1954); Wallis v. Blue, 263 F. Supp. 965 (N.D. Ga. 1967); Davis v. Ware County Bd. of Educ., 117 Ga. App. 388, 160 S.E.2d 674 (1968); Berrie v. Baucknecht, 224 Ga. 432, 162 S.E.2d 317 (1968); Grimes v. Clark, 226 Ga. 195, 173 S.E.2d 686 (1970).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

County board authorized to consolidate county schools.

- County board of education is vested with the authority to consolidate county schools when, in the opinion of the board, the consolidation is in the best interests of the schools and the pupils of the county; this is a duty and responsibility which is vested in the county school board rather than the State Board of Education. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 502.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 78, 95.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 138 et seq., 514 et seq., 521, 522, 557, 558.

ALR.

- Zoning regulations as applied to public elementary and high schools, 74 A.L.R.3d 136.

20-2-61. Fundamental roles of local boards of education and local school superintendents.

  1. The fundamental role of a local board of education shall be to establish policy for the local school system with the focus on student achievement. The fundamental role of a local school superintendent shall be to implement the policy established by the local board. It shall not be the role of the local board of education or individual members of such board to micromanage the superintendent in executing his or her duties, but it shall be the duty of the local board to hold the local school superintendent accountable in the performance of his or her duties. Local board of education members should work together with the entire local board of education and shall not have authority as independent elected officials but shall only be authorized to take official action as members of the board as a whole. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter, limit, expand, or enlarge any powers, duties, or responsibilities of local boards of education, local board members, or local school superintendents.
  2. Except as may be allowed by law, no local board of education shall delegate or attempt to delegate its policy-making functions.

(Code 1981, §20-2-61, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 6/SB 84.)

Editor's notes.

- This Code section formerly pertained to reorganizing schools and fixing the number of grades at each. The former Code section was based on Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 282, § 1 and was repealed by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 2, effective July 1, 1986.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Constitutionality of statute providing for removal from office.

- Georgia Supreme Court held that the removal of local school board members under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was not an unconstitutional infringement upon the governing authority of local school boards, nor was it a violation of any other constitutional provision or right. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

Whether characterized as setting a qualification for continued service on the local board in the extraordinary circumstance of an imminent loss of accreditation, or whether characterized as providing for removal for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was held by the Georgia Supreme Court to be a permissible exercise of the legislative power to provide for the removal for cause of members of local boards. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

20-2-62. Employment of county agents and home demonstration agents to carry on extension work.

Power is conferred upon the county tax levying authorities of the several counties, as well as the county boards of education, to carry on educational work for the promotion of the extension work in agriculture and home economics under the Act of Congress approved May 8, 1914 (7 U.S.C.A., Sections 341 to 348), and resolution of the General Assembly, under the date of August 14, 1914 (Ga. L. 1914, p. 1243), giving assent of the state to such Act of Congress, by employing county agricultural agents and home demonstration agents and supervising their work and paying therefor. The boards of education of the several counties may employ and pay county agents and home demonstration agents to carry on such extension work.

(Ga. L. 1922, p. 82, § 2; Ga. L. 1923, p. 88, § 1; Code 1933, § 32-944.)

Cross references.

- Cooperative Extension Service of University of Georgia, § 2-6-4 et seq.

Authority of board of regents with regard to federal grants for agricultural extension work, § 20-3-38.

Collection of county taxes for payment of county agricultural and home demonstration agents, § 48-5-220(10).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551(116), which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Counties having schools supported by taxation may employ county agents.

- County board of education in counties having a system of public schools supported by local taxation are authorized to employ, and pay from the school funds of the counties, county demonstration agents, vocational agricultural teachers, and home demonstration agents. Board of Educ. v. Butler, 154 Ga. 569, 115 S.E. 10 (1922) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (116)).

County board may supplement salaries of county agents.

- Board of regents, through the college of agriculture, controls the general scope of the agricultural extension work and is empowered to employ and discharge county agents, while the counties may, if the counties choose to levy the tax therefor, supplement the salaries of the county agents. Royal Indem. Co. v. Humphries, 90 Ga. App. 567, 83 S.E.2d 565 (1954).

County board cannot employ agricultural teacher in independent school system.

- Board of education of a county, in which a system of public schools is supported by local taxation, is without authority to employ one to teach agriculture in the high school of a city maintaining an independent public school system and to pay the teacher with the funds belonging to the former system, although students from the county districts, as well as those from the city, are taught by the teacher, and although the city furnishes the classroom and laboratory for conducting the teaching, especially if it is not shown that the value of the use of the classroom and laboratory is equal to the funds of the county school system applied to the payment of the teacher. Board of Educ. v. Butler, 154 Ga. 569, 115 S.E. 10 (1922) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (116)).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Section is permissive, not mandatory, i.e., the county boards of education "may" not "must" employ county agents and home demonstration agents; since the board can employ and pay agents, the board can employ and pay part or all of the salaries of employees of the agent. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 127.

When taxes levied, salaries paid by general governing body.

- If county taxes are levied under Ga. Const. 1945, Art. VII, Sec. IV, Para. II (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. IX, Sec. IV, Para. I) the expenses and salaries of the county and home demonstration agent would be paid by the general governing body of the county. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 127.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 349 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 1074 et seq.

20-2-63. Prohibit certain conflicts of interest of board members.

    1. No local board of education member shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges, advantages, or employment for himself or herself, his or her immediate family member, or others.
    2. No local board of education member shall act in his or her official capacity in any matter where he or she, his or her immediate family member, or a business organization in which he or she has an interest has a material financial interest that would reasonably be expected to impair his or her objectivity or independence of judgment. Compliance with Code Section 20-2-505 shall not constitute a violation of this paragraph.
    3. No local board of education member shall solicit or accept or knowingly allow his or her immediate family member or a business organization in which he or she has an interest to solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing that board member in the discharge of his or her official duties. This paragraph shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office if the local board of education member has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the local board of education member in the discharge of his or her official duties. For purposes of this paragraph, a gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value shall not include the items contained in subparagraphs (a)(2)(A) through (a)(2)(J) of Code Section 16-10-2.
    4. No local board of education member shall use, or knowingly allow to be used, his or her official position or any information not generally available to the members of the public which he or she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his or her official position for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself or herself, his or her immediate family member, or any business organization with which he or she is associated.
    5. No local board of education member or business organization in which he or she has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the local board of education or local school system in connection with any cause, proceeding, application, or other matter pending before the local school system in which he or she serves or in any proceeding involving the local school system in which he or she serves.
    6. No local board of education member shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent if no fee, reward, or other thing of value is promised to, given to, or accepted by the local board of education member or his or her immediate family member in return therefor.
    7. No local board of education member shall disclose or discuss any information which is subject to attorney-client privilege belonging to the local board of education to any person other than other board members, the board attorney, the local school superintendent, or persons designated by the local school superintendent for such purposes unless such privilege has been waived by a majority vote of the whole board.
    8. No member of a local board of education may also be an officer of any organization that sells goods or services to that local school system, except as provided in Code Section 20-2-505 and excluding nonprofit membership organizations.
    9. No local board of education member shall be deemed in conflict with this subsection if, by reason of his or her participation in any matter required to be voted upon, no material or monetary gain accrues to him or her as a member of any profession, occupation, or group to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of that profession, occupation, or group.
  1. Upon a motion supported by a two-thirds' vote, a local board of education may choose to conduct a hearing concerning the violation by a local board of education member of any conflict of interest provision in subsection (a) of this Code section. The local board of education member accused of violating said provision shall have 30 days' notice prior to a hearing on the matter. Said accused member may bring witnesses on his or her behalf, and the local board of education may call witnesses to inquire into the matter. If it is found by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the board that the accused member has violated a conflict of interest provision contained in subsection (a) of this Code section, the local board shall determine an appropriate sanction. A board member subject to sanction pursuant to this Code section may, within 30 days of such sanction vote, appeal such decision to the State Board of Education, which shall be empowered to affirm or reverse the decision to sanction such board member. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules governing such appeal process. This subsection shall apply only to local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010.
  2. As used in this Code section, the term "immediate family member" means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent.

(Code 1981, §20-2-63, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 7/SB 84.)

Editor's notes.

- This Code section formerly pertained to the failure to arrange for operation of schools. The former Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 113 and Code 1933, § 32-940 and was repealed by Ga. L. 1990, p. 1343, § 1, effective July 1, 1990.

20-2-64. Establishment and maintenance of trusts or funds.

  1. Each local board of education is authorized to establish and maintain one or more funds or trusts for the purposes specified in this Code section and to designate one or more fund managers or trustees thereof. Each local board of education shall be deemed to be a person for the purposes of Chapter 12 of Title 53, known as "The Revised Georgia Trust Code of 2010," and may take any action which a natural person would be authorized to take and shall be subject to any duty imposed upon a natural person by the provisions of such chapter, except as provided in this Code section.
  2. A local board of education shall appoint one or more managers or trustees for any separate fund or trust, respectively, created pursuant to the authority of this Code section and shall not act as trustee or manager of such a trust or fund.
  3. A local board of education is authorized to accept and pay over to or place in such trust or fund any gifts, grants, bequests, and transfers of real or personal property and money made for the furtherance of such trust's or fund's purposes, as set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section.No funds or property of the local board of education derived from tax revenues or state grants or appropriations shall be placed in any such trust or fund or expended for the administration of such trust or fund.
  4. Trust or fund property and the income therefrom may be expended, unless otherwise restricted by the donor thereof, for:
    1. Scholarships, grants, loans, and other educational assistance programs for students or graduates, or both, of the school system;
    2. Matching any matching grant given to such trust or fund or to the local board of education;
    3. Any purpose specified by the donor of such trust property, unless limited by subsection (e) of this Code section;
    4. Any other educational purpose; or
    5. The cost of administering the trust.
  5. Any such trust or fund shall be established under such further terms and conditions as may be deemed appropriate by the local board of education from time to time to the extent consistent with the uses of funds and purposes described in subsection (d) of this Code section.The local board of education, manager, or trustee may refuse to accept any gift, grant, bequest, or transfer which:
    1. Contains any condition, restriction, or limitation that may jeopardize the tax exempt status of such trust or fund for federal or state income tax purposes;
    2. Would cause the trust or fund to be treated as a private foundation under Section 509 or any corresponding provision of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended; or
    3. Contains any condition, restriction, or limitation deemed by the local board of education, fund manager, or trustee to be inconsistent with the purposes, terms, or conditions of such fund or trust.

(Code 1981, §20-2-64, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 3; Ga. L. 2010, p. 579, § 13/SB 131.)

Code Commission notes.

- Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 3, and Ga. L. 1992, p. 1831, § 1, both enacted a Code Section 20-2-64. Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, the section enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1831, § 1, was renumbered as Code Section 20-2-65.

20-2-65. Programs for care and supervision of students before school, after school, or during vacation periods.

  1. The General Assembly of Georgia, recognizing the need for providing school age children with programs outside the normal school curriculum that enable them to reach their full potential as students within that curriculum, hereby declares that programs which provide for the care and supervision of such students outside of normal school hours and during vacation periods serve an educational purpose, in that they are necessary or incidental to public education and can be an integral part of the total school program offered by public schools in this state.
  2. The board of education of any county, area, or independent school system is authorized to establish and operate, contract for, or otherwise make provisions for programs that provide care and supervision before school, after school, or during vacation periods, or during any combination of these time periods, for school age children who are temporary or permanent residents of the geographical area served by such system.
  3. Consistent with existing local rules, regulations, policies, or procedures, a local board of education shall conduct a needs assessment, the scope and methodology of which shall be determined solely by the board, before establishing, operating, contracting for, or otherwise making provisions for programs defined in subsection (b) of this Code section.
  4. In accordance with the requirements of Code Section 50-14-1, the local board of education shall notify the public of the board's intention to vote whether to provide programs as defined in subsection (b) of this Code section.A local board of education shall provide such additional notice or proceedings as deemed appropriate to solicit public comment and review of the board's actions regarding any programs defined in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-2-65, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1831, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 3, and Ga. L. 1992, p. 1831, § 1, both enacted a Code Section 20-2-64. Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, the section enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1831, § 1, was renumbered as Code Section 20-2-65.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Program as governmental function.

- An after-school program operated by a school district in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 20-2-65 is a governmental activity serving an educational purpose; therefore, the school district was entitled to sovereign immunity even though a fee was paid. Dollar v. Dalton Pub. Schs., 233 Ga. App. 827, 505 S.E.2d 789 (1998).

20-2-66. School breakfast programs.

  1. Each local school system in this state is encouraged to establish and support a school breakfast program to make breakfast available to all students in kindergarten through grade eight.All school systems are required to establish and support a school breakfast program in all schools with kindergarten through grade eight if at least 25 percent of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price lunch under federal guidelines and in all schools not containing kindergarten through grade eight if at least 40 percent of the student population is eligible for free or reduced price lunch under federal guidelines.School breakfast programs shall be phased in over a period beginning September 1, 1994, and ending June 15, 1996, in all such schools.Each local school system operating a school breakfast program pursuant to this Code section shall be reimbursed by the state at the federal reimbursement rate per meal prepared and served.The school breakfast program reimbursement by the state shall be automatically terminated if federal funding for this program ceases.
  2. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations which:
    1. Establish minimum nutritional requirements for school breakfast programs which meet or exceed the minimum federal regulations;
    2. Utilize federal standards of income eligibility for free or reduced price meals for lower income students;
    3. Prescribe uniform methods of determining eligibility for free or reduced price meals that are discreet and accessible.Each participating school system shall establish a method to regularly notify parents of the availability of the program;
    4. Provide that each participating local board of education submit a plan of compliance;
    5. Provide that compliance with the standards and regulations of the National School Lunch Act and Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, shall be deemed compliance with the requirements promulgated by the board;
    6. Assist the local school board in applying for and obtaining start-up grant money for such programs.

(Code 1981, §20-2-66, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 295, § 1.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- School nutrition program, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-5-6.

20-2-67. Local school system or school subject to corrective action plan for budget deficit; financial operations form; publication; mailing to Department of Education and local governing body.

  1. When an audit by the Department of Audits and Accounts finds and reports irregularities or budget deficits in the fund accounting information regarding a local school system or a school within the local school system, the Department of Audits and Accounts shall report the findings of irregularities or budget deficits to the State Board of Education and the local board of education.
  2. The State Board of Education shall inform the superintendent of the local school system of the irregularities or budget deficits regarding a local school system's or a school's fund accounting information. The superintendent shall submit to the Department of Education a response to the findings and a corrective action plan as defined by rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education designed to correct the financial irregularities or budget deficits for the school or school system. From the time such irregularity or budget deficit is discovered until the time it is eliminated, the local school superintendent shall present to each member of the local board of education for his or her review and written acknowledgment a monthly report containing all anticipated expenditures by budget function for such school or school system during the current month. The report shall be presented to local board members on or before the tenth business day of each month. Each monthly report shall be signed by each member of that local board and recorded and retained in the minutes of the meeting of the local board of education.
  3. Not later than September 30 of the year, each local board of education shall cause to be published in the official county organ wherein the local school system is located once a week for two weeks a statement of actual financial operations for such schools or school system identified by the Department of Audits and Accounts as having financial irregularities. Such statement of actual financial operations shall be in a form to be specified and prescribed by the state auditor for the purpose of indicating the current financial status of the schools or school system. Prior to publication, such form shall be executed by the local board of education and signed by each member of said board and the local school superintendent.
  4. A copy of the actual financial operations form required to be published by subsection (c) of this Code section shall be mailed by each local board of education to the Department of Education and the local county board of commissioners or local municipal governing authority. A current copy of said form shall be maintained on file in the central administrative office of the local school system for public inspection for a period of at least two years from the date of its publication. Copies of the statement shall be made available on request.

(Code 1981, §20-2-67, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 821, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 7.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-68. Information for verification of fund expenditure.

The Office of Planning and Budget shall collect from local school systems and local school systems shall supply information sufficient for the Office of Planning and Budget to verify the proper expenditure of funds and employment of positions funded in the Quality Basic Education formula and categorical grants.

(Code 1981, §20-2-68, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 8.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-69. Requirements and procedures for issuing and awarding high school diplomas to honorably discharged World War II Veterans.

Each local board of education shall issue high school diplomas to veterans who failed to receive diplomas due to an interruption of their education by service in World War II. The local board of education of the school district where the veteran attended high school shall award the high school diploma to such veteran. A veteran shall make application for a diploma to the appropriate local board of education and furnish proof that such person is a World War II veteran who had his or her education interrupted as a result of service in World War II. Honorably discharged veterans who served in World War II between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, and who did not graduate from high school are eligible for a diploma; provided, however, that attendance in high school ranging from 1937-1946 with graduation class years ranging from 1941-1950 is required. Veterans who qualify under this Code section and who have earned a general educational development (GED) diploma are also eligible for a high school diploma. Diplomas may be awarded posthumously. The local board of education is encouraged to present such diplomas to World War II veterans on or near Veterans Day to bring to the attention of students the importance of such day and the great sacrifices made by World War II veterans.

(Code 1981, §20-2-69, enacted by Ga. L. 2001, p. 478, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Instructional activities focusing on veterans and the armed forces, § 20-2-147.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2005, "Veterans Day" was substituted for "Veterans' Day" in the last sentence.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Education Law," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 281 (2001).

20-2-70. Requirements and procedures for issuing and awarding high school diplomas to honorably discharged Korean Conflict and Vietnam Conflict veterans.

Each local board of education shall issue high school diplomas to veterans who failed to receive diplomas due to an interruption of their education by service in the Korean Conflict or service in the Vietnam Conflict. The local board of education of the school district where the veteran attended high school shall award the high school diploma to such veteran. A veteran shall make application for a diploma to the appropriate local board of education and furnish proof that such person is a veteran of the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict who had his or her education interrupted as a result of service in the Korean Conflict or the Vietnam Conflict. Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Korean Conflict between June 25, 1950, and January 31, 1955, and honorably discharged veterans who served in the Vietnam Conflict between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, and who did not graduate from high school are eligible for a diploma pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that attendance in high school ranging from 1946 through 1955 with graduation class years ranging from 1951 through 1955 is required for veterans of the Korean Conflict and attendance in high school ranging from 1960 through 1975 with graduation class years ranging from 1964 through 1975 is required for veterans of the Vietnam Conflict. Veterans who qualify under this Code section and who have earned a general educational development (GED) diploma are also eligible for a high school diploma. Diplomas may be awarded posthumously. The local board of education is encouraged to present such diplomas to such veterans on or near Veterans Day to bring to the attention of students the importance of such day and the great sacrifices made by such veterans.

(Code 1981, §20-2-70, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 812, § 1.)

Cross references.

- The Veterans Education Reorganization Act of 1949, § 38-4-30 et seq.

20-2-71. Placement of twins or higher order multiples in the same classroom.

  1. For purposes of this Code section, the term "higher order multiples" means triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, or more.
  2. A school must place twins or higher order multiples from the same family together in the same classroom if the children are in the same grade level at the same school and meet the eligibility requirements of the class, and the children's parent or legal guardian requests the placement, unless factual performance evidence shows proof that these specific students should be separated. The parent or guardian must request the classroom placement no later than five days before the first day of each school year or five days after the first day of attendance of the children during a school year if the children are enrolled in the school after the school year commences.

(Code 1981, §20-2-71, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 674, § 1/SB 123; Ga. L. 2009, p. 8, § 20/SB 46.)

20-2-72. Code of ethics for local board of education members.

  1. The State Board of Education shall adopt a model code of ethics for members of local boards of education by October 1, 2010. Such model code of ethics shall also include appropriate consequences for violation of a provision or provisions of such code. The State Board of Education may periodically adopt revisions to such model code as it deems necessary.
  2. Within three months of adoption by the State Board of Education of a model code of ethics pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, each local board of education shall adopt a code of ethics that includes, at a minimum, such model code of ethics. Each local board of education shall incorporate into its code of ethics any revisions adopted by the State Board of Education to the model code of ethics pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section within three months of adoption of such revisions.

(Code 1981, §20-2-72, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 8/SB 84.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2010, Code Section 20-2-72, as enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 894, § 1, was redesignated as Code Section 20-2-74.

20-2-73. Suspension and removal of local school board members upon potential loss of accreditation or where one-half or more of schools in system are turnaround eligible schools; procedures; petition for reinstatement; prohibition on use of public funds for litigation expenses; reimbursement of expenses.

    1. Notwithstanding Code Section 20-2-54.1 or any other provisions of law to the contrary, if:
      1. A local school system or school is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation for any reason or reasons by one or more accrediting agencies included in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519, the local board of education shall notify the State Board of Education in writing within three business days of such placement and the State Board of Education shall conduct a hearing in not less than ten days of such notice nor more than 90 days and recommend to the Governor whether to suspend all eligible members of the local board of education with pay; or
      2. One-half or more of the schools in a local school system are turnaround eligible schools, as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-45, for the fifth or more consecutive year, the Department of Education shall notify the State Board of Education in writing within three business days of the publication of the list of turnaround eligible schools by the Office of Student Achievement and the State Board of Education shall conduct a hearing in not less than ten days of such notice nor more than 90 days and recommend to the Governor whether to suspend all eligible members of the local board of education with pay; provided, however, that this subparagraph shall be tolled for a local board of education while under a contract amendment or intervention contract pursuant to Code Section 20-14-45 so long as such local board of education is in substantial compliance with the terms of such contract amendment or intervention contract.
    2. A majority of the members of a local board of education may petition the State Board of Education to continue any hearing scheduled under this subsection. Upon a showing of good cause, the state board may in its sound discretion continue any such hearing. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, deliberations held by the State Board of Education pursuant to this subsection to formulate its recommendation to the Governor shall not be open to the public; provided, however, that testimony shall be taken in an open meeting and a vote on the recommendation shall be taken in an open meeting following the hearing or at the next regularly scheduled meeting. If the State Board of Education makes such recommendation, the Governor may, in his or her discretion, suspend all eligible members of the local board of education with pay and, in consultation with the State Board of Education, appoint temporary replacement members who shall be otherwise qualified to serve as members of such board.
  1. Any local board of education member suspended under this Code section may petition the Governor for reinstatement no earlier than 30 days following suspension and no later than 60 days following suspension. In the event that a suspended member does not petition for reinstatement within the allotted time period, his or her suspension shall be converted into permanent removal, and the temporary replacement member shall become a permanent member and serve out the remainder of the term of the removed member.
  2. Upon petition for reinstatement by a suspended local board of education member, the Governor or his or her designated agent shall conduct a hearing for the purpose of receiving evidence relative to whether the local board of education member's continued service on the local board of education is more likely than not to improve the ability of the local school system or school to retain or reattain its accreditation or to improve the ratings of the schools in the local school system so that less than one-half of the schools in such local school system are on the turnaround eligible schools list in subsequent years. The appealing member shall be given at least 30 days' notice prior to such hearing. Such hearing shall be held not later than 90 days after the petition is filed and in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," except that the individual conducting the hearing shall have the power to call witnesses and request documents on his or her own initiative. For purposes of said chapter and any hearing conducted pursuant to this Code section, the Governor shall be considered the agency, and the Attorney General or his or her designee shall represent the interests of the Governor in the hearing. If it is determined that it is more likely than not that the local board of education member's continued service on the local board of education improves the ability of the local school system or school to retain or reattain its accreditation or to improve the ratings of the schools in the local school system so that less than one-half of the schools in such local school system are on the turnaround eligible schools list in subsequent years, the member shall be immediately reinstated; otherwise, the member shall be permanently removed, and the temporary replacement member shall become a permanent member and serve out the remainder of the term of the removed member or until the next general election which is at least six months after the member was permanently removed, whichever is sooner. Judicial review of any such decision shall be in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50.
    1. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply to a local school system or school which is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation on or after April 20, 2011.
    2. Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply to a local school system which, on or after July 1, 2017, has one-half or more of the schools in the local school system on the turnaround eligible schools list for the fifth or more consecutive year.
  3. For purposes of this Code section, an eligible member of a local board of education shall mean a board member who:
    1. Was serving on the local board at the time the accrediting agency placed the local school system or school on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation; or
    2. Was serving on the local board at the time the local school system had one-half or more of the schools in the local school system on the turnaround eligible schools list for the fifth or more consecutive year and had served on the local board for at least the immediately preceding two years.
  4. A local board of education shall not expend any public funds for attorney's fees or expenses of litigation relating to proceedings initiated pursuant to this Code section except to the extent such fees and expenses are incurred prior to and through the recommendation of the state board as provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section; provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an insurance provider from covering attorney's fees or expenses of litigation under an insurance policy.
  5. Any suspended board member who is reinstated by the Governor pursuant to this Code section may be reimbursed by the local board of education for his or her reasonable attorney's fees and related expenses incurred in pursuing such reinstatement.

