The Cherokee County school board will soon be asked to vote on priorities it will ask state lawmakers to consider ahead of the next legislative session.
The board is expected to vote on a draft of its annual legislative priorities Thursday.
A proposed draft of 2022 Legislative Partnership Priorities outlines policies in three categories: local control and governance, educational opportunities and funding.
Like in previous years, the list shows the board in opposition to efforts to use state money for private school tuition, and for tax credits for parents who choose private school. The board is again asking lawmakers to provide a career and technical high school diploma option, and to lift a requirement that schools be available as polling locations in elections, citing safety concerns.
New to the school board’s list is a request to support Mountain Education Charter High School, which administers Cherokee County School District’s night school.
The list asks lawmakers to:
♦ Oppose any programs that “directly or indirectly use public funds to pay private school tuition for students or provide tax incentives for their parents”
♦ Provide an alternative high school diploma option in career and technical preparation
♦ Consider “providing equitable Broadband internet access to all Georgia families” with a state-funded, multi-year plan.
♦ End state-mandated use of schools as polling locations on regular school days, “increasing safety and security for students, staff and buildings”
♦ Support legislation aimed at strengthening the sustainability of Mountain Education (State) Charter High School to provide a second chance opportunity for Cherokee County at-risk students to earn an accredited high school diploma in a student-centered, self paced, evening public high school.
♦ Consider an update to the state’s education funding formula to “accurately reflect inflation, true costs of transportation,” include a funding weight for economically disadvantaged students, and include funding for safety and security, and add funding for counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses
♦ Continue to give school districts decision-making powers on school calendars, daily recess schedules, setting policies on “challenged instructional materials and media”
♦ End any “austerity reductions” of the state formula for public schools
♦ Continue to incorporate teacher pay increases into the state’s teacher salary schedule
♦ Preserve investments in the state Teacher Retirement System
♦ Oppose efforts to eliminate limited sovereign and official immunity
♦ Allow flexibility to local school districts on state retirement benefit rules for retirees returning to work.
The school board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo Educational Services Facility, 1205 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. The meeting will also be live streamed on the school district’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/c/CherokeeGASchools.