(Code 1981, §20-2-73, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 8/SB 84; Ga. L. 2011, p. 1, § 12/HB 326; Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 3/SB 79; Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 20/HB 142; Ga. L. 2013, p. 763, § 1/HB 115; Ga. L. 2017, p. 75, § 3-1/HB 338.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, rewrote subsection (a); in subsection (c), inserted "or to improve the ratings of the schools in the local school system so that less than one-half of the schools in such local school system are on the turnaround eligible schools list in subsequent years" at the end of the first sentence and the middle of the fifth sentence; designated the existing provisions of subsection (d) as paragraph (d)(1); substituted "Subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subsection (a)" for "Subsection (a)" at the beginning of paragraph (d)(1); added paragraph (d)(2); and substituted the present provisions of subsection (e) for the former provisions, which read: "For purposes of this Code section, an eligible member of a local board of education shall mean a board member who was serving on the local board at the time the accrediting agency placed the local school system or school on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation."

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2011, "subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519" was substituted for "subparagraph (6.1)(A) of Code Section 20-3-519" in paragraph (a)(1) (now subparagraph (a)(1)(A)); and "April 20, 2011" was substituted for "the effective date of this subsection" in subsection (d) (now paragraph (d)(1)).

Pursuant to Code Section28-9-3, in 2011, the amendment of paragraph (a)(1) (now subsection (a)) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2011, p. 1, § 12, was treated as impliedly repealed and superseded by Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 3, due to irreconcilable conflict. See County of Butts v. Strahan, 151 Ga. 417 (1921); Keener v. McDougall, 232 Ga. 273 (1974).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 1, § 17/HB 326, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the 2011 amendment shall be applicable to postsecondary students beginning in the fall of 2011.

Ga. L. 2011, p. 26, § 4/SB 79, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "If a local school system or school is placed on the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act, local board of education members elected or appointed on or after July 1, 2010, but prior to the effective date of this Act shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 20-2-73 as they existed on the day prior to the effective date of this Act." The Act became effective April 20, 2011.

Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 54(e)/HB 142, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "In the event of an irreconcilable conflict between a provision in Sections 1 through 53 of this Act and a provision of another Act enacted at the 2011 regular session of the General Assembly, the provision of such other Act shall control over the conflicting provision in Sections 1 through 53 of this Act to the extent of the conflict." Accordingly, the amendment to paragraph (a)(1) of this Code section by Ga. L. 2011, p. 752, § 20/HB 142, was not given effect.

Ga. L. 2017, p. 75, § 1-1/HB 338, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'First Priority Act - Helping Turnaround Schools Put Students First.'"

Law reviews.

- For article, "Education: Postsecondary Education," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 193 (2011). For article on the 2017 amendment of this Code section, see 34 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 169 (2017).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Constitutionality.

- Whether characterized as setting a qualification for continued service on the local board in the extraordinary circumstance of an imminent loss of accreditation, or whether characterized as providing for removal for malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was held by the Georgia Supreme Court to be a permissible exercise of the legislative power to provide for the removal for cause of members of local boards. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

Georgia Supreme Court held that the removal of local school board members under O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 was not an unconstitutional infringement upon the governing authority of local school boards, nor was it a violation of any other constitutional provision or right. DeKalb County Sch. Dist. v. Ga. State Bd. of Educ., 294 Ga. 349, 751 S.E.2d 827 (2013).

20-2-74. Solicit and accept donations for educational purposes.

Local boards of education shall be authorized to solicit and accept donations, contributions, and gifts of money from any source for the purposes of field trips for their students and for any other educational purposes.

(Code 1981, §20-2-74, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 894, § 1/HB 1200.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2010, Code Section 20-2-72, as enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 894, § 1, was redesignated as Code Section 20-2-74.

20-2-75. Failure of board members to fulfill obligations; litigation expenses; role of Attorney General.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2015, p. 385, § 1-4.1/HB 252, effective July 1, 2015.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1981, § 20-2-75, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 2/HB 283.

Ga. L. 2015, p. 385, § 6-1/HB 252, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'J. Calvin Hill, Jr., Act.'"

ARTICLE 4 INCREASED FLEXIBILITY FOR LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 9, effective July 1, 2000, repealed the Code sections formerly codified at this article. The former article consisted of Code Sections20-2-80 and20-2-81, relating to local school trustees, and was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, §§ 120, 121; Code 1933, §§ 32-1104, 32-1105; Ga. L. 1946, p. 206, §§ 10, 11; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, §§ 16, 53; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20. For present comparable provisions, see O.C.G.A. § 20-2-85 et seq.

20-2-80. Requests for increased flexibility; Title 20/No Waivers system.

  1. A local school system may request increased flexibility from certain state laws, rules, and regulations in exchange for increased accountability and defined consequences through a contract with the State Board of Education. Such contract shall establish a framework of accountability, flexibility, and consequences in accordance with this article.
  2. A local school system may elect not to request increased flexibility in exchange for increased accountability and defined consequences and elect to remain under all current laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, and such local school system, which shall be known as a Title 20/No Waivers system, shall:
    1. Conduct a public hearing for the purpose of providing public notice that such local school system is electing to be a Title 20/No Waivers system and to remain subject to all state rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and the provisions of this title. The public hearing shall be advertised in a local newspaper of general circulation which shall be the same newspaper in which other legal announcements of the local board of education are advertised; and
    2. Sign a statement on a form provided by the state board that such local school system is electing to be a Title 20/No Waivers system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-80, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 1A/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, in subsection (b), substituted "elect" for "opt" and inserted ", which shall be known as a Title 20/No Waivers system," near the end, substituted "electing to be a Title 20/No Waivers system and to remain subject to all state rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and the provisions of this title" for "opting for the status quo" in the first sentence of paragraph (b)(1), and substituted "electing to be a Title 20/No Waivers system" for "opting for the status quo" at the end of paragraph (b)(2).

20-2-81. Strategic plan and proposed contract for local school systems requesting flexibility; strategic waivers school system.

  1. Each local school system which elects to request increased flexibility pursuant to this article shall develop a five-year strategic plan which sets out the school system's vision and mission for improving the performance of its schools and shall clearly delineate in a proposed contract the following for measuring the improvement and performance of its schools:
    1. Current performance data, grade levels, and demographic data for each school within the school system;
    2. Performance goals for each school, including both improvement and achievement; and
    3. Performance measures and benchmarks for each school for evaluating improvement and achievement and monitoring progress toward yearly performance goals.
  2. The proposed strategic plan shall incorporate, to the extent practicable, school improvement plans in effect for schools in the local school system.
  3. The department shall provide an electronic template accessible through the Internet for local school systems to input their proposed contracts. The template shall be designed to include the information contained in subsection (a) of this Code section.
  4. Prior to the submission of a proposed contract to the department, a local board of education shall schedule and hold a public hearing for the purpose of providing an opportunity for full discussion and public input on the strategic plan and proposed contract, including formal, written comments or suggestions regarding the local school system's flexibility requests and performance goals and their impact on each school. The public hearing shall be advertised in a local newspaper of general circulation which shall be the same newspaper in which other legal announcements of the local board of education are advertised.
  5. The local school system shall submit the proposed contract to the department in accordance with time frames established by the department.
  6. A local school system which elects to request increased flexibility pursuant to this article shall be known as a strategic waivers school system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-81, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 1B/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, added subsection (f).

20-2-82. Contract terms for local school systems requesting flexibility.

  1. The local board of education and the department shall enter into negotiations on the appropriate terms of the contract, including the accountability, flexibility, and consequences components of the contract in accordance with Code Section 20-2-84, in consultation with the Office of Student Achievement. The accountability, flexibility, and consequences components may vary between schools and clusters.
  2. The flexibility requested by a local school system pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-84 shall result in consequences in accordance with subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-84 and Code Section 20-2-84.1 for noncompliance with the accountability requirements established pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-84.
  3. The department, in consultation with the Office of Student Achievement, shall make a recommendation to the state board on whether the proposed terms of the contract should be approved by the state board.
    1. The state board shall have the authority to approve or deny approval of the proposed terms of the contract but shall give all due consideration to the recommendation and input from the Office of Student Achievement.
    2. In the event that the state board denies approval of the proposed terms of the contract, the local board of education shall work with the department, in consultation with the Office of Student Achievement, for further revisions and resubmission to the state board.
  4. The state board shall be authorized to approve a waiver or variance request of specifically identified state rules, regulations, policies, and procedures or provisions of this chapter upon the inclusion of such request in the local school system's proposed contract and in accordance with subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-84. The goal for each waiver and variance shall be improvement of student performance. The state board shall not be authorized to waive or approve variances on any federal, state, and local rules, regulations, court orders, and statutes relating to civil rights; insurance; the protection of the physical health and safety of school students, employees, and visitors; conflicting interest transactions; the prevention of unlawful conduct; any laws relating to unlawful conduct in or near a public school; any reporting requirements pursuant to Code Section 20-2-320 or Chapter 14 of this title; the requirements of Code Section 20-2-210; the requirements of Code Section 20-2-211.1; or the requirements in subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-327. A local school system that has received a waiver or variance shall remain subject to the provisions of Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 14 of this title, the requirement that it shall not charge tuition or fees to its students except as may be authorized for local boards by Code Section 20-2-133, and shall remain open to enrollment in the same manner as before the waiver request.

(Code 1981, §20-2-82, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2010, p. 237, § 1C/HB 1079; Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 2/HB 186; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 2/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, inserted "the requirements of Code Section 20-2-210;" in the next to the last sentence of subsection (e).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 1/HB 186, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) Our state's long-term prosperity depends on supporting an education system that is designed to prepare our students for a global economy;

"(2) High school students and parents must understand that they have options for career pathway programs of study that join a college-ready academic core with quality career, technical, and agricultural education studies that result in a high school diploma and preparation for success in advanced training, an associate's degree, a baccalaureate degree, and a career;

"(3) Local school systems must provide every student with choices that are academically rigorous and aligned to opportunities in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage career fields and to postsecondary career and technical pathways leading to advanced credentials or degrees;

"(4) The State Board of Education, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and the Board of Technical and Adult Education must work together so that academic courses that are embedded within career, technical, and agricultural education courses (CTAE) are given appropriate academic credit at the high school level and recognized at the postsecondary level;

"(5) Teachers should be provided with professional development opportunities that enforce the academically rigorous standards in relevant, project based coursework;

"(6) High school students should clearly understand the options for dual high school and postsecondary credit, and the state should properly fund these options;

"(7) Every state education agency, postsecondary institution, and local school system should provide all high school students with opportunities for accelerated learning through dual credit coursework leading to at least six postsecondary credits and have as a collective goal to graduate every student with postsecondary credit;

"(8) Georgia's strategic industries must be partners in our public education system (secondary and postsecondary) so that they are assured that our high school graduates are prepared for success in the workforce;

"(9) Georgia's public education system must incorporate many different types of assessments and certificates into their programs so that a student's skill level is assessed and that it also has meaning to them for postsecondary and career success; and

"(10) Georgia's students must understand that a high school diploma and some form of postsecondary credential are key to success in the workforce and earning a family living wage."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011). For article, "Education: Elementary and Secondary Education," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011).

20-2-83. State board approval of local school board flexibility contract.

  1. Upon approval of a proposed contract of a local school system which has requested flexibility, the state board shall enter into such contract with the local board of education.
  2. The terms of the contract shall include, but not be limited to, accountability, flexibility, and consequences components as negotiated pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 20-2-82 and in accordance with Code Section 20-2-84.
  3. Each contract shall be for a term of six years. The terms of the contract may provide for automatic extension of such contract if a local school system has met its accountability requirements.
  4. The terms of a contract may be amended during the term of the contract only upon approval of the state board and the local board of education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-83, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2017, p. 75, § 3-2/HB 338.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted "six years" for "five years" in the first sentence of subsection (c); and deleted "if warranted due to unforeseen circumstances and" preceding "upon approval" in subsection (d).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 75, § 1-1/HB 338, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'First Priority Act - Helping Turnaround Schools Put Students First.'"

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2017 amendment of this Code section, see 34 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 169 (2017).

20-2-84. Accountability, flexibility, and consequences components of contract.

  1. The accountability component of the contract provided in Code Section 20-2-83 shall include at least one of the student achievement measures in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection, including both total scores and any needed targeted subgroups:
    1. High school graduation rates;
    2. SAT or ACT performance;
    3. State standardized test data, which may include end-of-grade assessments, end-of-course assessments, or a combination thereof;
    4. Advanced placement or international baccalaureate participation and performance; and
    5. Any other accountability measures included pursuant to Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 14 of this title.
  2. The flexibility component of the contract provided in Code Section 20-2-83 shall include the waiver or variance of at least one of the areas in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection as requested by the local school system:
    1. Class size requirements in Code Section 20-2-182;
    2. Expenditure controls in Code Section 20-2-171 and categorical allotment requirements in Article 6 of this chapter;
    3. Certification requirements in Code Section 20-2-200;
    4. Salary schedule requirements in Code Section 20-2-212; and
    5. Any other requirements or provisions of this chapter as identified by the local school system and approved by the state board except as provided in subsection (e) of Code Section 20-2-82.
  3. The consequences component of the contract provided in Code Section 20-2-83 shall include:
    1. Interventions or sanctions for failure to meet identified levels of achievement or for not showing specified levels of progress pursuant to Code Section 20-14-41, which may be accelerated; and
    2. Loss of governance of one or more nonperforming schools by the local school system in accordance with Code Section 20-2-84.1.

      Consequences shall be incurred upon noncompliance of a local school system with the accountability component of its contract; provided, however, that if a local school system has been in compliance with the accountability component of its contract for at least three years, consequences shall not be invoked upon the fifth year of the contract, and such school system may request an extension of its contract and corresponding flexibility from the state board. If the local school system or a school within the school system meets the performance goals in its contract for such school system or school by the end of the fifth year of the contract, the school system or school shall be deemed to have met its contract performance goals. The schedule of interventions or sanctions, including loss of governance, for failure to meet identified levels of achievement or specified levels of progress shall be mutually agreed upon in the contract. If the Office of Student Achievement recommends to the state board that loss of governance not be included in a contract with respect to a high-performing school, the contract may provide alternate terms with respect to that school.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 3/HB 283; Ga. L. 2015, p. 21, § 1/HB 91; Ga. L. 2015, p. 92, § 3/SB 133; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2015 amendments. The first 2015 amendment, effective March 30, 2015, substituted "end-of-grade assessments," for "criterion-referenced competency tests, the Georgia High School Graduation Test," in paragraph (a)(3). The second 2015 amendment deletes "pursuant to Code Section 20-14-41, which may be accelerated" from paragraph (1) of subsection (b). For effective date of this amendment, see the Editor's note.

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "high-performing school" for "high performing school" in the last sentence of the undesignated language at the end of subsection (c).

Editor's notes.

- The constitutional amendment proposed in Ga. L. 2015, p. 92, § 6(a)/SB 133, which would have revised paragraph (c)(1) to read as follows: "Interventions or sanctions for failure to meet identified levels of achievement or for not showing specified levels of progress; and", was defeated in the general election held November 8, 2016.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2015).

20-2-84.1. Loss of governance for nonperforming schools.

  1. The State Board of Education shall, as provided for in the contract entered into with a local school system pursuant to Code Section 20-2-83, mandate the loss of governance of one or more of its nonperforming schools as a consequence of failure pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-84. Such loss of governance may include, but shall not be limited to:
    1. Conversion of a school to charter status with independent school level governance and a governance board with strong parental involvement;
    2. Operation of a school by a successful school system, as defined by the Office of Student Achievement, and pursuant to funding criteria established by the state board; or
    3. Operation of a school by a private entity, nonprofit or for profit, pursuant to a request for proposals issued by the department.
  2. Loss of governance shall be invoked upon the end of the fifth year of the contract if the school system is in noncompliance as set out in the terms of the contract.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 4/HB 283.)

20-2-84.2. State monitoring.

  1. The Office of Student Achievement shall revise the single state-wide accountability system established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of Code Section 20-14-26 for submission to the state board for approval to integrate the requirements of this article, to the greatest extent practicable, including, but not limited to, the loss of governance consequences provided for in Code Section 20-2-84.1.
  2. The Office of Student Achievement shall monitor each local school system's progress toward meeting its performance goals in its contract and shall the notify the department if a local school system is not in compliance with such performance goals. The department shall provide support and guidance to school systems not meeting their yearly progress goals.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209.)

20-2-84.3. Required notifications by local school systems.

No later than June 30, 2015, each local school system shall either notify the department of its intention to become a strategic waivers school system pursuant to this article or shall comply with subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-80, electing to be a Title 20/No Waivers system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.3, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2011, p. 647, § 2/HB 192; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 2A/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted the present provisions of this Code section for the former provisions, which read: "(a) No more than five local school systems in the first calendar year may enter into a contract with the State Board of Education pursuant to this article.

"(b) No later than June 30, 2015, each local school system shall either notify the department of its intention to request increased flexibility pursuant to this article or shall comply with subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-80."

20-2-84.4. Other funding options.

The department may offer other funding options for local school systems which choose to enter into a contract pursuant to this article and may also offer other funding options for charter systems.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.4, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209.)

20-2-84.5. Applicability to charter systems.

Except as otherwise provided in Code Section 20-2-84.4, this article shall not apply to a local school system which has become a charter system pursuant to Code Section 20-2-2063.2 or which is in the process of applying to become a charter system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.5, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209.)

20-2-84.6. Establishment of rules, regulations, and guidelines.

The State Board of Education shall be authorized to establish rules, regulations, and guidelines to effect the implementation of this article.

(Code 1981, §20-2-84.6, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 1/HB 1209.)

ARTICLE 4A COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-85. Legislative findings; role of local boards of education and school councils.

  1. The General Assembly recognizes the need to improve communication and participation of parents and the community in the management and operation of local schools. The General Assembly believes that parent and community support is critical to the success of students and schools. The intent of this article is to bring communities and schools closer together in a spirit of cooperation to solve difficult education problems, improve academic achievement, provide support for teachers and administrators, and bring parents into the school-based decision-making process. The establishment of school councils is intended to help local boards of education develop and nurture participation, bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other's concerns, and share ideas for school improvement. School councils shall be reflective of the school community.
  2. The management and control of public schools shall be the responsibility of local boards of education, and the school leader shall be the principal. School councils shall provide advice, recommendations, and assistance and represent the community of parents and businesses. Each member of the council, as a community representative, shall be accorded the respect and attention deserving of such election.

(Code 1981, §20-2-85, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 10.)

20-2-86. Operation of school councils; training programs; membership; management; roles and responsibilities.

  1. By October 1, 2001, each local board of education that elects to participate in the Quality Basic Education Program provided for in Article 6 of this chapter shall have a school council operational at a minimum of one high school, one middle school, and one elementary school, except that if a school system does not have its schools organized in this manner the system shall designate schools for a school council as closely to the intent of this Code section as possible. By October 1, 2002, each local board of education shall have a school council operational in a minimum of 50 percent of the schools under its jurisdiction. Such school council shall operate pursuant to this Code section, and the local board of education shall assist all councils in their creation and operation. After two years of successful operation, and upon receiving a high performance designation by the Office of Student Achievement, the local board of education shall devolve to the school council such additional authority in matters of school operation as the local board deems appropriate. By October 1, 2003, each local board of education shall have a school council operational in each of the schools under its jurisdiction. Local boards of education may by board policy allow an alternative to a school council at a charter school, an alternative school, or a psychoeducation center if another governance body or advisory council exists that performs a comparable function.
  2. The local board of education shall provide a training program to assist schools in forming a school council and to assist school councilmembers in the performance of their duties. Such program shall address the organization of councils, their purpose and responsibilities, applicable laws, rules, regulations and meeting procedures, and important state and local school system program requirements and shall provide a model school council organization plan. Additional training programs shall be offered to school councilmembers annually. The State Board of Education shall develop and make available a model school council training program.
  3. Any member may withdraw from the council by delivering to the council a written resignation and submitting a copy to the secretary of the council or school principal. Should school councilmembers determine that a member of the council is no longer active in the council as defined by the bylaws of the council, the council may, by a majority vote, withdraw such person's membership status, effective as of a date determined by the council.
  4. The property and business of the council shall be managed by a minimum of seven school councilmembers of whom a majority shall constitute a quorum. The number of councilmembers shall be specified in the council's bylaws. Members of the school council shall include:
    1. A number of parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school, excluding employees who are parents or guardians of such students, so that such parents or guardians make up a majority of the council and at least two of whom shall be businesspersons;
    2. At least two certificated teachers, excluding any personnel employed in administrative positions, who are employed at least four of the six school segments at the school;
    3. The school principal; and
    4. Other members as specified in the council's bylaws, such as, but not limited to, students, staff, and representatives of school related organizations. Other businesspersons from the local business community may serve on the council and shall be selected by the other members of the school council. Selection procedures for these members and the business members shall be specified in the council's bylaws.

      An employee of the local school system may serve as a parent representative on the council of a school in which his or her child is enrolled if such employee works at a different school. With the exception of the principal and the business representatives, members shall be elected by, and from among, the group they represent.

  5. Members of the council shall serve for a term of two years or for such other term as may be specified in the council's bylaws, except as provided in this subsection. The terms of the councilmembers shall be staggered. Upon the expiration of the terms of the two businessperson councilmembers in office on July 1, 2007, these member positions shall subsequently be filled by parent councilmembers; provided, however, that additional businesspersons may serve on the council if provided for in the council's bylaws in accordance with paragraph (4) of subsection (d) of this Code section. Councilmembers may serve more than one term. The office of school councilmember shall be automatically vacated:
    1. If a member shall resign;
    2. If the person holding the office is removed as a member by an action of the council pursuant to this Code section; or
    3. If a member no longer meets the qualifications specified in this Code section.

      An election within the electing body for a replacement to fill the remainder of an unexpired term shall be held within 30 days, unless there are 90 days or less remaining in the term in which case the vacancy shall remain unfilled.

  6. All meetings of the school council shall be open to the public. The council shall meet at least four times annually and the number of meetings shall be specified in the council's bylaws. The council shall also meet at the call of the chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the members of the council. Notice by mail shall be sent to school councilmembers at least seven days prior to a meeting of the council and shall include the date, time, and location of the meeting. School councils shall be subject to Chapter 14 of Title 50, relating to open and public meetings, in the same manner as local boards of education. Each member is authorized to exercise one vote. A quorum must be present in order to conduct official council business. Members of the council shall not receive remuneration to serve on the council or its committees.
  7. After providing public notice at least two weeks before the meeting of each electing body, the principal of each school shall call a meeting of electing bodies for the purpose of selecting members of the school council as required by this Code section. The electing body for the parent members shall consist of all parents and guardians eligible to serve as a parent member of the school council, and the electing body for the teacher members shall consist of all certificated personnel eligible to serve as a teacher member of the school council. The school council shall specify in its bylaws the month in which elections are to be held and shall specify a nomination and election process.
  8. The school council shall adopt such bylaws as it deems appropriate to conduct the business of the council. The adoption of bylaws or changes thereto requires a two-thirds' affirmative vote. The State Board of Education shall develop and make available model school council bylaws.
  9. The school council shall have the same immunity as the local board of education in all matters directly related to the functions of the council.
    1. The officers of the school council shall be a chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Officers of the council shall be elected by the council at the first meeting of the council following the election of school councilmembers; provided, however, that the chairperson shall be a parent member. The officers of the council shall hold office for the term specified in the council's bylaws.
    2. The vice chairperson shall, in the absence or disability of the chairperson, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the chairperson and shall perform such other duties as shall be required by the council.
    3. The secretary shall attend all meetings, act as clerk of the council, and be responsible for recording all votes and minutes of all proceedings in the books to be kept for that purpose. The secretary shall give or cause to be given notice of all meetings of the council and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the council.
  10. The members of the school council are accountable to the constituents they serve and shall:
    1. Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;
    2. Regularly participate in council meetings;
    3. Participate in information and training programs;
    4. Act as a link between the school council and the community;
    5. Encourage the participation of parents and others within the school community; and
    6. Work to improve student achievement and performance.
  11. The minutes of the council shall be made available to the public, for inspection at the school office, and shall be provided to the councilmembers, each of whom shall receive a copy of such minutes within 20 days following each council meeting. All school councils shall be subject to Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50, relating to the inspection of public records, in the same manner as local boards of education.
  12. At all meetings of the council every question shall be determined by a majority vote of members present, representing a quorum.
  13. The term of office of all councilmembers shall begin and end on the dates specified in the council's bylaws.
  14. The council may appoint committees, study groups, or task forces for such purposes as it deems helpful and may utilize existing or new school advisory groups.
  15. The local board of education shall provide all information not specifically made confidential by law, including school site budget and expenditure information and site average class sizes by grade, to the council as requested or as required by state law or state board rule. The local board shall also designate an employee of the school system to attend council meetings as requested by a school council for the purpose of responding to questions the council may have concerning information provided to it by the local board or actions taken by the local board. The central administration shall be responsive to requests for information from a school council.
  16. The local board of education shall receive and consider all recommendations of the school council, including the annual report, as follows:
    1. Public notice shall be given to the community of the local board's intent to consider school council reports or recommendations;
    2. Written notice shall be given to the members of the school council at least seven days prior to a local board meeting, along with a notice of intent to consider a council report or recommendation; and
    3. The members of the school council shall be afforded an opportunity to present information in support of the school council's report or recommendation.

      The local board of education shall respond to recommendations of the school council within 60 days after being notified in writing of the recommendation.

  17. The school principal shall have the following duties pertaining to school council activities:
    1. Cause to be created a school council pursuant to this Code section by convening the appropriate bodies to select school councilmembers; setting the initial agenda, meeting time, and location; and notifying all school councilmembers of the same;
    2. Perform all of the duties required by law and the bylaws of the council;
    3. Communicate all council requests for information and assistance to the local school superintendent and inform the council of responses or actions of the local school superintendent;
    4. Develop the school improvement plan and school operation plan and submit the plans to the school council for its review, comments, recommendations, and approval; and
    5. Aid in the development of the agenda for each meeting of the council after taking into consideration suggestions of councilmembers and the urgency of school matters. An item may be added to the agenda at the request of three or more councilmembers.
  18. School councils are advisory bodies. The councils shall provide advice and recommendations to the school principal and, where appropriate, the local board of education and local school superintendent on any matter related to student achievement and school improvement, including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. School board policies;
    2. School improvement plans;
    3. Curriculum and assessments;
    4. Report cards issued or audits of the school conducted by the Office of Student Achievement;
    5. Development of a school profile which shall contain data as identified by the council to describe the academic performance, academic progress, services, awards, interventions, environment, and other such data as the council deems appropriate;
    6. School budget priorities, including school capital improvement plans;
    7. School-community communication strategies;
    8. Methods of involving parents and the community;
    9. Extracurricular activities in the school;
    10. School-based and community services;
    11. Community use of school facilities;
    12. Student discipline and attendance;
    13. Reports from the school principal regarding progress toward the school's student achievement goals, including progress within specific grade levels and subject areas and by school personnel; and
    14. The method and specifications for the delivery of early intervention services or other appropriate services for underachieving students.
  19. The role of the school council in the principal selection process shall be determined in policy written by the local board of education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-86, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 10; Ga. L. 2004, p. 107, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 259, § 1/SB 72.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2004, "Office of Student Achievement" was substituted for "Office of Education Accountability" in subsection (a) and in paragraph (s)(4).

ARTICLE 5 LOCAL SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS

Cross references.

- Local school superintendents generally, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. III.

Notice of student's felony conviction to school superintendent, § 15-6-36.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

School superintendent and county board constitutional offices.

- Ga. Const. 1945, Art. VIII, Sec. IX, Paras. I and II (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Paras. II and III) did not purport to disturb the comprehensive code of statutory school laws other than to make the offices of the county school superintendent and the county board of education constitutional rather than statutory offices. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 143.

No statute prohibits county board from employing county superintendent as one of teachers in schools of the county, so long as the board, in the discharge of the board's duties, finds that the employment of the superintendent as a teacher would not conflict with duties as the superintendent. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 150.

County school superintendent is entitled to the benefits of the Teachers' Retirement Act. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 152.

County school superintendent not required to retire at 70.

- Elective officers, such as the county school superintendent, under the Teachers' Retirement Act are not required to retire upon attaining the age of 70. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 152.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Matters proper for consideration in appointment of teachers, 94 A.L.R. 1484.

Power of school authorities to transfer teacher from one school or district to another, 103 A.L.R. 1382.

Right of student to hearing on charges before suspension or expulsion from educational institution, 58 A.L.R.2d 903.

20-2-100. County school superintendent substituted for county school commissioner.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 5/HB 706, effective July 1, 2012.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 146; Code 1933, § 32-1001.

20-2-101. Appointment of school superintendents.

  1. Superintendents of each school system shall be employed by the local board of education under written contracts for a term of not less than one year and not more than three years. Any provision of any such contract which provides for an extension of the duration of employment thereunder, whether automatic or contingent upon the occurrence of one or more events, shall be void if that extension would result in employment under the contract, as extended, for a period which exceeds three years.
    1. No person shall be eligible to be appointed or employed as superintendent of schools of any county or independent school system unless such person is of good moral character, has never been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, and possesses acceptable business or management experience as specified by the Professional Standards Commission or the minimum valid certificate or a letter of eligibility for said certificate required by the Professional Standards Commission.
    2. No person shall be eligible to be appointed, employed, or to serve as superintendent of schools of any county or independent school system who has an immediate family member sitting on the local board of education for such school system or who has an immediate family member hired as or promoted to a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff on or after July 1, 2009, by that school system. As used in this subsection, the term "immediate family member" means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent whose term as a member of the local board of education or whose employment as a principal, assistant principal, or system administrative staff in the local school system began on or after January 1, 2010. Nothing in this Code section shall affect the employment of any person who is employed by a local school system on or before July 1, 2009, or who is employed by a local school system when an immediate family member becomes the superintendent for that school system.
  2. Superintendents shall have such additional qualifications as may be prescribed by local law or policies of the local board for that school district, not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.
  3. At any time during the 12 months immediately preceding the expiration of an appointed school superintendent's contract or term of office, or when a vacancy in the office of school superintendent occurs, the local board may appoint and employ a successor in accordance with the above provisions of this Code section, notwithstanding that the terms of some or all of the board members will expire before the employment of the superintendent so appointed and employed begins.
  4. A local school superintendent may concurrently serve as a principal, teacher, or in another staff position as directed by the local board in its sole discretion and in accordance with the terms of the contract between the superintendent and the local board. A local school superintendent may also serve concurrently as superintendent of one or more local school systems in accordance with the terms of his or her respective contracts and upon approval by each affected local school system.
  5. No substantive or procedural right regarding employment or termination of employment of a superintendent by a local school system shall be created by this Code section. Rather, the terms and conditions of employment of a school superintendent by a local school system shall be determined exclusively by the contract between those parties and may include, without being limited to, the conditions under and procedures by which that contract may be terminated prior to the end of the term of that contract.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 147; Ga. L. 1931, p. 124, § 1; Code 1933, § 32-1002; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 8; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1315, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1182, § 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 82, § 2/HB 1209; Ga. L. 2009, p. 782, § 3/HB 251; Ga. L. 2010, p. 452, § 9/SB 84.)

History of section.

- The language of this Code section is derived from the decision in Olliff v. Hendrix, 172 Ga. 497, 158 S.E. 11 (1931).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1993, in the first sentence of subsection (a) "Board of Education" was made lower case.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

General Consideration

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551(165) and former Code Sections 20-2-102 and 20-2-107, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Constitutionality of section was raised but was not decided. See Clark v. Colquitt County Democratic Executive Comm., 158 Ga. 642, 124 S.E. 40 (1924) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (165)).

Section did not violate former Ga. Const. 1877, Art. XI, Sec. III, Para. I, which required uniformity among county governments. Olliff v. Hendrix, 172 Ga. 497, 158 S.E. 11 (1931).

Office of county school superintendent was not abolished by the Constitution of 1945; it was simply changed from a statutory office to a constitutional one. Saxon v. Bell, 201 Ga. 797, 41 S.E.2d 536 (1947).

Office of the county school superintendent is a constitutional office.

- Superintendent is to be elected by the voters of the district, the district being the county of the superintendent's residence, exclusive of any independent school system in existence in the county. Kemp v. Mitchell County Democratic Executive Comm., 216 Ga. 276, 116 S.E.2d 321 (1960).

Provisions of subsection (f) not violated.

- Because the trial court interpreted the parties' agreement to include the procedures set out in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-940, and because the trial court did not rule that the procedures applied as a matter of law to disputes between superintendents and school systems, the trial court did not violate the directive of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-101(f) that the terms and conditions of a superintendent's employment by a school system were governed by the parties' contract. Grady County Bd. of Educ. v. Hickerson, 275 Ga. 580, 571 S.E.2d 391 (2002).

Bond of county school commissioner binding until successor elected and qualified.

- County board of education could not decline to approve a bond on the ground that the commission issued by the Governor to the county school commissioner was expressly from May 7, 1912, to May 7, 1916, when by the former section the term of office of the commissioner (now the superintendent) was extended to January 1, 1917. The bond would bind the securities thereon for any time after the expiration of the four years until the principal's successor was elected and qualified. Jones v. Mattox, 146 Ga. 629, 92 S.E. 202 (1917) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (165)).

Eligibility to hold office of county superintendent is the eligibility to vote at the election. Bower v. Avery, 172 Ga. 272, 158 S.E. 10 (1931).

Municipal resident unqualified for county superintendent unless qualified to vote beyond municipal limits.

- Resident of Eastman is not qualified to hold the office of county school superintendent of Dodge County unless it appears that the resident is a legally qualified voter of some portion of the County of Dodge beyond the territorial limits of the municipality, which has an independent school system. Phillips v. Rozar, 172 Ga. 862, 159 S.E. 245 (1931).

Only qualified voter for officer can hold that office.

- One cannot hold an office unless one is a voter qualified to vote in an election for such office. Phillips v. Rozard, 172 Ga. 862, 159 S.E. 245 (1931).

Legislature could provide that voters of independent system should not vote for county superintendent.

- It was within the competency of the legislature to provide by statute that voters of independent school systems should not vote in the election for county superintendent. Bower v. Avery, 172 Ga. 272, 158 S.E. 10 (1931).

Voters in independent system not qualified in any primary or election.

- Voters in the independent school district were not qualified to vote in any primary or election for county school superintendent, nor could the voters so qualify, or become qualified, by reason of the fact that the voters' names may have appeared on the general list of registered voters. Kemp v. Mitchell County Democratic Executive Comm., 216 Ga. 276, 116 S.E.2d 321 (1960).

When election unauthorized, or statutory requirements not complied with, election void.

- When there is no authority to hold the election, or when statutory requirements pertaining to the holding of an election are not complied with, the election is void, and an injunction is a proper remedy. Kemp v. Mitchell County Democratic Executive Comm., 216 Ga. 276, 116 S.E.2d 321 (1960).

Triable issues of fact existed as to whether the school district intentionally discriminated against the employee's race when the district issued the employee a two-year contract as superintendent of the school district and when the district failed to renew the employee's contract; of all the superintendents appointed by the school district after a change in the law, only the employee, the first African-American superintendent, received a two-year, probationary contract. Dickey v. Crawford County Sch. Dist., F. Supp. 2d (M.D. Ga. Mar. 5, 2013).

Cited in Avery v. Bower, 170 Ga. 202, 152 S.E. 239 (1930); Marshall v. Walker, 183 Ga. 44, 187 S.E. 81 (1936); Guy v. Nelson, 202 Ga. 728, 44 S.E.2d 775 (1947).

Residency

In the case of a county school superintendent, the General Assembly does not fix the place of residence, although this section does prescribe qualifications. Avery v. Bower, 170 Ga. 202, 152 S.E. 239 (1930).

County superintendent not required to reside outside of incorporated city or independent school system.

- General Assembly did not see fit to require county school superintendents, at the time of the superintendents' election or during the superintendents' incumbency, to reside outside of an incorporated city or an independent school system. Avery v. Bower, 170 Ga. 202, 152 S.E. 239 (1930).

Conviction

Statutory prohibition against convicted person holding public office.

- Prohibition against a person convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude from holding public office in this state existed by statutory enactment for many years prior to the adoption of the Constitution of 1877. Parkerson v. Hart, 200 Ga. 660, 38 S.E.2d 397 (1946).

"Moral turpitude" defined.

- "Moral turpitude" is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to a fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

All crimes embraced within the Roman's conception of the "crimen falsi" involve turpitude, but it is not safe to declare that such crimes only involve turpitude. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Fraud, false pretenses, or larceny after trust involve moral turpitude.

- Offenses of obtaining money from another by fraud or false pretenses, or larceny after trust, are crimes malum in se, involving moral turpitude. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Guilty plea.

- Plea of guilty, accepted and entered by the court, is a "conviction" within the meaning of this section. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Sentencing not required for ineligibility to hold office.

- This section, which defines the qualifications of county school superintendents, does not require that one be convicted "and sentenced" before one is ineligible to hold the office by reason of a crime involving moral turpitude. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Suspension of sentence entered on plea of guilty does not relieve the defendant from being convicted of the offense with which the defendant was charged. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Plea of guilty and sentence thereunder foreclosed any investigation of intent, motive, or good faith of the defendant, when the issue was the eligibility of the defendant to hold the office of county superintendent of schools. Huff v. Anderson, 212 Ga. 32, 90 S.E.2d 329 (1955).

Additional qualifications inapplicable to person elected prior to section's passage.

- Any additional qualifications for a superintendent of schools prescribed by this section are not applicable to a person so elected prior to the passage of the act enacting this section. Mattox v. Jones, 141 Ga. 649, 81 S.E. 861 (1914) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551(167)).

Vacancies

Office of county superintendent vacant when no authorized and qualified person.

- Office of county superintendent of schools is not vacant so long as there is a person authorized and qualified in the manner provided by law substantially discharging the duties of the office. Parkerson v. Hart, 200 Ga. 660, 38 S.E.2d 397 (1946).

When county board suspends superintendent, office becomes vacant, absent appeal.

- County board of education has the right to suspend the county superintendent of schools for the commission of a crime involving moral turpitude, and during the period of suspension, and in the absence of an appeal, the office becomes vacant, and this would be true regardless of the period of the suspension, whether temporary or permanent. Parkerson v. Hart, 200 Ga. 660, 38 S.E.2d 397 (1946).

Ineligibility of suspended superintendent.

- When a vacancy in the office of county superintendent of schools is created by a proper order of the board of education suspending the present holder of the office and an appointment is made to fill the vacancy, and thereafter the suspended official becomes ineligible under the constitution and laws of this state to hold the office, the appointee will retain the office for the remainder of the term of the former ineligible superintendent under the provisions of this section, unless the appointee's right to the office is sooner terminated in some manner provided by law. Parkerson v. Hart, 200 Ga. 660, 38 S.E.2d 397 (1946).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Responsibility for filling vacancy in office of county superintendent is placed in the county board of education, and the State School Superintendent does not have such authority. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 203.

Vacancy occurring from military duty filled until absence or term of office expires.

- Phrase "a vacancy . . . from any cause whatever" in this section should be construed to include a leave of absence for military duty; a vacancy occurring from such an absence should be filled only until the leave of absence expires or the term of office expires, whichever occurs first. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 131.

Residents of independent school district are eligible to be elected or appointed as county superintendent, but are not eligible to vote for county school superintendent. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 148.

Qualified voters residing within limits of a quasi-independent school district are permitted to vote for the county school superintendent. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 148.

It is a question of fact as to whether school system is independent or quasi-independent, which must be determined by the local authorities charged with the responsibility of making such a determination. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 120.

"Quasi-independent" school district is one which, through specific statutory provisions, receives funds through the county school system, but contractual agreements between systems do not make a "quasi-independent" system. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 197.

Statutory election requirements cannot be altered by contract.

- When the county board of education and the independent system contract with each other for the education, transportation, and care of pupils, this does not of itself give the residents of the independent system the right to vote in an election held to select the county school superintendent, nor may such right be given by contract; such a contract does not amount to merger. When election requirements are set out by statute, neither individuals nor groups may alter such legislative intent by contract. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 216.

Contract duration controlled by local constitutional amendment.

- Duration of the contract of the Cobb County school superintendent is to be determined by the local constitutional amendment, in Ga. Laws 1963, pp. 3778, 3786, and continued by Ga. Laws 1986, pp. 4055-56, and not by the 1993 amendment to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-101. 1993 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U93-11.

Age of retirement.

- School superintendents are not required to retire at age 70, but may hold their offices at least until successors are elected. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-58, affirming 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 152.

Mandatory retirement provision of O.C.G.A. § 47-3-101 is inapplicable to an elected school superintendent; thus, an elected school superintendent who has attained the age of 70 can run for office and serve if elected. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-58. (The mandatory retirement provision was deleted from § 47-3-101 in 1990.)

Appointment commencing after terms of current board not authorized.

- In the absence of clear legislative authority, a local school board may not appoint a new school superintendent for a term beginning after the terms of a majority of the current board expire. 1995 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-18.

Qualifications set out within this section are the only requirements provided by state law. 1948-49 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 122.

County superintendent must be citizen of county and qualified voter.

- In addition to the qualifications of former Code 1933, § 32-1002 (see now O.C.G.A. § 20-2-101), a county school superintendent, being a county officer within the meaning of former Code 1933, § 89-101 (see now O.C.G.A. § 45-2-1), must be a citizen of the county for a period of two years (now 12 months) prior to election and a qualified voter in the county entitled to vote. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 110.

Age qualifications.

- Since the mandatory retirement provision of O.C.G.A. § 47-3-101 is inapplicable to an elected school superintendent and O.C.G.A. § 20-2-101, which sets forth the qualifications of county school superintendents and includes no age ceiling, an elected school superintendent who has attained the age of 70 can run for office and serve if elected. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-58. (The mandatory retirement provision was deleted from § 47-3-101 in 1990.)

If elected superintendent from another county desired, local legislation should be enacted.

- Because of uncertainty as to how the courts would interpret former Code 1933, §§ 32-1002 and 89-101 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-101 and45-2-1), the safer route to take, should it be desired to permit an elected superintendent of one county to serve as the appointed superintendent of another county, would be to proceed through the enactment of local legislation conditioned upon voter approval under Ga. Const. 1976, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. V (see now Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. IV), and not to attempt to rely upon the authorization contained in former Code 1933, § 32-1002. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-11.

"Election" means regular election, not primaries.

- Word "election" contained in this section has reference to the regular election in which county officers are elected and not primaries. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 74.

This section has reference to the regular election in which county officers are elected and not primaries. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 307.

Military experience may not lawfully be substituted for actual teaching or educational administrative experience; this is not to say that an individual whose military duties were in the field of actual teaching or educational administration could not include that time in computing actual teaching or educational administrative experience. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 355.

Filing certificate prior to running in election satisfies section.

- Filing a certificate under oath at any time prior to qualifying to run in the general election would be sufficient to satisfy this section. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 355.

Individual appointed to fill vacancy must meet qualifications and file certificate.

- An individual appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of county school superintendent pending the election of a new superintendent must meet the qualifications of superintendents generally and must file a certificate showing such qualifications with the State Board of Education. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 765.

School superintendents with one year's experience outside state are not exempt.

- Exemption referred to in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-101, which excludes individuals from having to meet the qualifications set forth in subsection (a) of that section, refers only to independent and county school superintendents with one year's service as a school superintendent in Georgia, whereby superintendents with one year's experience as a superintendent outside the state are not exempted and must meet all the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of that section in order to hold the office of superintendent of schools. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-34.

Only exceptions to obligatory language of this section are those which are expressly provided for. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 355.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 17, 67, 70.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 124 et seq., 132.

20-2-102. Qualifications of county school superintendents; filing proof of certification; exemptions.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 9, effective April 15, 1993.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 149; Code 1933, § 32-1004; Ga. L. 1939, p. 196, § 1; Ga. L. 1963, p. 356, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1981, Ex. Sess., p. 8; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 20; Ga. L. 1986, p. 800, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1091, § 4; Ga. L. 1990, p. 8, § 20; and Ga. L. 1991, p. 1546, § 2.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20(3)/SB 340, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, reserved the designation of this Code section.

20-2-103. Oath of local school superintendent.

Before entering upon the discharge of his or her official duties, the local school superintendent shall take and subscribe to the following oath of office: STATE OF GEORGIA COUNTY OF __________ I, ______________, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will truly perform the duties of local school superintendent of the __________________ School System to the best of my ability. I do further swear or affirm: (1) That I am not the holder of any unaccounted for public money due this state or any political subdivision or authority thereof; (2) That I am not the holder of any office of trust under the government of the United States, any other state, or any foreign state which I am by the laws of the State of Georgia prohibited from holding; (3) That I am otherwise qualified to hold said office according to the Constitution and the laws of Georgia; and (4) That I will support the Constitution of the United States and of this state. ________________________________________ Signature of local school superintendent ________________________________________ Typed name of local school superintendent Sworn and subscribed before me this ________ day of ______________, ______. (SEAL).

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 152; Code 1933, § 32-1007; Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 6/HB 706; Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 20/HB 79.)

Cross references.

- Official oaths, § 45-3-1 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 131.

20-2-104. Superintendents' bonds.

Each county and independent system school superintendent must give bond with an approved surety company payable to the county or independent system board of education, the amount to be decided by the board. Such bond must be filed with the judge of the probate court of the county and a copy recorded on the records of the judge of the probate court; and it shall be the duty of the superintendent to send a certified copy of such bond to the State School Superintendent, which copy shall be recorded and kept on file at the State Board of Education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 150; Ga. L. 1925, p. 250, § 1; Code 1933, § 32-1005; Ga. L. 1973, p. 577, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 428, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551(168), which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

If bond conforms to section, board must approve.

- If a person has been elected to the position of county school superintendent, and the Governor has duly issued a commission and forwarded the commission to be delivered to the person so elected upon giving bond and taking the oath as prescribed by law, and the bond, conformably to the statute, has been executed, and the amount of the bond and the sufficiency of the security has been approved by the board of education, it is the duty of the latter to approve the bond. Mattox v. Jones, 141 Ga. 649, 81 S.E. 861 (1914) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (168)).

Bond conditioned upon faithful discharge of duties.

- Bond of the county school superintendent is an official bond; there being nothing in the law which prescribes a different condition, it is properly conditioned upon the faithful discharge of the duties of this office. Citizens' Bank v. American Sur. Co., 174 Ga. 852, 164 S.E. 817 (1932).

Superintendent liable for county funds lost on account of bank failure.

- When a county school superintendent makes a general deposit of the funds of the county board of education in a bank, which are lost on account of the subsequent failure of the bank, the superintendent is liable therefor on an official bond as county school superintendent, although the superintendent believed the bank solvent at the time of the deposit, and up to the time of the bank's failure it was so regarded and reputed by the public. American Sur. Co. v. Ne Smith, 49 Ga. App. 40, 174 S.E. 262 (1934).

Sureties on the bond are not liable for money borrowed by county board of education. Board of Educ. v. Fudge, 4 Ga. App. 637, 62 S.E. 154 (1908) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (168)).

Cited in American Sur. Co. v. Citizens' Bank, 44 Ga. App. 57, 160 S.E. 546 (1931).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

County board may require county school superintendent to give additional bond or to increase security if, in the opinion of the board, the present bond is insufficient in amount or is inadequate as to security. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 105.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 63C Am. Jur. 2d, Public Officers and Employees, § 130 et seq. 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 115.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 131.

20-2-105. Suspension of county school superintendent; notice and hearing; appeal.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 10, effective January 1, 1997.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 88; Code 1933, § 32-912; Ga. L. 1956, p. 747, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1104, § 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20(4)/SB 340, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, reserved the designation of this Code section.

20-2-106. Removal of county school superintendent; notice and hearing; appeal.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 11, effective January 1, 1997.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 153; Code 1933, § 32-1008; Ga. L. 1947, p. 1189, §§ 2, 3a; Ga. L. 1956, p. 629, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20(5)/SB 340, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, reserved the designation of this Code section.

20-2-107. Filling vacancies in office of county school superintendent.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 12, effective April 15, 1993.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1887, p. 68, § 27; Ga. L. 1909, p. 154, § 4; Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 148; Code 1933, § 32-1003; Ga. L. 1958, p. 635, § 1; Ga. L. 1969, p. 289, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, Ex. Sess., p. 8; and Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20.

Ga. L. 2014, p. 866, § 20(6)/SB 340, effective April 29, 2014, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, reserved the designation of this Code section.

20-2-108. Certification and classification of local school superintendents; compensation.

Each local school superintendent shall be certified and classified by the Professional Standards Commission as teachers are now classified and certified under Code Section 20-2-200. The superintendents shall receive salaries according to a schedule of minimum salaries fixed by the state board based on classification and certification in the same manner teachers are paid under Code Section 20-2-212; provided, however, that in no event shall the salary of a superintendent be less than $27,000.00 per year, such salary to be paid in equal monthly installments out of state funds; and in addition thereto, the local board of education shall allow additional compensation for the services to be rendered as may be in its judgment proper and just.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 151; Code 1933, § 32-1006; Ga. L. 1943, p. 274, § 1; Ga. L. 1946, p. 73, § 1; Ga. L. 1947, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1951, p. 628, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1546, § 3; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1010, § 4; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1667, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 20.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State board may pay city superintendents directly.

- Under former Code 1933, § 32-403 (see now O.C.G.A. § 20-2-11), the State Board of Education could adopt the administrative policy of paying the state salaries of superintendents of independent city school systems directly to the superintendents in the same manner as now being done in the case of county school superintendents under former Code 1933, § 32-1006 (see now O.C.G.A. § 20-2-108), provided the specific provisions of the various municipal charters are not in conflict with this policy; in such an event an exception should be made to the policy so as to conform to the intent of the General Assembly as expressed by that charter. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 111.

Question of local salary supplement matter within county board's discretion.

- Question of a local supplement to the salary of a county superintendent of schools is a matter within the sound discretion of the local county board of education. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 112. (But see 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. 71-32).

Employment contract between county board and county superintendent may lawfully include a life insurance policy, or any lesser fiscal contribution towards the payment of premiums therefor, as a part of the latter's compensation. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-65.

Local board may pay contributions for retirement, health insurance, and social security.

- Local school board may contract indirectly to pay and then pay a superintendent's contributions to the Teachers Retirement System for health insurance and for social security. However, local Acts may affect a local school board's ability to make such contributions and, consequently, the local board attorney should be consulted in each instance. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 81-55.

Contributions for benefits must be deducted from salary, which must be increased to cover them.

- For a local school board to pay a local school superintendent's contributions to the Teachers Retirement System, it must increase the superintendent's salary since O.C.G.A. § 47-3-41 provides that such contributions must be deducted from the superintendent's salary. However, the increase of the salary would itself be subject to the required deduction since it would increase the amount of earnable compensation. Thus, the amount of increase required to pay the contribution would obviously have to be more than the amount of the contribution itself. Likewise, for a local school board to make such contributions under the Teachers Health Insurance Plan, it must increase the superintendent's salary since the law provides that such contributions must be withheld from the superintendent's salary. 1981 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 81-55.

Furnishing car in lieu of additional compensation not allowed.

- While this section authorizes the county board of education to pay extra or additional compensation to the superintendent, the meaning of this section should not be stretched to allow furnishing of a car in lieu of additional monetary compensation. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U72-10.

Elected superintendent's receipt of unused annual leave in lieu of terminal leave.

- County board of education may pay an elected superintendent for unused annual leave as terminal leave when the superintendent vacates office so long as such payment was previously agreed to as part of the superintendent's compensation package. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-51.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 133, 134.

20-2-109. Duties of local school superintendents.

The local school superintendent shall constitute the medium of communication between the State School Superintendent and subordinate local school officers. The local school superintendent shall be the executive officer of the local board of education; shall be the agent of the local board in procuring such school equipment and materials as it may order; shall ensure that the prescribed textbooks are used by students; shall verify all accounts before an application is made to the local board for an order for payment; and shall keep a record of all official acts, which, together with all the books, papers, and property appertaining to the office, shall be turned over to the successor. It shall be the local school superintendent's duty to enforce all regulations and rules of the State School Superintendent and of the local board according to the laws of the state and the rules and regulations made by the local board that are not in conflict with state laws; and to visit every school within the local school system to become familiar with the studies taught in the schools, observe what advancement is being made by the students, counsel with the faculty, and otherwise aid and assist in the advancement of public education.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 154; Code 1933, § 32-1009; Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 3.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code 1910, § 1551(172), which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

County superintendent cannot contract debt on behalf of county board without previous authority from board. State Bd. of Educ. v. Elbert County Bd. of Educ., 112 Ga. App. 840, 146 S.E.2d 344 (1965).

County superintendent of schools has no authority to obligate the county board of education under a contract unless authorization has been previously obtained from the board. Knight v. Troup County Bd. of Educ., 144 Ga. App. 634, 242 S.E.2d 263 (1978).

Superintendent cannot contract debt nor dispose of uncollected funds without board's authority.

- County superintendent of schools cannot contract a debt on behalf of the county board of education without previous authority from the board, nor, in the absence of such authority, can the superintendent dispose of county funds before those funds are collected. American Ins. Co. v. Seminole County Bd. of Educ., 51 Ga. App. 808, 181 S.E. 783 (1935).

County superintendent is not authorized to disclaim title to property vested in board.

- Authority given to the superintendent by former Code 1933, §§ 32-912 and 32-1009 (see now O.C.G.A. §§ 20-2-57,20-2-59,20-2-105, and20-2-109) to act as an agent for the county school board did not include any authority to disclaim title to property vested in the board as public trustees. Ingram v. Doss, 217 Ga. 645, 124 S.E.2d 87 (1962).

Superintendent as policymaker.

- No clearly established law barred firing a school superintendent, considered a policymaking or confidential employee under Georgia law and an executive on whom the school board relied to enforce policies, for speaking about inadequate property tax collections as such speech was about quintessential policy matters; individual school board officials had qualified immunity on claims of retaliatory termination under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Leslie v. Hancock County Bd. of Educ., 720 F.3d 1338 (11th Cir. 2013).

Failure to ensure compliance with regulations.

- Evidence supported a finding that a school superintendent knew of a change to the School District's dual enrollment policy and of the questions that had been raised about the validity of the policy change, which violated the clear and unambiguous language of the State's Dual Enrollment Regulation, Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 160-4-2-.34(6)(b), 160-4- 2-.34(2)(e), but the superintendent failed to ensure compliance and allowed the policy change for the benefit of the superintendent's own daughter. Quigg v. Ga. Prof'l Stds. Comm'n, 344 Ga. App. 142, 809 S.E.2d 267 (2017).

Testimony on fiscal affairs of board of education.

- County school superintendent acts as the chief fiscal officer of the board of education; in this capacity the superintendent qualifies to testify concerning the fiscal affairs of the board, and there is no error in the admission of testimony by the county school superintendent outlining the expenditure required of the board of education under the Quality Basic Education Act, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-130 et seq. Hicks v. Arnall, 258 Ga. 296, 368 S.E.2d 733 (1988).

Official immunity applied to superintendent.

- School superintendent did not have a ministerial duty to enforce an eye protection policy passed pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-109. Neither the policy, the statute, nor a regulation specified steps to be taken by the superintendent to enforce compliance with the policy; thus, the superintendent was entitled to official immunity in a lawsuit resulting from a student's injury during a science experiment. Dollar v. Grammens, 294 Ga. App. 888, 670 S.E.2d 555 (2008).

Mandamus is the proper and exclusive remedy to enforce performance of duties. Ferguson v. Smith, 27 Ga. App. 806, 110 S.E. 42 (1921) (decided under former Code 1910, § 1551 (172)).

Cited in Mathew v. Ellis, 214 Ga. 665, 107 S.E.2d 181 (1959); Gold v. DeKalb County Sch. Dist., 346 Ga. App. 108, 815 S.E.2d 259 (2018), aff'd, 307 Ga. 330, 834 S.E.2d 808 (2019).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Power to manage and control county school systems in Georgia rests in the county board of education; the county school superintendent is obliged to comply with and carry out all rules, regulations, and instructions of the county board of education. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U74-65.

Duty to run system upon recall of board of education.

- County school superintendent is charged with the duty of continuing to effectuate and enforce the rules, regulations, and instructions of the county board of education and continuing to operate the county school system during the period of time between the successful recall of all or a majority of the county board of education and the filling of the vacancies on the county board of education by special election. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U85-43.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 28, 35, 66, 78, 83, 84, 116, 125 et seq., 321.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 140 et seq., 399. 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 726.

ALR.

- Validity of regulation by public school authorities as to clothes or personal appearance of pupils, 14 A.L.R.3d 1201.

20-2-110. Offices for county school superintendents.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 5/HB 283, effective July 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 157; Code 1933, § 32-1012.

20-2-111. Administration of oaths by county school superintendents and county board members.

The county school superintendent and members of the county board of education are authorized to administer oaths necessary in transacting school business or in conducting investigations before the county boards when sitting as judicial tribunals for determining controversies arising under school laws.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 158; Code 1933, § 32-1013.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 67 C.J.S., Oaths and Affirmations, § 4.

20-2-112. Annual reports by county school superintendents to grand jury; inspection of books.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1994, p. 607, § 10, effective July 1, 1994.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 159; Code 1933, § 32-1014; Ga. L. 1939, p. 198, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 273, § 1.

Ga. L. 2016, p. 846, § 20/HB 737, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, purported to designate this reserved Code section as repealed; however, due to the pre-existing designation of this Code section as repealed, this amendment has not been given effect.

20-2-113. School systems exempt from article.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 53, effective July 1, 1983.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1919, p. 288, § 162.

ARTICLE 6 QUALITY BASIC EDUCATION

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1, effective July 1, 1986, repealed the Code sections formerly codified at this article and enacted the current article. The former article consisted of ten parts as follows: Part 1, §§ 20-2-130,20-2-131; Part 2, §§ 20-2-150,20-2-151,20-2-151.1,20-2-152 through20-2-164; Part 3, §§ 20-2-180 through20-2-190; Part 4, §§ 20-2-200 through20-2-208; Part 5, §§ 20-2-220 through20-2-230; Part 6, § 20-2-240; Part 7, § 20-2-250; Part 8, §§ 20-2-260 through20-2-264; Part 9, §§ 20-2-280 through20-2-285,20-2-285.1,20-2-286 through20-2-299; and Part 10, §§ 20-2-310,20-2-311 [repealed].

The former article was based on the following Acts: Ga. L. 1974, p. 1045, §§ 1-5, 7-58, 60-72, 74; Ga. L. 1975, p. 35, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 181, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 369, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 539, §§ 1, 3-33, 35; Ga. L. 1975, p. 685, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 812, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 1139, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 1537, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 271, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 506, § 2; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1385, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 972, § 2; Ga. L. 1977, p. 984, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 986, §§ 1, 3; Ga. L. 1977, p. 988, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1977, p. 997, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1001, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1003, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 917, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 990, § 2; Ga. L. 1978, p. 996, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1146, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1485, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1486, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2034, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2037, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2039, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2040, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2058, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 649, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 657, § 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 665, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1055, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1077, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1279, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1980, p. 448, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 450, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 465, § 3; Ga. L. 1980, p. 645, § 8; Ga. L. 1980, p. 698, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 766, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1010, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 1413, §§ 1-9; Ga. L. 1981, p. 667, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 774, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1565, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1982, p. 603, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 776, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1110, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 16; Ga. L. 1983, p. 745, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 804, § 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 1218, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 1429, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 643, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 20; Ga. L. 1985, p. 283, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 708, § 2.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Having extended to all children in Georgia the right to an education, the state cannot arbitrarily withdraw the right. Wells v. Banks, 153 Ga. App. 581, 266 S.E.2d 270 (1980).

PART 1 S HORT TITLE AND PURPOSE

Cross references.

- Adequate public education declared a primary obligation of state, to be funded by taxation, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. I, Para. I.

20-2-130. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Quality Basic Education Act."

(Code 1981, §20-2-130, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Extracurricular courses.

- O.C.G.A. § 20-2-130 does not prevent school boards from offering an extracurricular driver's education course for a fee. Kristin Nat'l, Inc. v. Bd. of Educ., 250 Ga. App. 488, 552 S.E.2d 475 (2001).

20-2-131. Objectives and purposes of program.

The General Assembly of Georgia, recognizing the need for:

  1. Implementing a highly rigorous curriculum to encompass content standards in public schools state wide which ensures that each student is provided ample opportunity to develop competencies necessary for lifelong learning as well as the competencies needed to maintain good physical and mental health, to participate actively in the governing process and community activities, to protect the environment and conserve public and private resources, and to be an effective worker and responsible citizen of high character;
  2. Providing all children and youth in Georgia with access to a quality program which supports their development of essential competencies in order that they may realize their potential;
  3. Providing an equitable public education finance structure which ensures that every student has an opportunity for a quality basic education, regardless of where the student lives, and ensures that all Georgians pay their fair share of this finance structure;
  4. Establishing and maintaining state-wide standards which ensure that each student has access to a quality program;
  5. Making teaching an attractive and rewarding profession in order to attract, retain, and fully utilize highly competent personnel in all public schools of the state;
  6. Providing effective staff development and attractive incentive programs which will motivate public school personnel to enhance their competencies and perform to their potential throughout their career;
  7. Providing local school systems with the incentives, resources, and technical assistance they need to plan and implement improvements in their programs on a continuing basis;
  8. Providing parents and the general public with information on the quality of schools and the achievement of the public school students in Georgia;
  9. Providing appropriate school facilities in which quality educational programs can be offered, particularly in the small and sparsely populated school systems;
  10. Providing an accountability system to ensure that all students are receiving a quality instructional program so that all students can achieve at their highest level;
  11. Providing a seamless education system to allow for the delivery of educational programs at all levels and the movement of students between programs and education agencies as efficiently and effectively as possible and to provide for coordination on a continuing basis between agencies responsible for education services;
  12. Providing a safe school environment so that students can learn and mature without fear of violence or intimidation;
  13. Providing access to nursing services so that teachers can deliver instructional services without the added responsibility of addressing students' nursing needs and so that students can receive nursing services while at school;
  14. Providing academic intervention programs designed to assist students who are performing below grade level in order to increase their mastery of critical academic knowledge and skills;
  15. Providing an alternative educational environment for those students who need a different educational structure in order to properly master critical academic knowledge and skills and to provide an environment where they can stay in school and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for a productive life;
  16. Providing students with advice and assistance in planning their academic and work careers and achieving those goals;
  17. Providing an evaluation process for all school system personnel to assure the public that personnel are performing at acceptable levels and providing quality educational services to all students;
  18. Providing an environment where parents and the community can participate in school activities and support school personnel as they work with students and address their academic needs;
  19. Providing for parent and community participation in the establishment of school programs, policies, and management so that the school and community are connected in meaningful and productive ways and providing support for teachers and school leaders in addressing the school's needs; and
  20. Providing a means whereby the foregoing might be met in order to provide an opportunity for a quality basic education to the citizens of the state and to discharge the responsibilities and obligations of the state to ensure a literate and informed society

    does establish the Quality Basic Education Program. It is declared to be the policy of this state to assure that each Georgian has access to quality instruction, as defined in this article, designed to improve upon a student's learning capacity. It is further declared that no student shall be refused admission into or be excluded from any public school in the state on account of race, creed, color, or national origin.

(Code 1981, §20-2-131, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 11; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 3/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "highly rigorous curriculum to encompass content standards" for "quality basic education" near the beginning of paragraph (1).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Teacher competency test scores must be reported accurately in order to assure student access to quality education, and the erroneous reporting of a passing grade could contravene that public policy if an unqualified teacher were employed. However, although the negligent reporting of a failing score could keep a qualified teacher out of the classroom, student access to quality education would not be impaired so long as other qualified teachers are available. Harris v. National Evaluation Sys., 719 F. Supp. 1081 (N.D. Ga. 1989), aff'd, 900 F.2d 266 (11th Cir. 1990).

Exculpatory clause which teacher signed prior to competency examination.

- Exculpatory clause in a form signed by a teacher prior to taking a teacher competency examination barred the teacher's negligence claim against the testing service after a computer error resulted in the reporting of a failing score. Harris v. National Evaluation Sys., 719 F. Supp. 1081 (N.D. Ga. 1989), aff'd, 900 F.2d 266 (11th Cir. 1990).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 6.

C.J.S.

- 78 C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 3 et seq.

20-2-132. Primary goals of article.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that the primary goals of this article shall be as follows:

  1. A substantial reduction in the number of teachers who leave the teaching profession for reasons of job dissatisfaction;
  2. A decrease in the percentage and number of students who enter school but drop out prior to graduation;
  3. The elimination of emergency teaching certificates and waivers for teaching outside of specialty;
  4. A decrease in the percentage of students who fail to attain passing scores on end-of-course assessments;
  5. A significant increase in the test scores of Georgia students who take the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the ACT Assessment (ACT);
  6. An increase in the number of students mastering each skill in reading, mathematics, and other subject areas;
  7. An accountability system for education programs that measures efficiency and effectiveness and ensures that programs produce improvement in student achievement scores for all students;
  8. A comprehensive program and financial information system that provides data that allow for the accurate evaluation of program effectiveness;
  9. A seamless education system that allows students to be served in the most effective and efficient way possible;
  10. The elimination of school violence;
  11. A decrease in the percentage of students who perform below grade level;
  12. An increase in parental and community involvement in schools;
  13. Better coordination between education agencies and other organizations providing instructional and related services to students;
  14. A more competent school work force through the effective use of evaluation tools, training, and school improvement teams that promote best practices; and
  15. More flexibility for high-performing schools so that services can be better adapted to student needs.

(Code 1981, §20-2-132, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 12; Ga. L. 2015, p. 21, § 2/HB 91.)

The 2015 amendment, effective March 30, 2015, substituted "fail to attain passing scores on end-of-course assessments" for "fail the Georgia High School Graduation Test" in paragraph (4).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-133. Free public instruction; exceptions; eligibility; procedure and requirements when child in custody of or in a placement or facility of a state agency.

  1. Admission to the instructional programs funded under this article shall be free to all eligible children and youth who enroll in such programs within the local school system in which they reside and to children as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. Therefore, a local school system shall not charge resident students tuition or fees, nor shall such students be required to provide materials or equipment except for items specified by the State Board of Education, as a condition of enrollment or full participation in any instructional program. However, a local school system is authorized to charge nonresident students tuition or fees or a combination thereof; provided, however, that such charges to a student shall not exceed the average locally financed per student cost for the preceding year, excluding the local five mill share funds required pursuant to Code Section 20-2-164; provided, further, that no child described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be charged tuition, fees, or a combination thereof. A local school system is further authorized to contract with a nonresident student's system of residence for payment of tuition. The amount of tuition paid directly by the system of residence shall be limited only by the terms of the contract between systems. Local units of administration shall provide textbooks or any other reading materials to each student enrolled in a class which has a course of study that requires the use of such materials by the students.
      1. Any child, except as otherwise specifically provided in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, who is:
        1. In the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions;
        2. In a placement operated by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities;
        3. In a facility or placement paid for by the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions, or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; or
        4. Placed in a psychiatric residential treatment facility by his or her parent or legal guardian pursuant to a physician's order, if such child is not a home study, private school, or out-of-state student

        and who is physically present within the geographical area served by a local unit of administration for any length of time is eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of that local unit of administration; provided, however, that the child meets the age eligibility requirements established by this article. Except for children who are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and receiving education services under Code Section 20-2-2084.1, the local unit of administration of the school district in which such child is present shall be responsible for the provision of all educational programs, including special education and related services, at no charge so long as the child is physically present in the school district.

      2. A child shall be considered in the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions if custody has been awarded either temporarily or permanently by court order or by voluntary agreement, or if the child has been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan of the Department of Human Services. A child shall be considered in a facility or placement paid for or operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities if the child has been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities or its contractors.
      3. A facility providing educational services onsite to a child described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph who is unable to leave such facility shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the local unit of administration in which the facility is located. Such memorandum of understanding shall include, at a minimum, provisions regarding enrollment counting procedures, allocation of funding based on actual days of enrollment in the facility, and the party responsible for employing teachers. A memorandum of understanding shall be reviewed and renewed at least every two years.
      4. No child in a secure residential facility as defined in Code Section 15-11-2, regardless of his or her custody status, shall be eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of the local unit of administration of the school district in which such facility is located. No child or youth in the custody of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice and confined in a facility as a result of a sentence imposed by a court shall be eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of the local unit of administration of the school district where such child or youth is being held; provided, however, that such child or youth may be eligible for enrollment in a state charter school pursuant to Code Section 20-2-2084.1.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, placement in a facility by another local unit of administration shall not create an obligation, financial or otherwise, on the part of the local unit of administration in which the facility is located to educate the child.
    2. For any child described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the custodian of or placing agency for the child shall notify the appropriate local unit of administration at least five days in advance of the move, when possible, when the child is to be moved from one local unit of administration to another.
    3. When the custodian of or placing agency for any child notifies a local unit of administration, as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, that the child may become eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of a local unit of administration, such local unit of administration shall request the transfer of the educational records and Individualized Education Programs and all education related evaluations, assessments, social histories, and observations of the child from the appropriate local unit of administration no later than ten days after receiving notification. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the custodian of the records has the obligation to transfer these records and the local unit of administration has the right to receive, review, and utilize these records. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, upon the request of a local unit of administration responsible for providing educational services to a child described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or the Department of Human Services shall furnish to the local unit of administration all medical and educational records in the possession of the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or the Department of Human Services pertaining to any such child, except where consent of a parent or legal guardian is required in order to authorize the release of any of such records, in which event the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or the Department of Human Services shall obtain such consent from the parent or guardian prior to such release.
    4. Any local unit of administration which serves a child pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall receive in the form of annual grants in state funding for that child the difference between the actual state funds received for that child pursuant to Code Section 20-2-161 and the reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in educating that child, calculated pursuant to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. Each local board of education shall be held harmless by the state from expending local funds for educating students pursuant to this Code section; provided, however, that this shall only apply to students who are unable to leave the facility in which they have been placed.
    5. Enrollment of an eligible child pursuant to this Code section shall be effectuated in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education.
    6. For purposes of the accountability program provided for in Part 3 of Article 2 of Chapter 14 of this title, all facilities serving children described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be, consistent with department rules and regulations, treated as a single local education agency; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not be construed to alleviate any responsibilities of the local unit of administration of the school district in which any such children are physically present for the provision of education for any such children.
    7. The Department of Education, the State Charter Schools Commission, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, and the local units of administration where Department of Education, State Charter Schools Commission, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, or Department of Human Services placements, facilities, or contract facilities are located shall jointly develop procedures binding on all agencies implementing the provisions of this Code section applicable to children and youth in the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, under the care or physical or legal custody of the Department of Human Services, or under the physical custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

(Code 1981, §20-2-133, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 4; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1693, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1825, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1983, § 20; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1453, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1582, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 296, § 24; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 96; Ga. L. 2006, p. 1052, § 1/SB 618; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 2-2/HB 228; Ga. L. 2010, p. 286, § 15/SB 244; Ga. L. 2013, p. 187, § 1/SB 115; Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 4-32/HB 242; Ga. L. 2016, p. 443, § 2-1/SB 367; Ga. L. 2018, p. 330, § 1/HB 853.)

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, in paragraph (b)(1), substituted "Except for children who are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and receiving education services under Code Section 20-2-2084.1, the" for "The" at the beginning of the second sentence, made a minor capitalization change, and added the proviso at the end of the last sentence; and, in paragraph (b)(8), inserted "the State Charter Schools Commission," near the beginning and inserted "State Charter Schools Commission," near the middle.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in subsection (a), substituted "described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section" for "in a placement operated by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities or for which payment is made by the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions, or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and no child who is in the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, under the care or physical or legal custody of the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions, or under the physical custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities" in the middle of the third sentence; substituted the present provisions of paragraph (b)(1) for the former provisions, which read: "Any child, except a child in a secure residential facility as defined in Code Section 15-11-2, as specifically provided in this paragraph, who is in the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Human Services; in a placement operated by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; or in a facility or placement paid for by the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions, or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and who is physically present within the geographical area served by a local unit of administration for any length of time is eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of that local unit of administration; provided, however, that the child meets the age eligibility requirements established by this article. Except for children who are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice and receiving education services under Code Section 20-2-2084.1, the local unit of administration of the school district in which such child is present shall be responsible for the provision of all educational programs, including special education and related services, at no charge so long as the child is physically present in the school district. A child shall be considered in the physical or legal custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice or the Department of Human Services or any of its divisions if custody has been awarded either temporarily or permanently by court order or by voluntary agreement, or if the child has been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan of the Department of Human Services. A child shall be considered in a facility or placement paid for or operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities if the child has been admitted or placed according to an individualized treatment or service plan of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. No child in a secure residential facility as defined in Code Section 15-11-2, regardless of his or her custody status, shall be eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of the local unit of administration of the school district in which such facility is located. No child or youth in the custody of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Juvenile Justice and confined in a facility as a result of a sentence imposed by a court shall be eligible for enrollment in the educational programs of the local unit of administration of the school district where such child or youth is being held; provided, however, that such child or youth may be eligible for enrollment in a state charter school pursuant to Code Section 20-2-2084.1."; deleted "by a parent or" following "in a facility" near the middle of paragraph (b)(2); and inserted "subparagraph (A) of" in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(5) and (b)(7). See Editor's notes for applicability.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, "The Department" was substituted for "The State Department" at the beginning of paragraph (b)(7) (now paragraph (b)(8)).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

Ga. L. 2013, p. 294, § 5-1/HB 242, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2014, and shall apply to all offenses which occur and juvenile proceedings commenced on and after such date. Any offense occurring before January 1, 2014, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense and shall be considered a prior adjudication for the purpose of imposing a disposition that provides for a different penalty for subsequent adjudications, of whatever class, pursuant to this Act. The enactment of this Act shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before January 1, 2014, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions."

Ga. L. 2018, p. 330, § 2/HB 853, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall not be construed to create a precedent that state education funds always follow a student who leaves a public school to attend a private school or be admitted to a facility, if not already provided for by law."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2016 amendment of this Code section, see 33 Georgia St. U.L. Rev. 139 (2016).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Free education of school-age children.

- School-age children placed in facilities by the Department of Human Resources or the Department of Children and Youth Services (now the Department of Juvenile Justice) must be provided with a free education by the local school system in which the facility is located. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-23.

Withholding transferring of student's record due to unpaid charges not permitted.

- Local school boards are authorized to assess charges against students for lost and unnecessarily damaged textbooks or library materials, but local school boards may not withhold transferring a student's record to another school system when there are unpaid charges or student fees. 1990 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 90-29.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- AIDS infection as affecting right to attend public school, 60 A.L.R.4th 15.

PART 2 C OMPETENCIES AND CORE CURRICULUM

20-2-140. State Board of Education to establish uniformly sequenced content standards; college and career readiness competency standards.

  1. The State Board of Education shall establish uniformly sequenced content standards that each student is expected to master prior to completion of the student's public school education. The state board shall adopt content standards for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Each local unit of administration may expand and enrich the content standards to the extent it deems necessary and appropriate for its students and communities. Each local school system shall adopt its own curriculum which shall include appropriate instruction in the content standards.
  2. The State Board of Education, working with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia, shall establish college and career readiness standards to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and mathematics aligned with the content standards adopted by the state board pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section with the level of performance necessary to meet college-readiness standards in the state's technical colleges, community colleges, state colleges, and universities and in other advanced training programs.
  3. The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia shall require its institutions to accept core coursework completed by high school students for purposes of admission into its institutions.

(Code 1981, §20-2-140, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 3/HB 186; Ga. L. 2012, p. 689, § 1/HB 713; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 4/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted the present provisions of subsection (a) for the former provisions, which read: "The State Board of Education shall establish competencies that each student is expected to master prior to completion of the student's public school education. The state board shall also establish competencies for which each student should be provided opportunities, at the discretion of the student and the student's parents, to master. Based upon these foregoing competencies, the state board shall adopt a uniformly sequenced core curriculum for grades kindergarten through 12. Each local unit of administration shall include this uniformly sequenced core curriculum as the basis for its own curriculum, although each local unit may sequence, expand, and enrich this curriculum to the extent it deems necessary and appropriate for its students and communities."; and substituted "standards to demonstrate competency in reading, writing, and mathematics aligned with the core content standards" for "competency standards in reading, writing, and mathematics aligned with the core curriculum" near the middle of subsection (b).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2011, "the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia" was substituted for "the Board of Technical and Adult Education" in subsections (b) and (c).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 1/HB 186, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) Our state's long-term prosperity depends on supporting an education system that is designed to prepare our students for a global economy;

"(2) High school students and parents must understand that they have options for career pathway programs of study that join a college-ready academic core with quality career, technical, and agricultural education studies that result in a high school diploma and preparation for success in advanced training, an associate's degree, a baccalaureate degree, and a career;

"(3) Local school systems must provide every student with choices that are academically rigorous and aligned to opportunities in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage career fields and to postsecondary career and technical pathways leading to advanced credentials or degrees;

"(4) The State Board of Education, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and the Board of Technical and Adult Education must work together so that academic courses that are embedded within career, technical, and agricultural education courses (CTAE) are given appropriate academic credit at the high school level and recognized at the postsecondary level;

"(5) Teachers should be provided with professional development opportunities that enforce the academically rigorous standards in relevant, project based coursework;

"(6) High school students should clearly understand the options for dual high school and postsecondary credit, and the state should properly fund these options;

"(7) Every state education agency, postsecondary institution, and local school system should provide all high school students with opportunities for accelerated learning through dual credit coursework leading to at least six postsecondary credits and have as a collective goal to graduate every student with postsecondary credit;

"(8) Georgia's strategic industries must be partners in our public education system (secondary and postsecondary) so that they are assured that our high school graduates are prepared for success in the workforce;

"(9) Georgia's public education system must incorporate many different types of assessments and certificates into their programs so that a student's skill level is assessed and that it also has meaning to them for postsecondary and career success; and

"(10) Georgia's students must understand that a high school diploma and some form of postsecondary credential are key to success in the workforce and earning a family living wage."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011). For article, "Education: Elementary and Secondary Education," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Interscholastic sports not essential to prescribed curriculum.

- Although an important part of a school's program, interscholastic sports are extracurricular and are not essential to the prescribed curriculum which must be made available to all of Georgia's children. Smith v. Crim, 240 Ga. 390, 240 S.E.2d 884 (1977).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State board may require a lay advisory group's approval as to the textbooks the board selects, provided that in so doing the board continues to exercise the board's own independent judgment and responsibility in making the final decisions concerning the textbook selection and does not in fact attempt to delegate the board's decision-making powers to the advisory committees. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-13.

Teaching creationism.

- Teachers may teach only evolution or teachers may teach other theories concerning the origin of life, but the decision about what to teach must have a secular purpose and teachers may not intentionally endorse religion or a religious practice in the teachers' teachings. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 349 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 1074 et seq.

20-2-140.1. Online learning.

The State Board of Education shall establish rules and regulations to maximize the number of students, beginning with students entering ninth grade in the 2014-2015 school year, who complete prior to graduation at least one course containing online learning. This shall be met through an online course offered by the Georgia Virtual School established pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.1, through the clearing-house established pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.3, through an online dual enrollment course offered by a postsecondary institution, or through a provider pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.4. This shall also include enrollment in a full-time or part-time virtual instruction program pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.4.

(Code 1981, §20-2-140.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 893, § 1/SB 289; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 5/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, in the second sentence, inserted "through the clearing-house established pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.3," and substituted "pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.4" for "approved pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-319.4".

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2012, "Code Section 20-2-319.4" was substituted for "Code Section 20-2-319.3" at the end of the second and last sentences.

20-2-141. Review of competencies and core curriculum.

The State Board of Education shall establish at least once every four years a review of the adopted competencies and uniformly sequenced core curriculum by a task force broadly representative of educational interests and the concerned public. After considering the findings and recommendations of the task force, the state board shall make such changes in the student competencies lists and core curriculum as it deems in the best interest of the state and its citizens and shall report such proposed changes to local school systems and the General Assembly for review.

(Code 1981, §20-2-141, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 349 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 1074 et seq.

20-2-142. Prescribed courses.

    1. All elementary and secondary schools which receive in any manner funds from the state shall provide the following course offerings in the manner and at the grade level prescribed by the State Board of Education:
      1. A course of study in the background, history, and development of the federal and state governments and a study of Georgia county and municipal governments; and
      2. A course of study in the history of the United States and in the history of Georgia and in the essentials of the United States and Georgia Constitutions, including the study of American institutions and ideals which shall include a study of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States and the Georgia flag in addition to other institutions and ideals.
    2. No student shall be eligible to receive a diploma from a high school unless such student has successfully completed the courses in history and government provided for by this subsection, except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection. For students moving to Georgia and unable to take the course or courses available to fulfill these requirements in the grade level in which such course or courses are ordinarily offered, the State Board of Education may develop alternative methods, which may include but shall not be limited to an on-line course of study, for such students to learn about and demonstrate an adequate understanding of federal or Georgia history and government.
    3. Disabled students who are otherwise eligible for a special education diploma pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-281 shall not be denied this diploma if they have not successfully completed either or both of these courses; provided, however, that their Individualized Education Programs have not specified that the disabled students must enroll in and successfully complete both of these courses.
    4. The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the required course of study in the history of Georgia and in the essentials of the Georgia Constitution for students who transfer from another state after having completed the year in which such course or courses are ordinarily offered. The State Board of Education is authorized to provide for exemptions to the required course of study for such students and for students whose parent or parents serve in the armed forces of the United States.
    1. The State Board of Education and the Board of Driver Services shall jointly establish an alcohol and drug course for the purpose of informing the young people of this state of the dangers involved in consuming alcohol or certain drugs in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle. The course shall be designed to generate greater interest in highway safety and accident prevention. The state board and the Board of Driver Services shall jointly, by rules or regulations, determine the contents of the course and its duration. The commissioner of driver services shall make available officers, employees, officials, agents, contractors, or other appropriate representatives as determined by the commissioner of driver services to teach the alcohol and drug course. The alcohol and drug course shall be offered periodically but not less than once annually in the public schools of this state to students in grades nine and above in the manner prescribed by the state board.
    2. The alcohol and drug course required by this subsection shall make available as a part of such course a voluntary parent or guardian participation component which substantially complies with the following requirements:
      1. A joint session with the parent or guardian and child which provides opportunities for parents or guardians to voluntarily participate in the guidance and delivery of the antidrug and antialcohol instruction; and
      2. A separate voluntary component solely for parental or guardian instruction that provides drug prevention strategies, legal accountability information, an opportunity for parent or guardian questions, and any other information that would offer parents or guardians a framework for the protection of their children from alcohol and other drug use.
    3. All schools with grade nine or above which receive funds in any manner from the state shall make available to eligible students and their parents or guardians the alcohol and drug course provided in this subsection.
    4. The commissioner of driver services shall make the alcohol and drug course, and instructors where necessary, available to the private schools in this state. In addition, the commissioner of driver services shall offer the alcohol and drug course periodically at various locations in this state in the manner provided by the Board of Driver Services. The commissioner shall also be authorized to offer such course electronically online or in such other manner as determined appropriate by the commissioner.
  1. The State Board of Education shall prescribe a course of study in health and physical education for all grades and grade levels in the public schools and shall establish minimum time requirements and standards for its administration. The course shall include instruction concerning the impact of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use upon health. A manual setting out the details of such courses of study shall be prepared or approved by the State School Superintendent in cooperation with the Department of Public Health, the state board, and such expert advisers as they may choose. The Department of Education is directed to assemble or develop instructional resources and materials concerning alcohol and drug abuse, taking into consideration technological enhancements available for utilization of such instructional resources.
  2. The funds allocated under Code Section 20-2-13 shall be used for the purpose of creating and maintaining state educational research services for purposes which shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
    1. For the development, production, and procurement of curriculum materials and units of instruction on the scientific facts in regard to the influence and effect of alcohol on human health and behavior and on social and economic conditions, including suggested methods of instruction in ways of working with boys and girls and young people in the various age groups and grade levels of the public schools of the state, as aids to classroom teachers and others responsible for the conduct of the educational program in the public schools;
    2. For the publication, procurement, and dissemination of curriculum materials, units of instruction, and suggested methods of instruction relating to the influence and effect of alcohol on human health and behavior and on social and economic conditions for the school teachers and educational officials in the various local school systems of the state, the Department of Education, and the various educational institutions of the state which are engaged in the education and training of teachers; and
    3. For cooperative work, by and between the state educational research service and the local school systems of the state, the Department of Education, and the educational institutions of the state which are engaged in the education and training of teachers, through conferences, study groups, demonstrations of methods and materials of instruction, and other means.
  3. The state board is authorized to expend such amounts as may be necessary of the moneys allocated to it under Code Section 20-2-13 for the employment of a specialist or specialists or for contracting for the services of specialists in research and in development and production of curriculum materials and units of instruction on the scientific facts in regard to the influence of alcohol on human health and behavior and on social and economic conditions, including methods of instruction; for the employment of secretarial and clerical assistants and other office expenses; for expenses of conferences, study groups, and demonstrations; and for all other expenses necessary in carrying out the purposes of this Code section.
  4. The state board shall make available uniformly to the public schools of the state and the educational institutions of the state engaged in the education and training of teachers the curriculum materials, the units of instruction, and the suggested methods of instruction which are developed under this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-2-142, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1972, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 20; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 20; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1600, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 13; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 20; Ga. L. 2004, p. 107, § 2; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 20/HB 95; Ga. L. 2005, p. 334, § 9-1/HB 501; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-4/HB 228; Ga. L. 2010, p. 413, § 1/SB 518; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 6-3/HB 214; Ga. L. 2012, p. 72, § 1/SB 236; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 6/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, deleted "in its quality core curriculum" following "State Board of Education" at the end of paragraph (a)(1).

Cross references.

- Possession of alcoholic beverages on public school grounds, § 3-3-21.1.

Sale of alcoholic beverages by or to minors, § 3-3-23 et seq.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Instruction in United States and Georgia history and government, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Division of General Instruction, Sec. 160-4-2-.07.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 147 (2011).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Interscholastic sports not essential to prescribed curriculum.

- Although an important part of a school's program, interscholastic sports are extracurricular and are not essential to the prescribed curriculum which must be made available to all of Georgia's children. Smith v. Crim, 240 Ga. 390, 240 S.E.2d 884 (1977).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State board may require a lay advisory group's approval as to the textbooks the board selects, provided that in so doing the board continues to exercise the board's own independent judgment and responsibility in making the final decisions concerning the textbook selection and does not in fact attempt to delegate the board's decision-making powers to the advisory committees. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-13.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 349 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, § 1074 et seq.

20-2-142.1. Coursework in the founding philosophy and principles of the United States of America.

  1. The General Assembly finds that the survival of the Republic requires that the nation's children, who are the future guardians of its heritage and participants in its governance, have a clear understanding of the founding philosophy and the founding principles of our government, which are found in the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the writings of the founders, and an understanding of the preservation of such founding philosophy, principles, and documents.
  2. This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the "America's Founding Philosophy and Principles Act."
  3. Each local board of education may require all students, as a condition of graduation, during their ninth through twelfth grade years to complete and pass a separate semester course covering the following founding philosophy and principles of the United States of America:
    1. America's founding philosophy, to include at least the following:
      1. As articulated in the Declaration of Independence the foundational idea of the Creator-endowed unalienable rights of the people;
      2. The purpose of limited government, which is to protect the unalienable rights of the people and to protect the people from violence and fraud;
      3. The structure of government, separation of powers, and checks and balances; and
      4. The rule of law, with frequent and free elections in a representative government which governs by majority vote within a constitutional framework;
    2. America's founding principles, to include at least the following:
      1. Federalism-government as close to the people as possible, limited federal government, and strong state and local government;
      2. Freedoms of speech, press, religion, and peaceful assembly guaranteed by the Bill of Rights;
      3. Rights to private property and freedom of individual enterprise;
      4. The innocence of any crime until proven guilty, with right of habeas corpus, and no unreasonable searches, seizures, or cruel and unusual punishment;
      5. A virtuous and moral people educated in the philosophy and principles of government for a free people;
      6. The right to a speedy trial by a jury of peers;
      7. The principles of economy in spending, constitutional limitations on government power to tax and spend, and prompt payment of public debt;
      8. Economic system of money with intrinsic value;
      9. Equality before the law and due process of law with grand jury indictment for capital crimes before holding a person to account;
      10. The right of people to keep and bear arms, strong defense capability, supremacy of civil authority over military;
      11. Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none;
      12. All laws concise and understandable by the people and not ex post facto laws;
      13. Eternal vigilance by "We the People"; and
      14. Founding documents including Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Federalist Papers; and
    3. Transformational movements in American history, to include at least the following:
      1. The antislavery movement;
      2. The Civil Rights movement;
      3. Women's suffrage;
      4. The contributions of immigrants to American society; and
      5. The history of the Native American population.
  4. The Department of Education and local boards of education, as appropriate, may provide, or cause to be provided, curriculum content which reflects the content standards addressed pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section and teacher training to ensure that the intent and provisions of this Code section are implemented.
  5. This Code section shall apply beginning in school year 2017-2018.

(Code 1981, §20-2-142.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 6A/HB 502.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2015.

20-2-143. Sex education and AIDS prevention instruction; implementation; student exemption.

  1. Each local board of education shall prescribe a course of study in sex education and AIDS prevention instruction for such grades and grade levels in the public school system as shall be determined by the State Board of Education. Such course of study shall implement either the minimum course of study provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section or its equivalent, as approved by the State Board of Education. Each local board of education shall be authorized to supplement and develop the exact approach of content areas of such minimum course of study with such specific curriculum standards as it may deem appropriate. Such standards shall include instruction relating to the handling of peer pressure, the promotion of high self-esteem, local community values, the legal consequences of parenthood, and abstinence from sexual activity as an effective method of prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
  2. The State Board of Education shall prescribe a minimum course of study in sex education and AIDS prevention instruction which may be included as a part of a course of study in comprehensive health education for such grades and grade levels in the public school system as shall be determined by the state board and shall establish standards for its administration. The course may include instruction concerning human biology, conception, pregnancy, birth, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The course shall include instruction concerning the legal consequences of parenthood, including, without being limited to, the legal obligation of both parents to support a child and legal penalties or restrictions upon failure to support a child, including, without being limited to, the possible suspension or revocation of a parent's driver's license and occupational or professional licenses. The course shall also include annual age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in kindergarten through grade nine. A manual setting out the details of such course of study shall be prepared by or approved by the State School Superintendent in cooperation with the Department of Public Health, the State Board of Education, and such expert advisers as they may choose.
  3. The minimum course of study to be prescribed by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall be ready for implementation not later than July 1, 1988. Each local board shall implement either such minimum course of study or its equivalent not later than July 1, 1989. Any local board of education which fails to comply with this subsection shall not be eligible to receive any state funding under this article until such minimum course of study or its equivalent has been implemented.
  4. Any parent or legal guardian of a child to whom the course of study set forth in this Code section is to be taught shall have the right to elect, in writing, that such child not receive such course of study.

(Code 1981, §20-2-143, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 868, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 600, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-4/HB 228; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 6-3/HB 214; Ga. L. 2018, p. 747, § 2A/SB 401; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 20/SB 52.)

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added the fourth sentence of subsection (b).

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "grade nine" for "grade 9" at the end of the fourth sentence of subsection (b).

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 147 (2011).

20-2-144. Mandatory instruction concerning alcohol and drug use.

  1. Each local board of education shall prescribe mandatory instruction concerning alcohol and other drug use in every year in every grade from kindergarten through grade 12 as shall be determined by the State Board of Education.Such course of study shall implement the minimum course of study provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section or its equivalent, as approved by the State Board of Education.Each local board of education may supplement the exact approach of content areas of such minimum course of study with such curriculum standards as it may deem appropriate.Such standards shall include instruction which discourages the use of alcohol, tobacco, and controlled substances and communicates that the use of illicit drugs and improper use of legally obtained drugs is wrong and dangerous.
  2. The State Board of Education shall prescribe a minimum course of study of alcohol and other drug use which may be included as a part of a course of study in comprehensive health education where offered and where appropriate. Instruction also shall be integrated into other curriculum requirements as determined by the State Board of Education.The course shall be age appropriate, shall be sequential in method of study, and shall include the following elements where appropriate in the instruction:
    1. Detailed, factual information regarding physiological, psychological, sociological, and legal aspects of substance abuse;
    2. Detailed information concerning the availability of help and assistance for persons with chemical dependency problems;
    3. Skills needed to evaluate advertisements for, and media portrayals of, alcohol, tobacco, and controlled substances; and
    4. Detailed instruction on the need for, and role of, lawful authority and law-abiding behavior, which instruction may include interacting and working with members of the legal and justice professions.
  3. A manual setting out the details of such course of study shall be prepared by or approved by the State School Superintendent in cooperation with the Department of Public Health, the State Board of Education, the Department of Public Safety, and such expert advisers as they may choose.
  4. The minimum course of study to be prescribed by the State Board of Education pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section shall be ready for implementation not later than July 1, 1990.Each local board shall implement either such minimum course of study or its equivalent not later than December 31, 1990.Any local board of education which fails to comply with this subsection shall not be eligible to receive any state funding under this article until such minimum course of study or its equivalent has been implemented.

(Code 1981, §20-2-144, enacted by Ga. L. 1990, p. 2043, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-4/HB 228; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 6-3/HB 214.)

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 147 (2011). For note on 1990 enactment of this Code section, see 7 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 377 (1990).

20-2-145. Comprehensive character education program.

  1. The State Board of Education shall develop by the start of the 1997-1998 school year a comprehensive character education program for levels K-12. This comprehensive character education program shall be known as the "character curriculum" and shall focus on the students' development of the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, respect for the creator, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, perseverance, and virtue. Such program shall also address, by the start of the 1999-2000 school year, methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts against fellow students. Local boards shall implement such a program in all grade levels at the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year and shall provide opportunities for parental involvement in establishing expected outcomes of the character education program.
  2. The Department of Education shall develop character education program workshops designed for employees of local school systems.

(Code 1981, §20-2-145, enacted by Ga. L. 1997, p. 1386, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 362, § 2; Ga. L. 1999, p. 438, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Designation of official center for character education, § 50-3-79.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1997, p. 1386, § 1.1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides for severability.

Ga. L. 1999, p. 438, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Improved Student Learning Environment and Discipline Act of 1999.'"

Law reviews.

- For article, "Bullying in Public Schools: The Intersection Between the Student's Free Speech Rights and the School's Duty to Protect," see 62 Mercer L. Rev. 407 (2011). For note on 1999 amendment to this Code section, see 16 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 116 (1999).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Constitutionality.

- The "respect for the creator" portion of the character education program authorized by O.C.G.A. § 20-2-145 does not violate the separation of church and state provisions of either the state or federal constitution. 2000 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2000-9.

20-2-145.1. Career education.

The State Board of Education shall prescribe a minimum course of study in career education for students in grades six through 12. Such minimum course of study shall be age appropriate and shall include, but not be limited to, career exploration and career oriented learning experiences. Career oriented learning experiences shall include, but not be limited to, participation in work based learning programs such as internships, apprenticeships, cooperative education, or employability skill development. The State Board of Education shall ensure that career oriented learning experiences include rigorous industry credentialing, as defined in Code Section 20-2-326, if such rigorous industry credentialing has been created or endorsed by Georgia employers.

(Code 1981, §20-2-145.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 689, § 2/HB 713; Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 2/SB 3.)

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, substituted "grades six" for "grades kindergarten" in the first sentence, substituted "limited to, career exploration and" for "limited to, career awareness, career exploration, and" in the second sentence, and added the third and fourth sentences.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 1/SB 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Creating Opportunities Needed Now to Expand Credentialed Training (CONNECT) Act.'"

20-2-146. Scholastic Assessment Test preparatory course; acceptance as elective credit.

  1. All schools with grade ten or above may make available to eligible students a Scholastic Assessment Test preparatory course. Such course of study shall be designed to offer an opportunity for review and practice to students preparing to take the Scholastic Assessment Test. The course may be offered periodically in the manner prescribed by the local board.
  2. Each local board of education shall be authorized to supplement and develop the exact approach of content areas of such Scholastic Assessment Test preparatory course with such specific curriculum standards as it may deem appropriate.
  3. For the purposes of earning Carnegie unit curriculum credits at the high school level, completion of the Scholastic Assessment Test preparatory course may be accepted by the State Board of Education for one-half unit of elective credit.

(Code 1981, §20-2-146, enacted by Ga. L. 1999, p. 465, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2000, Code Section 20-2-146, as enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 792, § 1, was redesignated as Code Section 20-2-147.

20-2-147. Instructional activities focusing on veterans and the armed forces; closure of schools for Veterans Day.

On a school day immediately preceding or as close to the annual observance of Veterans Day as practicable as determined by a school's scheduled curriculum, each elementary and secondary school may provide for instructional activity focusing on the contributions of veterans and the importance of the armed forces of the United States. Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, public elementary and secondary schools may be closed on Veterans Day as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of Code Section 20-2-168.

(Code 1981, §20-2-147, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 792, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 638, § 5A/HB 193.)

Cross references.

- Holidays and observances, T. 1, C. 4.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2000, Code Section 20-2-146, as enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 792, § 1, was redesignated as Code Section 20-2-147.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2009, p. 638, § 5B/HB 193, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment to this Code section shall apply with respect to conduct on or after May 4, 2009, and conduct prior to May 4, 2009, shall continue to be governed by prior law.

20-2-148. Elective course in History and Literature of the Old and New Testaments; religious neutrality.

    1. All public schools with grade nine or above may make available to eligible students in grades nine through 12 an elective course:
      1. In the History and Literature of the Old Testament Era;
      2. In the History and Literature of the New Testament Era;
      3. On the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible;
      4. On the New Testament of the Bible; and
      5. On the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible.
    2. The purpose of such courses shall be to:
      1. Teach students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy; and
      2. Familiarize students with, as applicable:
        1. The contents of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;
        2. The history of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament;
        3. The literary style and structure of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament; and
        4. The influence of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament on law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture.
    3. A student shall not be required to use a specific translation as the sole text of the Hebrew Scriptures or New Testament.
    1. The State Board of Education shall adopt content standards for each course, including objectives and reading materials which are prepared in accordance with the requirements of this subsection.
    2. The book or collection of books commonly known as the Old Testament shall be the basic text for the course in the History and Literature of the Old Testament Era, and the book or collection of books commonly known as the New Testament shall be the basic text for the course in the History and Literature of the New Testament Era. In addition, students may be assigned a range of reading materials for the courses, including selections from secular historical and cultural works and selections from other religious and cultural traditions. The content standards for the courses shall familiarize students with the customs and cultures of the times and places referred to in the Old and New Testaments. The content standards for the courses shall familiarize the students with the methods and tools of writing at the times the Old and New Testament books were written, the means by which they were preserved, the languages in which they were written and into which they were translated, and the historical and cultural events which led to the translation of the Old and New Testaments into the English language. The local board of education may recommend which version of the Old or New Testament may be used in the course; provided, however, that the teacher of the course shall not be required to adopt that recommendation but may use the recommended version or another version. No student shall be required to use one version as the sole text of the Old or New Testament. If a student desires to use as the basic text a different version of the Old or New Testament from that chosen by the local board of education or teacher, he or she shall be permitted to do so.
    3. The courses provided for in this Code section shall:
      1. Be taught in an objective and nondevotional manner with no attempt made to indoctrinate students as to either the truth or falsity of the biblical materials or texts from other religious or cultural traditions;
      2. Not include teaching of religious doctrine or sectarian interpretation of the Bible or of texts from other religious or cultural traditions; and
      3. Not disparage or encourage a commitment to a set of religious beliefs.
  1. The provisions of this chapter relating to personnel employed by local units of administration, including without limitation certification requirements, employment, and supervision, shall apply to persons who teach the courses provided for in this Code section. In addition, no person shall be assigned to teach such courses based in whole or in part on any religious test, profession of faith or lack thereof, prior or present religious affiliation or lack of affiliation, or criteria involving particular beliefs or lack thereof about the Bible. Except for these requirements, the qualifications and training of teachers shall be determined by the local boards of education.
  2. On and after July 1, 2007, for the purpose of earning Carnegie unit curriculum credits at the high school level, satisfactory completion of any of the courses described in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be accepted by the State Board of Education for one-half unit of elective credit; provided, however, that such courses are taught in strict compliance with the requirements of this Code section.
  3. A local board of education may make such arrangements for monitoring the content and teaching of any of the courses described in subsection (a) of this Code section as it deems appropriate.
  4. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to limit the authority of a local board of education to offer courses regarding the Old Testament or the New Testament that are not in compliance with this Code section; provided, however, that no state funds distributed pursuant to this article shall be expended in connection with such a course that does not meet the requirements of this Code section.
  5. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit local boards of education from offering elective courses based upon the books of other religions or societies. In determining whether to offer such courses, the local board may consider various factors, including, but not limited to, student and parent demand for such courses and the impact such books have had upon history and culture.
  6. A course offered under this Code section shall follow applicable law and all federal and state guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views, traditions, and perspectives of students in the school. A course under this Code section shall not endorse, favor, or promote, or disfavor or show hostility toward, any particular religion or nonreligious faith or religious perspective. The State Board of Education, in complying with this Code section, shall not violate any provision of the United States Constitution or federal law, the Georgia Constitution or any state law, or any administrative regulations of the United States Department of Education or the Georgia Department of Education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-148, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 233, § 1/SB 79; Ga. L. 2019, p. 675, § 1/SB 83.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, rewrote subsection (a), which read: "All public schools with grade nine or above may make available to eligible students in grades nine through 12 an elective course in the History and Literature of the Old Testament Era and an elective course in the History and Literature of the New Testament Era. The purpose of such courses shall be to accommodate the rights and desires of those teachers and students who wish to teach and study the Old and New Testaments and to familiarize students with the contents of the Old and New Testaments, the history recorded by the Old and New Testaments, the literary style and structure of the Old and New Testaments, the customs and cultures of the peoples and societies recorded in the Old and New Testaments, and the influence of the Old and New Testaments upon law, history, government, literature, art, music, customs, morals, values, and culture."; rewrote paragraph (b)(1), which read: "No later than February 1, 2007, the State Board of Education shall adopt a curriculum for each course, including objectives, reading materials, and lesson plans, which has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of this subsection."; in paragraph (b)(2), inserted "content standards for the" at the beginning of the third and fourth sentences; rewrote subsections (d) and (e), which read: "(d) On and after July 1, 2007, for the purpose of earning Carnegie unit curriculum credits at the high school level, satisfactory completion of the course in the History and Literature of the Old Testament Era shall be accepted by the State Board of Education for one-half unit of elective credit, and satisfactory completion of the course in the History and Literature of the New Testament Era shall be accepted by the State Board of Education for one-half unit of elective credit; provided, however, that such courses are taught in strict compliance with the requirements of this Code section.

"(e) A local board of education may make such arrangements for monitoring the content and teaching of the course in the History and Literature of the Old Testament Era and the course in the History and Literature of the New Testament Era as it deems appropriate."; and added subsection (h).

Cross references.

- Religious freedom, U.S. Const., amend. I.

Religious opinions and freedom of religion, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. IV.

20-2-149. Program for educating students regarding online Internet safety.

  1. The Department of Education shall develop a model program for educating students regarding online safety while using the Internet, taking into consideration educational materials on this topic developed by other states as well as any other materials suggested by education experts, child psychologists, and technology companies that promote child online safety issues.
  2. Each local board of education may incorporate into its instructional program a component on online Internet safety to be taught on a schedule as determined by the local board of education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-149, enacted by Ga. L. 2008, p. 810, § 1/SB 474.)

20-2-149.1. Instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of automated external defibrillator; requirements.

  1. This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the "Cory Joseph Wilson Act."
  2. As used in this Code section, the term "psychomotor skills" means skills using hands-on practice to support cognitive learning.
  3. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, each local board of education which operates a school with grades nine through 12 shall provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator to its students as a requirement within existing health or physical education courses. Such training shall include either of the following and shall incorporate into the instruction the psychomotor skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use an automated external defibrillator:
    1. An instructional program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross; or
    2. An instructional program which is nationally recognized and is based on the most current national evidence based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
  4. A teacher shall not be required to be a certified trainer of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or to facilitate, provide, or oversee instruction which does not result in certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
  5. This Code section shall not be construed to require students to become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator; provided, however, that if a local board of education chooses to offer courses which result in certification being earned, such courses shall be taught by instructors in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator authorized to conduct an instructional program included in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this Code section.
  6. The Department of Education shall establish a procedure to monitor adherence by local boards of education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-149.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 521, § 1/SB 212; Ga. L. 2017, p. 97, § 2A/HB 198; Ga. L. 2017, p. 319, § 7-1/HB 249.)

The 2017 amendments. The first 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, added subsection (a); redesignated former subsections (a) through (e) as present subsections (b) through (f), respectively; and substituted "subsection (c)" for "subsection (b)" near the end of present subsection (e). The second 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, made identical changes.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2017 amendment of this Code section, see 34 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 143 (2017).

20-2-149.2. Awarding of high school diploma for completion of postsecondary programs; identification of critical needs fields of study.

  1. A local board of education may award a high school diploma to a student enrolled in coursework pursuant to Code Section 20-2-161.3 who:
    1. Completes rigorous coursework at a postsecondary institution which meets the requirements in paragraph (7) of Code Section 20-3-519;
    2. Has completed at least the following state required ninth and tenth grade level high school courses: two English courses, two mathematics courses, two science courses, two social studies courses, and one health and physical education course; and any state required tests associated with any such courses;
    3. Receives a score of admission acceptable on the readiness assessment required by the postsecondary institution; and
    4. Completes: (i) an associate degree program; (ii) a technical college diploma program and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field; or (iii) at least two technical college certificate of credit programs in one specific career pathway and all postsecondary academic education and technical education and training prerequisites for any state, national, or industry occupational certifications or licenses required to work in the field as determined by the Technical College System of Georgia.
  2. The State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia shall annually identify fields of study in which a critical need or shortage of trained personnel exists in the labor markets in this state and provide such information to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall annually provide such information to local school systems for the purpose of emphasizing areas of critical workforce needs and shortages in the labor markets in our state to high school students to support their career pathway decisions.
  3. The State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, shall establish rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Code section.
  4. A student who meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be deemed to have met all graduation requirements of the State Board of Education and shall not be subject to any assessments otherwise required for purposes of graduation.

(Code 1981, §20-2-149.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2015, p. 118, § 1/SB 2; Ga. L. 2016, p. 846, § 20/HB 737.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2015.

The 2016 amendment, effective May 3, 2016, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted "Code Section 20-2-161.3" for "Code Section 20-2-159.5" at the end of the introductory paragraph of subsection (a).

20-2-149.3. Requirements for computer science education.

  1. The General Assembly finds that:
    1. Education in computer science is a critical need for the students of Georgia for the twenty-first century;
    2. Less than 0.5 percent of high school graduates take a computer science course;
    3. There are thousands of unfulfilled computer science jobs in the state; and
    4. The logical thinking skills taught by computer science are now very valuable in many noncomputer science jobs, as technology has become embedded in most professions.
  2. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Computer science" means the study of computers, algorithmic processes, coding, and logical thinking, including computer principles, their hardware and software designs, their implementation, and their impact on society.
    2. "Computer science courses and content" means high school courses that teach computer science as stand-alone implementations and middle school courses that provide instruction in computer science in standalone implementations or embedded in other subjects and focus on how to create and understand technology, rather than simply using technology.
    3. "High-quality professional learning" means professional development activities that:
      1. Clarify the conceptual foundations of computer science;
      2. Teach research based practices, including hands-on and inquiry based learning; and
      3. Are intended for teachers with or without prior exposure to computer science.
    4. "High-quality professional learning providers" means institutions of higher education in this state, local school systems, nonprofit organizations, or private entities that have successfully designed, implemented, and scaled high-quality professional learning for teachers and are approved or recommended by the State Board of Education in coordination with the Department of Education.
    5. "Offer" means providing a course taught by a computer science teacher:
      1. Who is onsite at the physical location of the school; or
      2. Who is not onsite at the physical location of the school but conducts the course through virtual means with a proctor onsite at the physical location of the school.
    1. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year:
      1. Each local school system shall provide that at least one high school in its school system offers a course in computer science;
      2. Each local school system shall provide that all middle schools in its school system offer instruction in exploratory computer science;
      3. Each state charter school that serves high school students shall offer a course in computer science;
      4. Each state charter school that serves middle school students shall offer instruction in exploratory computer science;
      5. Each local school system may provide that all elementary schools in its school system offer instruction in exploratory computer science; and
      6. Each state charter school that serves elementary school students may offer instruction in exploratory computer science.
    2. Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, each local school system shall provide that at least 50 percent of the high schools in its school system offer a course in computer science.
    3. Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, each local school system shall provide that all high schools in its school system offer a course in computer science.
  3. The Department of Education shall ensure that the Georgia Virtual School operated pursuant to Code Section 20-2-319.1 has sufficient capacity to enable schools to utilize computer science courses to meet the needs of such schools as a result of this Code section.
    1. Subject to appropriations, grants shall be provided to eligible entities to deliver professional development programs for teachers providing instruction in computer science courses and content.
    2. Eligible entities shall include local school systems, consortia of local school systems, local charter schools, state charter schools, and high-quality professional learning providers working in partnership with local school systems.
    3. Criteria for grant awards to eligible entities pursuant to this subsection shall include:
      1. The number of teachers in a local school system that require training and the number of teachers in a local school system that have already received training; and
      2. The willingness of local school systems to make available their teachers who have received training in computer science courses and content to provide computer science instruction in another local school system or systems.
    4. The Department of Education shall submit a report on December 1 of each year to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the chairperson of the Senate Education and Youth Committee, and the chairperson of the House Committee on Education. Such report shall include the number of teachers trained, the number of schools offering training, the number of students served and the demographics of such students, and a list of the eligible entities that provided the training.

(Code 1981, §20-2-149.3, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 330, § 1/SB 108.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2019.

PART 3 E DUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Grant programs, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-1-4.

Division of general instruction, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-4-2.

Special education, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-4-7.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Education: Elementary and Secondary Education," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011). For article, “Coerced Choice: School Vouchers and Students with Disabilities,” see 68 Emory L.J. 1037 (2019).

20-2-150. Eligibility for enrollment.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of this Code section, all children and youth who have attained the age of five years by September 1 shall be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate general education programs authorized in this part unless they attain the age of 20 by September 1 or they have received high school diplomas or the equivalent.This shall specifically include students who have reenrolled after dropping out and who are married, parents, or pregnant. Special education students shall also be eligible for enrollment in appropriate education programs through age 21 or until they receive high school or special education diplomas or the equivalent; provided, however, they were enrolled during the preceding school year and had an approved Individualized Education Program (IEP) which indicated that a successive year of enrollment was needed.Other students who have not yet attained age 21 by September 1 or received high school diplomas or the equivalent shall be eligible for enrollment in appropriate education programs, provided they have not dropped out of school for one quarter or more.Each local unit of administration shall have the authority to assign students who are married, parents, or pregnant or who have reenrolled after dropping out one quarter or more to programs of instruction within its regular daytime educational program, provided that a local unit of administration may develop and implement special programs of instruction limited to such students within the regular daytime educational program or, at the option of the student, in an alternative program beyond the regular daytime program; provided, further, that such programs of instruction are designed to enable such students to earn course credit toward receiving high school diplomas. These programs may include instruction in prenatal care and child care. Each local unit of administration shall have the authority to provide alternative programs beyond the regular daytime educational program. Unless otherwise provided by law, the State Board of Education shall have the authority to determine the eligibility of students for enrollment.It is declared to be the policy of this state that general and occupational education be integrated into a comprehensive educational program which will contribute to the total development of the individual.
  2. A child who was a legal resident of one or more other states or countries for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to this state and who was legally enrolled in a public kindergarten or first grade, or a kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association or the equivalent thereof, shall be eligible for enrollment in the appropriate general or special education programs authorized in this part if such child will attain the age of five for kindergarten or six for first grade by December 31 and is otherwise qualified.
  3. All children enrolled for 20 school days or more in the public schools of this state prior to their seventh birthday shall become subject to all of the provisions of this article, the provisions of Code Sections 20-2-690 through 20-2-701, and the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education relating to compulsory school attendance even though they have not attained seven years of age.
  4. No child or youth shall be admitted to any public school of the state until the parent or guardian provides to the proper school authorities an official copy of that child's social security number which shall be incorporated into the official school records pertaining to that child or youth.Each local unit of administration shall establish and implement a plan for providing the public appropriate notice of the information required of every student under its jurisdiction prior to the beginning of each school year.School authorities may provisionally admit a child for whom an official social security number has not been provided if the parent or guardian completes a postage-paid application for a social security number at the time of enrollment.A parent or guardian who objects to the incorporation of the social security number into the school records of a child may have the requirement waived by signing a statement objecting to the requirement.
  5. A student whose parent or guardian is on active duty in the United States armed forces and has received official military orders to transfer into or within this state shall be eligible for enrollment, in the same manner and time as for students residing within the local school system, in the public school of the attendance zone in which he or she will be residing or in a public school authorized pursuant to Code Section 20-2-295, prior to physically establishing residency within the local school system, upon presentation of a copy of the official military orders to the local school system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-150, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1354, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2200, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 1279, § 12.1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 358, § 7/HB 706; Ga. L. 2019, p. 142, § 1/HB 59.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, added subsection (e).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2009, "20-2-701" was substituted for "20-2-702" in subsection (c).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

General Consideration

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, § 32-937, which authorized local boards of education to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the right of married students to attend school, and former § 20-2-151, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, were included in the annotations for this Code section.

Age limitations applicable to carrying out state funded programs only.

- Age limitations of this section are applicable not to the broad constitutional authority of a local school system to manage and control its own school programs and affairs at its own expense, but to the carrying out of the state funded programs. 1978 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 78-7 (decided under former Code 1933, § 32-937).

Education of nonresidents.

- Georgia schools may educate children who reside with their parents in another state on the condition that tuition is paid for the children's education. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 152 (decided under former Code 1933, § 32-937).

Married Students

Section permits board to suspend married student for definite and reasonable length of time.

- Absent consideration of any question on constitutionality of such a rule, this section permits a county board of education to promulgate a rule or regulation suspending (for a definite and reasonable length of time) married students from attending the public schools of a county. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 276 (decided under former Code 1933, § 32-937).

Board may adopt policy excluding married students if related to legitimate educational purpose.

- Local board may adopt a policy excluding married students from attending school if, and only if, that policy is reasonably related to some legitimate educational purpose; a policy which would permanently and totally exclude any married student, male or female, from attending school simply because he or she is married would be an unconstitutional and a void application of this section. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-391 (decided under former Code 1933, § 32-937).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, § 255 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 962 et seq., 987 et seq., 1004 et seq.

ALR.

- AIDS infection as affecting right to attend public school, 60 A.L.R.4th 15.

20-2-151. General and career education programs; purpose; authorized programs.

  1. The primary purpose for the general and career education programs is to provide the children and youth of Georgia with a quality opportunity to master uniformly sequenced content standards adopted by the State Board of Education.
  2. The following general and career education programs are authorized for purposes of funding under this article:
      1. All local school systems may offer a full-day kindergarten program. For purposes of this subsection, the term "full-day kindergarten program" means a student is provided classroom instruction for a minimum of four and one-half hours daily for a 180 day school year, or the equivalent thereof as determined in accordance with State Board of Education guidelines.
      2. It is the policy of this state that the purposes of the kindergarten program shall be to provide all children with an equal opportunity to become prepared for a successful first grade experience and to acquire the foundation for academic progress throughout the students' educational careers. To be eligible for enrollment in a state supported kindergarten program, a child must attain the age of five by September 1, except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-150;
    1. It is the policy of this state that the purpose of the primary grades program shall be mastery by enrolled students of the essential basic skills and knowledge which will enable them to achieve more advanced skills and knowledge offered at the higher grade levels. For purposes of funding under this article, the primary grades program shall include grades one, two, and three. To be eligible for enrollment in the first grade of a state supported primary grades program, a child must attain the age of six by September 1, except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-150. The State Board of Education shall adopt an instrument or instruments, procedures, and policies necessary to assess the first grade readiness of children enrolled in Georgia's public school kindergarten programs pursuant to Code Section 20-2-281. Readiness information obtained by the instrument or instruments adopted by the state board shall be used by local school systems in concert with teacher recommendations and other relevant information to make appropriate student grade placement decisions. The Department of Education shall develop guidelines for utilization of the instrument or instruments in grade placement decisions and shall provide such guidelines to local school systems. The guidelines shall include information pertinent to consideration of the placement of students who have been identified as being disabled or limited-English-proficient. Whenever the decision is made not to promote a child to the first grade, the local school system shall document the reasons for the decision not to promote, according to guidelines established by the board. The State School Superintendent may annually provide a report summarizing the results of the readiness of first grade Georgia public school kindergarten children. No student shall remain in kindergarten for more than two years;
    2. It is the policy of this state that the primary purposes of the middle grades program shall be assuring the mastery of essential basic skills and knowledge, assisting students in the transition from childhood to adolescence, and preparing students for the selection of programs and courses consistent with their abilities and interests when they enter high school, as well as providing an opportunity for mastery of essential but more advanced skills and knowledge. For purposes of funding under this article, the middle grades program shall include grades four, five, six, seven, and eight; and
      1. It is the policy of this state that the primary purposes of the high school programs shall be to prepare students for the continuation of their education beyond high school and for entry into their chosen career fields as well as to prepare them to take their places in society as young adults. The following high school programs for grades nine, ten, 11, and 12 are authorized for purposes of funding under this article:
        1. The high school education program; and
        2. The career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program.
      2. As a reflection of the reduced teacher-student ratios and more extensive material and equipment needed for effective laboratory courses compared to courses with no or only limited laboratory experiences, the career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program shall be funded at a higher level than the high school general education program. The state board shall adopt criteria which courses must meet in order to qualify for the career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program.

(Code 1981, §20-2-151, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1359, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1302, § 14; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 14; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 20; Ga. L. 2009, p. 638, § 1/HB 193; Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 6/HB 283; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 7/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "uniformly sequenced content standards adopted by the State Board of Education" for "student competencies adopted by the State Board of Education through instruction which is based upon the uniformly sequenced core curriculum" at the end of subsection (a); and substituted "may" for "shall" near the end of the next to the last sentence of paragraph (b)(2).

Cross references.

- Vocational training generally, T. 20, C. 4.

Vocational rehabilitation services provided by Department of Labor, T. 34, C. 15.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Unauthorized use of funds.

- Contributions of local school systems to the health insurance fund for noncertificated personnel may not be taken from those funds allocated for kindergarten programs. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-12.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 1066, 1068 et seq.

20-2-151.1. American Sign Language as foreign language for college preparatory curriculum and for Carnegie unit elective credits.

  1. For the purpose of fulfilling the foreign language requirements for a college preparatory curriculum seal of endorsement on a high school diploma, a demonstrated proficiency in American Sign Language shall be accepted as a foreign language for any student by all local boards of education and the State Board of Education. A demonstrated proficiency in American Sign Language shall be accepted as the equivalent of the required two units of a foreign language.
  2. For the purpose of earning Carnegie unit curriculum credits at the high school level, American Sign Language may be accepted by the State Board of Education for two or more units of elective credit or for two or more units of foreign language credit, pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-2-151.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2519, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 290, § 1/SB 170.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2007, p. 290, § 1/SB 170, which amended this Code section, purported to amend Code Section 20-1-151.1 but actually amended Code Section 20-2-151.1.

20-2-151.2. Driver education course accepted for Carnegie unit elective credits.

For the purpose of earning Carnegie unit curriculum credits at the high school level, satisfactory completion, on or after January 1, 1999, of a driver education course in a driver training school and under the instruction of a driver training instructor licensed by the department under Chapter 13 of Title 43, "The Driver Training School and Commercial Driver Training School License Act," may be accepted by the State Board of Education for one-half unit of elective credit for any student.

(Code 1981, §20-2-151.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1520, § 1; Ga. L. 2017, p. 774, § 20/HB 323.)

The 2017 amendment, effective May 9, 2017, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, substituted " 'The Driver Training School and Commercial Driver Training School License Act,'" for " 'The Driver Training School License Act,' " near the end of this Code section.

Cross references.

- Tax credit for private driver education courses of minors, § 48-7-29.5.

20-2-152. Special education services.

  1. All children and youth who are eligible for a general and career education program under Code Section 20-2-151 and who have special educational needs shall also be eligible for special education services. Children from birth through four years of age, whose disabling condition is so severe as to necessitate early education intervention, may be eligible for special education services through programs operated by state schools for the handicapped, the psychoeducational program, or through programs financed with local or federal funds or with funds specifically appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose.Eligible children and youth are defined as those who have emotional, physical, communicative, or intellectual deviations, or a combination thereof, to the degree that there is interference with school achievements or adjustments or prevention of full academic attainment and who require modifications or alterations in their educational programs.Special education shall include children who are classified as intellectually gifted, mentally disabled, behavior disordered, specific learning disabled, orthopedically disabled, other health impaired, hearing impaired, speech-language disordered, visually impaired, severely emotionally disturbed, and deaf-blind and who have any other areas of special needs which may be identified.The State Board of Education shall adopt classification criteria for each area of special education to be served on a state-wide basis.The state board shall adopt the criteria used to determine eligibility of students for state funded special education programs.The state board shall adopt maximum class sizes by classification of special education pursuant to subsection (i) of Code Section 20-2-182 which are equal to or greater than the class sizes used to develop the program weights as set forth in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-161.
    1. The criteria used on July 1, 1993, as amended by state board or state department regulation from time to time; and
    2. Multiple eligibility criteria which include:
      1. Evidence of student work product or performance;
      2. Data from teacher, parent, or peer observation; and
      3. Evidence of student performance on nationally normed standardized tests of mental ability, achievement, and creativity.

        A student's eligibility may be determined under either paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection.The multiple eligibility criteria shall be implemented as appropriate staff development is completed, but not later than August 1, 1998. A student who has been determined before July 1, 1994, to be eligible for state funded special education programs for the intellectually gifted shall not be required to satisfy any additional eligibility criteria or information documentation as a result of this subsection.

  2. Local school systems shall, subject to any limitations specified in this Code section, provide special education programs for all eligible students with special needs who are residents of their local school systems, either by establishing and maintaining such educational facilities and employing such professional workers as are needed by these students or by contracting with other local school systems, regional educational service agencies, or other qualified public or private institutions for such services.
    1. The State Board of Education shall provide for the funding which has been approved by the General Assembly for this purpose for special education programs for students with disabling conditions which are either of such low incidence or of such severity that it is unfeasible or impractical to provide needed educational services through programs offered by local school systems. The state board may provide such educational services with funds specifically approved by the General Assembly for this purpose by:
      1. Providing grants directly to regional educational service agencies for provision of services;
      2. Either directly contracting with or making grants to or authorizing local units of administration to contract with or make grants to suitable private or public institutions, inside or outside this state, for the provision of such services; provided, however, that the educational and related services of the child must be provided by professionals, such as teachers, school psychologists, speech therapists, physical and occupational therapists, and audiologists who meet the certification or licensing standards of their profession in the state in which the institution is located;
      3. Authorizing local units of administration to contract with suitable public agencies and departments, including institutions in which eligible children are confined and out-patient centers serving eligible children, inside and outside this state, for the provision of such services;
      4. Entering into reciprocal agreements with other states or political subdivisions thereof for the provision of such services; or
      5. Operating the Georgia School for the Deaf, the Georgia Academy for the Blind, the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, and other special schools as approved by the General Assembly.
    2. The state board may promulgate rules, regulations, and standards and establish the terms and conditions governing the provision of state aid provided for this purpose by the General Assembly under this subsection and perform any and all acts necessary or proper to carry out the provisions, intent, and purpose of this subsection.
  3. For purposes of funding under this article, the following special education categories are authorized for the local units of administration of this state:
    1. Category I: self-contained specific learning disabled and self-contained speech-language disordered;
    2. Category II: mildly mentally disabled;
    3. Category III: behavior disordered, moderately mentally disabled, severely mentally disabled, resourced specific learning disabled, resourced speech-language disordered, self-contained hearing impaired and deaf, self-contained orthopedically disabled, and self-contained other health impaired;
    4. Category IV: deaf-blind, profoundly mentally disabled, visually impaired and blind, resourced hearing impaired and deaf, resourced orthopedically disabled, and resourced other health impaired;
    5. Category V: those special education students classified as being in Categories I through IV, as defined in this subsection, whose Individualized Educational Programs specify specially designed instruction or supplementary aids or services in alternative placements, in the least restrictive environment, including the regular classroom and who receive such services from personnel such as paraprofessionals, interpreters, job coaches, and other assistive personnel; and
    6. Category VI: intellectually gifted.

(a.1)The criteria adopted by the state board to determine the eligibility of students for state funded special education programs for the intellectually gifted, Category VI pursuant to paragraph (6) of subsection (d) of this Code section, shall authorize local boards of education to use:

(Code 1981, §20-2-152, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 5; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1531, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1106, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1302, §§ 14, 17; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1422, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 143, § 20; Ga. L. 2012, p. 775, § 20/HB 942.)

Cross references.

- Establishment of special schools, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VIII, Sec. V, Para. VII.

Multiagency task force of Georgia Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing addressing educational needs, § 30-1-5.

Declared policy of state to provide adequate mental health and mental retardation services through Department of Human Resources and county boards of health, § 37-2-1.

Habilitation of the developmentally disabled generally, T. 37, C. 4.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Special education, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Education, Chapter 160-4-7.

Law reviews.

- For article, "'Simplify You, Classify You': Stigma, Stereotypes and Civil Rights in Disability Classification Systems," see 25 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 607 (2009).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

"Residency" defined.

- School system is obligated to provide educational services only to students who reside within that particular school system's district. The term "residency," in the context of education, would require at least physical presence or perhaps even physical presence with intent to remain. Hall ex rel. Allread v. Freeman, 700 F. Supp. 1106 (N.D. Ga. 1987).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Application of eligibility standards.

- Eligibility standards for programs for gifted children may be applied in a flexible manner, and there is no requirement that the eligibility standards be applied uniformly throughout the state. 1986 Op. Att'y. Gen. No. U86-1.

Local systems not confined to geographic boundaries in providing program for substantially impaired hearing children.

- While local school systems in Georgia are legally obligated to provide a special education program for children whose hearing is substantially impaired, they are not necessarily confined to their own geographic boundaries in so doing, but may furnish such special education services through a contract with a cooperative educational service agency. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-35.

No statutory impediment to providing psychological services to "eligible" private school or nonschool children.

- There is no statutory impediment to the providing of psychological services to private school or nonschool children provided that the children are "eligible" by reason of age and residence to participate in a school system's general school or preschool program, but the degree to which such private school or nonschool children are to be permitted to receive psychological services is a matter of policy which addresses itself to the discretion of the state and local boards of education. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-118.

State board authorized to provide additional funds for additional services.

- State Board of Education has the authority to allot additional funds to local boards of education for the purpose of providing additional services, such as pupil transportation, to deaf and hard-of-hearing children in attendance at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. 1977 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 77-35.

Eligibility of Department of Children and Youth Services (now Department of Juvenile Justice) to receive tuition grant payments.

- Department of Children and Youth Services (now the Department of Juvenile Justice) is eligible to receive tuition grants for disabled students whose Individualized Education Programs place them in private residential programs for educational reasons. 1995 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity of, and sufficiency of compliance with, state standards for approval of private school to receive public placements of students or reimbursement for their educational costs, 48 A.L.R.4th 1231.

Special education requirements of gifted students, 115 A.L.R.5th 183.

What constitutes services that must be provided by federally assisted schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 USCA § 1400 et seq.), 161 A.L.R. Fed. 1

Availability of damages in action to remedy violations of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.A. § 1400 et seq.), 165 A.L.R. Fed. 463.

What constitutes reasonable accommodation under federal statutes protecting rights of disabled individual, regarding educational program or school rules as applied to learning disabled student, 166 A.L.R. Fed. 503.

20-2-152.1. Deaf Child's Bill of Rights; consideration of communication needs of deaf students; parental explanations; instruction in particular communication mode or language.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "communication mode or language" means one or more of the following systems or methods of communication applicable to deaf and hard-of-hearing children:
    1. American Sign Language;
    2. English-based manual or sign systems; or
    3. Oral, aural, or speech-based training.
  2. In developing an individualized education program (IEP) pursuant to Code Section 20-2-152 for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, in addition to any other requirements established by the state board, the local school system shall consider the related services and program options that provide the child with an appropriate and equal opportunity for communication access. The school system shall consider the child's specific communication needs and, to the extent possible under subsection (g) of this Code section, address those needs as appropriate in the child's individualized education program. In considering the child's needs, the school system shall expressly consider the following:
    1. The child's individual communication mode or language;
    2. The availability to the child of a sufficient number of age, cognitive, and language peers of similar abilities;
    3. The availability to the child of deaf or hard-of-hearing adult models of the child's communication mode or language;
    4. The provision of appropriate, direct, and ongoing language access to teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing and interpreters and other specialists who are proficient in the child's primary communication mode or language; and
    5. The provision of communication-accessible academic instruction, school services, and extracurricular activities.
  3. To enable a parent or guardian to make informed decisions concerning which educational options are best suited to the parent's or guardian's child, all of the educational options provided by the school system and available to the child at the time the child's individualized education program is prepared shall be explained to the parent or guardian.
  4. No deaf or hard-of-hearing child shall be denied the opportunity for instruction in a particular communication mode or language solely because:
    1. The child has some remaining hearing;
    2. The child's parent or guardian is not fluent in the communication mode or language being taught; or
    3. The child has previous experience with some other communication mode or language.
  5. Nothing in this Code section shall preclude instruction in more than one communication mode or language for any particular child. Any child for whom instruction in a particular communication mode or language is determined to be beneficial shall receive such instruction as part of the child's individualized education program.
  6. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this Code section, nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require that a specific number of peers be provided for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  7. Nothing in this Code section shall require a school system to expend additional resources or hire additional personnel to implement the provisions of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-2-152.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2007, p. 279, § 3/SB 168.)

Cross references.

- Multiagency task force of Georgia Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing addressing educational needs, § 30-1-5.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2007, p. 279, § 1/SB 168, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Deaf Child's Bill of Rights Act.'"

Ga. L. 2007, p. 279, § 2/SB 168, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "(a) The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) Students with low-incidence disabilities, as a group, make up less than 1 percent of the total state-wide enrollments for kindergarten through grade twelve; and

"(2) Students with low-incidence disabilities require highly specialized services, equipment, and materials.

"(b) The General Assembly further finds that:

"(1) Deafness involves the most basic of human needs, which is the ability to communicate with other human beings. Many deaf and hard-of-hearing children use an appropriate communication mode, sign language, which may be their primary language, while others express and receive language orally and aurally, with or without visual signs or clues. Still others, typically young deaf and hard-of-hearing children, lack any significant language skills. It is essential for the well-being and growth of deaf and hard-of-hearing children that educational programs recognize the unique nature of deafness and ensure that all deaf and hard-of-hearing children have appropriate, ongoing, and fully accessible educational opportunities;

"(2) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children, have an education in which their unique communication mode is respected, utilized, and developed to an appropriate level of proficiency;

"(3) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children have an education in which teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, psychologists, speech therapists, assessors, administrators, and other special education personnel understand the unique nature of deafness and are specifically trained to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils. It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children have an education in which teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing are proficient in the primary language mode of those children;

"(4) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children, have an education with a sufficient number of language mode peers with whom they can communicate directly and who are of the same, or approximately the same, age and ability level;

"(5) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children have an education in which their parents or guardians and, where appropriate, deaf and hard-of-hearing people are involved in determining the extent, content, and purpose of programs;

"(6) Deaf and hard-of-hearing children would benefit from an education in which they are exposed to deaf and hard-of-hearing role models;

"(7) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children, have programs in which they have direct and appropriate access to all components of the educational process, including, but not limited to, recess, lunch, and extracurricular social and athletic activities;

"(8) It is essential that deaf and hard-of-hearing children, like all children, have programs in which their unique vocational needs are provided for, including appropriate research, curricula, programs, staff, and outreach;

"(9) Each deaf or hard-of-hearing child should have a determination of the least restrictive environment that takes into consideration these legislative findings and declarations; and

"(10) Given their unique communication needs, deaf and hard-of-hearing children would benefit from the development and implementation of state and regional programs for children with low-incidence disabilities."

20-2-153. Early intervention program for students at risk of not reaching or maintaining academic grade level.

  1. The State Board of Education shall create and each local board of education shall provide an early intervention program to serve students in kindergarten through grade five. The kindergarten early intervention program shall serve students enrolled in kindergarten. The primary grades early intervention program shall serve students enrolled in grades one through three. The upper elementary grades early intervention program shall serve students in grades four through five.
  2. The early intervention program shall serve students who are at risk of not reaching or maintaining academic grade level, including but not limited to students who are identified through the first grade readiness assessment required by Code Sections 20-2-151 and 20-2-281 and students with identified academic performance below grade levels defined by the Office of Student Achievement in Code Section 20-14-31 for any criterion-referenced assessment administered in accordance with Code Section 20-2-281 for grades one through five. Local school systems shall devise a process for the identification of such students at the beginning of each school year and also during the school year as a continuous process of early identification and monitoring. School systems may use indicators such as but not limited to the student's scores on previous assessments, the student's classroom performance in the same or previous years, and other reliable indicators to identify such students. A student shall be assigned to the early intervention program as soon as is practicable after the student is identified as at risk or after the results of the first-grade readiness assessment, the criterion-referenced assessment, or other indicators are known. The school shall provide timely notice and an opportunity for a conference with the student and his or her parents or guardians to discuss the student's academic performance and the role of the early intervention program.
  3. The State Board of Education shall describe by rules and regulations such additional services, resources, support, or strategies as may be provided by the local school system. The specifications for delivery of early intervention services shall be the responsibility of local boards of education except that the program rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education shall be followed in designing the program delivery models. Delivery models may include, but are not limited to, class augmentation, pull-out or self-contained classes, and the Reading Recovery Program delivered by certificated personnel.
  4. The early intervention program shall be designed with the intent of helping the student to perform at expectations and exit the program in the shortest possible time. Students shall be moved into this program, provided assistance, and moved out of this program upon reaching grade level performance. It is not the intent of the General Assembly that students be assigned to this program on a continuing or permanent basis.
  5. Funding for the early intervention program shall have a full-time equivalent teacher-student ratio of one teacher to 11 students.
  6. Each local school system shall annually report the number of students served in the early intervention program as part of the full-time equivalent program count conducted pursuant to Code Section 20-2-160.

(Code 1981, §20-2-153, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1302, §§ 13, 17; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 15; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1159, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 148, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 107, § 3.)

Code Commission notes.

- The amendment of this Code section by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 15, irreconcilably conflicted with and was treated as superseded by Ga. L. 2000, p. 1159, § 1. See County of Butts v. Strahan, 151 Ga. 417 (1921).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2001, "Code Sections" was substituted for "Code Section" in the first sentence of subsection (b).

Law reviews.

- For article, "Education Law," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 281 (2001).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction of "stay-put" provision of Education of the Handicapped Act (20 USCS § 1415(e)(3)), that handicapped child shall remain in current educational placement pending proceedings conducted under section, 103 A.L.R. Fed. 120.

Who is prevailing party for purposes of obtaining attorney's fees under § 615(i)(3)(B) of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 USCA § 1415(i)(3)(B)), 153 A.L.R. Fed. 1

What constitutes services that must be provided by federally assisted schools under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 USCA § 1400 et seq.), 161 A.L.R. Fed. 1

What constitutes reasonable accommodation under federal statutes protecting rights of disabled individual, regarding educational program or school rules as applied to learning disabled student, 166 A.L.R. Fed. 503.

20-2-154. Remedial education program.

  1. All children and youth who are eligible for a general and career education program under Code Section 20-2-151 and who are also eligible under the criteria specified in this Code section shall be provided, in accordance with policies adopted by the State Board of Education, the remedial education program services needed to address their respective reading, mathematics, or writing deficiencies. The following students shall be eligible for remedial education services:
    1. Students in grades six through 12 may be eligible for services if they meet two or more of the following criteria:
      1. The student has been through the formal student support team process and has documented evidence to support the placement in remedial education;
      2. The student has been retained in the grade;
      3. The student is receiving services under Part A of Chapter 1 of Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-382);
      4. The student has been recommended by the teacher who has documented any of the following student information:
        1. Low performance in the reading series system;
        2. Low performance in the mathematics series; or
        3. The student is unable to verbally express ideas and cannot write or dictate a meaningful sentence; or
      5. Current test information in the student file indicates the student has a score at or below the twenty-fifth percentile; and
    2. Students in grades six through 12 who are receiving services under the special education program as authorized by Code Section 20-2-152 and whose Individualized Education Programs (IEP's) specify that they meet the eligibility requirements specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection and that their special education program is not designed to address their respective reading, mathematics, or writing deficiencies.

      No more than 25 percent of the full-time equivalent population in eligible grades as specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall be eligible for the remedial program; provided, however, that the State Board of Education may develop regulations whereby a higher percentage may be eligible if the percentage of students receiving free and reduced price lunches exceeds 50 percent.

  2. Each local unit of administration shall submit to the State Board of Education by July 1 of each year the average achievement scores by subject area and grade level of all students who were receiving instructional services under the provisions of this Code section, except those students whose Individualized Education Programs under the special education program state they shall not be administered such achievement tests. If appropriate evaluation data are not received from a local school system by the state board by July 1 of each year, after a hearing has been held for the system, the subsequent allocation of funds under this Code section for the next fiscal year shall be withheld in accordance with the procedure specified in Code Section 20-2-243. The state board shall monitor each local school system's remedial education program at least once each year. The state board shall annually request sufficient state funds to pay a pro rata share of the costs associated with the staff of the federal compensatory education program for disadvantaged children when such staff is used to evaluate the remedial education program under this Code section in conjunction with the evaluation of the federal compensatory education program for disadvantaged children in the same local school system.

(Code 1981, §20-2-154, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 612, § 6; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1630, § 1.1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 16; Ga. L. 2001, p. 148, § 2; Ga. L. 2006, p. 743, § 1/SB 515.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-154.1. Alternative education programs; intent; description; funding.

  1. It is the policy of this state that the alternative education program shall provide a learning environment that includes the objectives of the content standards and that the instruction in an alternative education program shall enable students to return to a general or career education program as quickly as possible. Course credit shall be earned in an alternative education program in the same manner as in other education programs. It is the policy of this state that it is preferable to reassign disruptive students to an alternative education program rather than suspending or expelling such students from school.
  2. Alternative education programs are intended to meet the education needs of a student who is suspended from his or her regular classroom and also of a student who is eligible to remain in his or her regular classroom but is more likely to succeed in a nontraditional setting such as that provided in an alternative education program.
  3. As part of the process of assigning a student to an alternative education program for academic or nondisciplinary reasons, the school shall assess, through policies and procedures promulgated by the local board of education, the needs of the student and consider options for addressing those needs.
  4. Each local school system shall provide an alternative education program that:
    1. Is provided in a setting other than a student's regular classroom;
    2. Is located on or off of a regular school campus and may include in-school suspension that provides continued progress on regular classroom assignments;
    3. Provides for disruptive students who are assigned to the alternative education program to be separated from nondisruptive students who are assigned to the program;
    4. Focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and self-discipline;
    5. Provides for students' educational and behavioral needs; and
    6. Provides supervision and counseling.
  5. An alternative education program may provide for a student's transfer to a different campus, a school-community guidance center, or a community based alternative school.
  6. A local school system may provide an alternative education program jointly with one or more other systems.
  7. Each local school system shall cooperate with government agencies and community organizations that provide services in the school district to students placed in an alternative education program.
  8. The amount of state funds appropriated and allocated for the alternative education program provided for in this Code section shall be based on the actual count of students served during the preceding year, except that the count of students served shall not exceed 2.5 percent of the sum of the full-time equivalent program count of the middle school program, the high school general education program (grades nine through 12), and the career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program (grades nine through 12). Funds earned may be expended in kindergarten and in grades one through 12.
  9. A local school system shall allocate to an alternative education program the same expenditure for each student attending the alternative education program, including federal, state, and local funds, that would be allocated to the student's school if the student were attending the student's regularly assigned education program, including a special education program, except as otherwise provided in this Code section.
  10. Upon the request of a local school system, a regional educational service agency may provide to the system information on developing an alternative education program that takes into consideration the system's size, wealth, and existing facilities in determining the program best suited to the system.
  11. If a student placed in an alternative education program enrolls in another local school system before the expiration of the period of placement, the local board of education requiring the placement shall provide to the local school system in which the student enrolls, at the same time other records of the student are provided, a copy of the placement order. The local school system in which the student enrolls may continue the alternative education program placement under the terms of the order or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of placement.
  12. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to administer the provisions of this Code section. Academically, the mission of alternative education programs shall be to enable students to perform at grade level. Annually, the Office of Student Achievement shall define for alternative education programs acceptable performance and performance indicating a need for peer review, based principally on standards defined by the Office of Student Achievement that measure the academic progress of students toward performing at grade level while attending an alternative education program.

(Code 1981, §20-2-154.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 17; Ga. L. 2001, p. 148, § 3; Ga. L. 2004, p. 107, § 22; Ga. L. 2009, p. 8, § 20/SB 46; Ga. L. 2013, p. 1061, § 7/HB 283; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 8/HB 502.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "content standards" for "quality core curriculum" near the beginning of subsection (a); and rewrote subsection (h).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-154.2. Agricultural education program; development of plan.

The agricultural education program provided in this state to students in grades six through 12 shall be based on the nationally recognized three-component model of school based agricultural education: daily instruction in an organized classroom and lab environment; hands-on, experiential learning opportunities through a supervised agriculture experience (SAE) program; and leadership and learning opportunities through participation in the Georgia FFA Association, the National FFA Organization, and agricultural education. The Department of Education, through its agricultural education program employees, shall develop the curriculum and standards for the agricultural education program, with input from agricultural education teachers, so as to include all three components of such model and local school systems shall include all three components of such model whenever offering any agricultural education course approved by the State Board of Education. The Department of Education shall maintain an adequate number of full-time employees, certified in agricultural education and distributed regionally throughout the state, to provide accountability for state and federal funds for program delivery of agricultural education, to continue to develop and maintain pertinent agricultural education curriculum and standards, to assist local school systems on matters related to agricultural education, and to coordinate regional and state-wide activities of the Georgia FFA Association, the National FFA Organization, and agricultural education.

(Code 1981, §20-2-154.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 2/SB 330.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective April 27, 2018.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 1/SB 330, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Georgia Agricultural Education Act.'"

20-2-154.3. Pilot program for agricultural education in elementary schools; evaluation of program.

  1. The Department of Education, through its agricultural education program, shall be authorized to establish a pilot program, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, to provide for agricultural education in elementary schools in this state. The purpose of the pilot program shall be to determine whether and how to implement an elementary agricultural education program state wide.
  2. The Department of Education, through its agricultural education program employees described in Code Section 20-2-154.2, is authorized to select a minimum of six public elementary schools for participation in the pilot program, with one elementary school in each of the six existing regions established by the agricultural education program of the Department of Education. The local board of education for each elementary school selected to be in the pilot program shall agree to implement and fully fund an elementary agricultural education program in such school and to continue to provide such elementary agricultural education program for a period no shorter than three years. The local school system may employ an agricultural education teacher to provide such program for the elementary school.
  3. The Department of Education, through its agricultural education program employees described in Code Section 20-2-154.2, and local school systems shall collaborate to establish the curriculum for each elementary agricultural education program. Such curriculum shall be grade-appropriate and include instruction in an organized classroom; collaborative learning experiences through investigation and inquiry, including laboratory and site-based learning activities; and personal and leadership development opportunities.
  4. The Department of Education, through its agricultural education program, shall provide for a program evaluation regarding the success and impact of the pilot program upon completion of the third year of the pilot program and shall report the results of such evaluation to the House Committee on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee and to the House Committee on Education and the Senate Education and Youth Committee.

(Code 1981, §20-2-154.3, enacted by Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 2/SB 330.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective April 27, 2018.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 1/SB 330, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Georgia Agricultural Education Act.'"

20-2-155. School climate management program; model codes of behavior and discipline.

The State Board of Education shall establish a state-wide school climate management program to help local schools and systems requesting assistance in developing school climate improvement and management processes. Such projects will be designed to optimize local resources through voluntary community, student, teacher, administrator, and other school personnel participation. These processes will be designed for, but will not be limited to, promoting positive gains in student achievement scores, student and teacher morale, community support, and student and teacher attendance, while decreasing student suspensions, expulsions, dropouts, and other negative aspects of the total school environment. The state board upon request of a local school system is authorized to provide the necessary on-site technical assistance to local schools and systems and to offer other assistance through regional and state-wide conferences and workshops, printed material, and such other assistance as may be deemed appropriate under this Code section. The state board shall, upon request of a local school system, produce model codes of behavior and discipline and shall produce guidelines for application and administration of such codes. The results of this program shall be annually presented to the General Assembly for review in determining future appropriations for state-level technical assistance necessary to perform the duties assigned to the state board under this Code section.

(Code 1981, §20-2-155, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 18.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 68 Am. Jur. 2d, Schools, §§ 314 et seq., 321.

C.J.S.

- 78A C.J.S., Schools and School Districts, §§ 1082 et seq., 1121, 1122.

20-2-156. Program for limited-English-proficient students.

The State Board of Education shall create a program for limited-English-proficient students whose native language is not English, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. The purpose of this program is to assist such students to develop proficiency in the English language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing, sufficient to perform effectively at the currently assigned grade level. The state board shall prescribe such rules and regulations regarding eligibility criteria and standards as may be needed to carry out the provisions of this Code section. This program may also be referred to as the English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) program.

(Code 1981, §20-2-156, enacted by Ga. L. 1985, p. 1657, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 1169, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 19.)

Cross references.

- English designated as official language; constitutional rights not denied; authorization for documents and forms in other languages; exceptions, § 50-3-100.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 618, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'A Plus Education Reform Act of 2000.'"

20-2-157. Uniform reporting system for certain purposes; dual credit courses; academic eligibility requirements to receive HOPE scholarship.

  1. It is the intent of the General Assembly to establish a uniform reporting system to be used as one of the criteria to determine eligibility of students seeking educational scholarships, grants, or loan assistance administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 3 of this title.
  2. Each school system and private school shall adopt the reporting system described in this subsection for purposes of identifying and qualifying graduating seniors for the HOPE scholarship program and other programs identified in this Code section:
    1. Each school system and private school shall transmit, in a manner and at times prescribed by the Georgia Student Finance Commission, an electronic transcript of courses and course grades for each graduating senior that reflects the complete high school academic record of the student, including scores on any state tests required for graduation, the grading scales used by the school system or private school for the time periods referenced by the transcripts, and any other pertinent information as determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Each grade reported by a school system or private school to the commission for the purpose of calculating the grade point average for HOPE scholarship eligibility shall be the actual grade earned by the student, with no weighting or addition of points by the local school system or private school;
    2. The Georgia Student Finance Commission shall calculate a grade point average for the purpose of determining eligibility for the HOPE scholarship from these electronic transcripts and shall notify students of their eligibility and high schools as to the eligibility of students;
    3. For students otherwise qualified and enrolling as freshmen students in eligible public or private postsecondary institutions for the first time on May 1, 2007, or thereafter, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3.1) of this subsection, the Georgia Student Finance Commission shall calculate grade point averages for determining eligibility for the HOPE scholarship and other scholarships referenced in this Code section as follows:
      1. For students receiving a college preparatory diploma, each grade for a student in attempted coursework in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign language that would, if successfully completed, satisfy a core graduation requirement for the college preparatory curriculum shall be equated to a grade on a 4.0 scale, such that a grade of "A" = 4.0, a grade of "B" = 3.0, a grade of "C" = 2.0, a grade of "D" = 1.0, and a grade of "F" = 0; or
      2. For students receiving a career/technical diploma, each grade for a student in attempted coursework in English, mathematics, science, and social studies that would, if successfully completed, satisfy a core graduation requirement for the career/technical curriculum shall be equated to a grade on a 4.0 scale, such that a grade of "A" = 4.0, a grade of "B" = 3.0, a grade of "C" = 2.0, a grade of "D" = 1.0, and a grade of "F" = 0.

        Grades for coursework that is classified as advanced placement, a dual credit course, or international baccalaureate shall be weighted uniformly by the Georgia Student Finance Commission in calculating the overall grade point averages for students, provided that the weighting of such course grades is uniformly applied to all students in this state taking the specified coursework. The sum of the equated grades shall be divided by the number of course grades, adjusted for term length, to yield a grade point average on a 4.0 scale;

      (3.1) For students otherwise qualified and enrolling in the ninth grade for the first time during the 2008-2009 school year and thereafter, the Georgia Student Finance Commission shall calculate grade point averages for determining eligibility for the HOPE scholarship and other scholarships referenced in this Code section by equating each grade for a student in attempted coursework in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign language during the student's ninth, tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade year to a grade on a 4.0 scale, such that a grade of "A" = 4.0, a grade of "B" = 3.0, a grade of "C" = 2.0, a grade of "D" = 1.0, and a grade of "F" = 0. Grades for coursework that is classified as advanced placement, a dual credit course, or international baccalaureate shall be weighted uniformly by the Georgia Student Finance Commission in calculating the overall grade point averages for students, provided that the weighting of such course grades is uniformly applied to all students in this state taking the specified coursework. The sum of the equated grades shall be divided by the number of course grades, adjusted for term length, to yield a grade point average on a 4.0 scale; and

    4. Qualification for the HOPE scholarship shall be determined from the grade point average calculated either as set out in paragraph (3) of this subsection or as set out in paragraph (3.1) of this subsection for students enrolling in the ninth grade for the first time in a Georgia public school during the 2008-2009 school year and thereafter. Beginning May 1, 2007, students with grade point averages equal to or in excess of 3.0 on the 4.0 scale with a college preparatory diploma shall meet achievement standards for the HOPE scholarship; students receiving a career/technical diploma shall meet achievement standards for the HOPE scholarship with a grade point average equal to or in excess of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. For students enrolling in the ninth grade for the first time in a Georgia public school during the 2008-2009 school year and thereafter, such students with grade point averages equal to or in excess of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale shall meet achievement standards for the HOPE scholarship. This paragraph shall apply regardless of when a student graduated from high school and regardless of such student's eligibility status prior to May 1, 2007.
    1. Beginning with the school year beginning after May 1, 2011, each school system and private school shall adopt the reporting system described in this subsection for purposes of determining potential eligibility for freshman, sophomore, and junior high school students for the HOPE scholarship program and other programs identified in this Code section.
    2. Each school system and private school shall transmit to the Georgia Student Finance Commission, in such manner and at such times as the commission may prescribe, an electronic transcript of courses and course grades for each freshman, sophomore, and junior high school student that reflects the complete high school academic record of the student, including scores on any state tests required for graduation, the grading scales used by the school system or private school for the time periods referenced by the transcripts, and any other pertinent information as determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Each grade reported by a school system or private school to the commission for the purpose of calculating the grade point average for potential HOPE scholarship eligibility shall be the actual grade earned by the student with no weighting or addition of points by the school system or private school.
    3. The Georgia Student Finance Commission shall calculate a grade point average for the purpose of determining eligibility for the HOPE scholarship from these electronic transcripts and shall notify students of their potential eligibility and high schools as to the potential eligibility of students.
  3. Beginning with students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2015, in order to be eligible to receive a HOPE scholarship, a student shall receive credit in at least two courses prior to graduating from high school from the following categories:
    1. Advanced math, such as Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent or higher course;
    2. Advanced science, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, or an equivalent or higher course;
    3. Advanced placement courses in core subjects;

      (3.1) Dual credit courses in core subjects;

    4. International baccalaureate courses in core subjects;
    5. Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects where such courses are not remedial and developmental courses, as defined in Code Section 20-3-519; or
    6. Advanced foreign language courses.

      Students may take one or more courses in each category; provided, however, that a course may only be counted one time. The Georgia Student Finance Commission shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the intent of this subsection.

  4. Beginning with students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2016, in order to be eligible to receive a HOPE scholarship, a student shall receive credit in at least three courses prior to graduating from high school from the following categories:
    1. Advanced math, such as Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent or higher course;
    2. Advanced science, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, or an equivalent or higher course;
    3. Advanced placement courses in core subjects;

      (3.1) Dual credit courses in core subjects;

    4. International baccalaureate courses in core subjects;
    5. Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects where such courses are not remedial and developmental courses, as defined in Code Section 20-3-519; or
    6. Advanced foreign language courses.

      Students may take one or more courses in each category; provided, however, that a course may only be counted one time. The Georgia Student Finance Commission shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the intent of this subsection.

  5. Beginning with students graduating from high school on or after May 1, 2017, in order to be eligible to receive a HOPE scholarship, a student shall receive credit in at least four courses prior to graduating from high school from the following categories:
    1. Advanced math, such as Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry, Math III, or an equivalent or higher course;
    2. Advanced science, such as Chemistry, Physics, Biology II, computer science, or an equivalent or higher course;
    3. Advanced placement courses in core subjects;

      (3.1) Dual credit courses in core subjects;

    4. International baccalaureate courses in core subjects;
    5. Courses taken at a unit of the University System of Georgia in core subjects where such courses are not remedial and developmental courses, as defined in Code Section 20-3-519; or
    6. Advanced foreign language courses.

      Students may take one or more courses in each category; provided, however, that a course shall only be counted one time. The Georgia Student Finance Commission shall be authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the intent of this subsection.

  6. At the conclusion of each school year, the local school system shall provide to each freshman, sophomore, and junior student or to his or her parent or guardian the grade point average calculated by the Georgia Student Finance Commission in accordance with the provisions of this Code section for determining HOPE eligibility.

(a.1)As used in this Code section, the term "dual credit course" shall have the same meaning as in Code Section 20-2-161.3.

(Code 1981, §20-2-157, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 1057, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 626, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 922, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 115, § 1/HB 313; Ga. L. 2010, p. 397, § 1/SB 340; Ga. L. 2011, p. 1, § 13/HB 326; Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 4/HB 186; Ga. L. 2013, p. 85, § 1/HB 131; Ga. L. 2014, p. 164, § 3A/HB 405; Ga. L. 2015, p. 120, § 2/SB 132; Ga. L. 2016, p. 832, § 1/HB 801.)

The 2014 amendment, effective July 1, 2014, added subsection (g).

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "Code Section 20-2-161.3" for "Code Section 20-2-159.5" at the end of subsection (a.1).

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, inserted "computer science," in paragraph (f)(2), and substituted "shall only" for "may only" in the first sentence of the undesignated ending paragraph of subsection (f).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1998, p. 626, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "All rules and regulations previously adopted by the Georgia Student Finance Commission which pertain to HOPE grants, HOPE scholarships, HOPE GED vouchers, HOPE teacher's scholarships, and PROMISE teacher's scholarships are hereby ratified to the extent not inconsistent with this Act."

Ga. L. 1998, p. 626, § 4, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective July 1, 1998, and shall apply to scholarships and grants for the academic year beginning with the fall quarter or semester of 1998."

Ga. L. 2011, p. 1, § 17/HB 326, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the 2011 amendment shall be applicable to postsecondary students beginning in the fall of 2011.

Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 1/HB 186, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) Our state's long-term prosperity depends on supporting an education system that is designed to prepare our students for a global economy;

"(2) High school students and parents must understand that they have options for career pathway programs of study that join a college-ready academic core with quality career, technical, and agricultural education studies that result in a high school diploma and preparation for success in advanced training, an associate's degree, a baccalaureate degree, and a career;

"(3) Local school systems must provide every student with choices that are academically rigorous and aligned to opportunities in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage career fields and to postsecondary career and technical pathways leading to advanced credentials or degrees;

"(4) The State Board of Education, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and the Board of Technical and Adult Education must work together so that academic courses that are embedded within career, technical, and agricultural education courses (CTAE) are given appropriate academic credit at the high school level and recognized at the postsecondary level;

"(5) Teachers should be provided with professional development opportunities that enforce the academically rigorous standards in relevant, project based coursework;

"(6) High school students should clearly understand the options for dual high school and postsecondary credit, and the state should properly fund these options;

"(7) Every state education agency, postsecondary institution, and local school system should provide all high school students with opportunities for accelerated learning through dual credit coursework leading to at least six postsecondary credits and have as a collective goal to graduate every student with postsecondary credit;

"(8) Georgia's strategic industries must be partners in our public education system (secondary and postsecondary) so that they are assured that our high school graduates are prepared for success in the workforce;

"(9) Georgia's public education system must incorporate many different types of assessments and certificates into their programs so that a student's skill level is assessed and that it also has meaning to them for postsecondary and career success; and

"(10) Georgia's students must understand that a high school diploma and some form of postsecondary credential are key to success in the workforce and earning a family living wage."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2004 amendment of this Code section, see 21 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 107 (2004). For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 115 (2011). For article, "Education: Postsecondary Education," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 193 (2011). For article on the 2016 amendment of this Code section, see 33 Georgia St. U.L. Rev. 183 (2016).

20-2-158. Contracts for school psychology services.

A local unit of administration shall be authorized to contract for school psychology services with an individual certified by the Professional Standards Commission in school psychology. The certified individual shall be authorized to practice school psychology for the local unit of administration notwithstanding any contrary provision contained in Chapter 39 of Title 43 which requires such individual to be licensed thereunder.

(Code 1981, §20-2-158, enacted by Ga. L. 1994, p. 668, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1994, this Code section, originally designated as Code Section 20-2-157 by Ga. L. 1994, p. 668, § 1, was redesignated as Code Section 20-2-158 in view of the fact that Ga. L. 1994, p. 1057, § 1, had already enacted a Code Section 20-2-157.

20-2-159. Requirements for receiving special education and related services of students enrolled in home study programs.

For the purposes of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C.A. Section 1400, et seq., students enrolled in home study programs meeting the requirements of Code Section 20-2-690 shall be deemed to be private school students and shall be provided with the same special education and related services as students enrolled in private schools.

(Code 1981, §20-2-159, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 798, § 1.)

20-2-159.1. Focused programs of study.

  1. The Department of Education shall develop, and the State Board of Education shall approve, state models and industry required content standards, after consultation with industries in Georgia and in collaboration with the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia to ensure alignment with postsecondary opportunities, for the following focused programs of study, as defined in Code Section 20-2-326, including, but not limited to:
    1. Agriculture, food, and natural resources;
    2. Architecture and construction;
    3. Arts, audio-video technology, and communications;
    4. Business, management, and administration;
    5. Education and training;
    6. Finance;
    7. Health science;
    8. Hospitality and tourism;
    9. Human services;
    10. Information technology;
    11. Law, public safety, and security;
    12. Manufacturing;
    13. Government and public administration;
    14. Marketing, sales, and service;
    15. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
    16. Transportation, distribution, and logistics; and
    17. Energy.

      Such focused programs of study may be combined around these and other related clusters.

  2. The focused programs of study established pursuant to this Code section may include or be revised to include industry certifications or industry credentialing, as defined in Code Section 20-2-326, pertinent to any such focused program of study. After consultation with employers and industries in Georgia, the Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia shall jointly establish a list of industry credentials that are required by Georgia employers. Such list shall be made available on the Department of Education and the Technical College System of Georgia websites. Such list shall be annually reviewed and updated as appropriate and made available prior to the beginning of the annual competitive grant application process provided for in subsection (j) of Code Section 20-2-260.

(Code 1981, §20-2-159.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 5/HB 186; Ga. L. 2012, p. 689, § 3/HB 713; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1376, § 9/HB 502; Ga. L. 2018, p. 731, § 3/SB 3.)

The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, substituted "content standards" for "curriculum framework" in the introductory paragraph.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, designated the existing provisions as subsection (a); in subsection (a), substituted "The" for "No later than July 1, 2013, the" at the beginning and substituted "industry required content standards, after consultation with industries in Georgia and in collaboration with the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia to ensure alignment with postsecondary opportunities," for "content standards" in the middle; deleted "and" at the end of paragraph (a)(15); added "; and" at the end of paragraph (a)(16); added paragraph (a)(17); and added subsection (b).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2011, p. 635, § 1/HB 186, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) Our state's long-term prosperity depends on supporting an education system that is designed to prepare our students for a global economy;

"(2) High school students and parents must understand that they have options for career pathway programs of study that join a college-ready academic core with quality career, technical, and agricultural education studies that result in a high school diploma and preparation for success in advanced training, an associate's degree, a baccalaureate degree, and a career;

"(3) Local school systems must provide every student with choices that are academically rigorous and aligned to opportunities in high-demand, high-skill, high-wage career fields and to postsecondary career and technical pathways leading to advanced credentials or degrees;

"(4) The State Board of Education, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and the Board of Technical and Adult Education must work together so that academic courses that are embedded within career, technical, and agricultural education courses (CTAE) are given appropriate academic credit at the high school level and recognized at the postsecondary level;

"(5) Teachers should be provided with professional development opportunities that enforce the academically rigorous standards in relevant, project based coursework;