RELEASE: Foundation for Excellence in Education supports commission’s reform proposals

November 19, 2015
RELEASE: Foundation for Excellence in Education supports commission’s reform proposals

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) today said that the recommendations of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission will empower local school leaders and parents with the tools to maximize each student’s learning capacity.

“As a whole, these recommendations build on the latest, most reliable educational research to put the focus of the educational system on the needs of the individual student, not on programs or schools,” said Ryan Mahoney, Southeast Regional Advocacy Director for ExcelinEd. “These reforms will give parents more options, educators more flexibility and students more opportunity to achieve their God-given potential.”

ExcelinEd worked closely with the commission throughout 2015 on several of the policies addressed in today’s recommendations, including improving conditions in the state for high-quality charter schools, a student-based funding formula and competency-based education.

· The new student-based funding approach recommended by the Commission replaces an indecipherable, rigid and outdated system with one that is transparent, flexible and efficient. Under the proposed formula, districts would receive a base funding amount for all students, with additional funds provided for students who require more educational services than others to be successful, such as those who are disabled or living in poverty. Schools would then be empowered to spend those dollars in ways that best fit the needs of their students.

· Competency-based education (CBE) is a system of instruction where students move on to higher levels of learning when they are ready rather than according to a fixed schedule. This means advanced learners can accelerate through units and courses while schools can also target necessary supports to students who need additional assistance.

While the Commission did not recommend pursuing Education Savings Accounts, ExcelinEd remains committed to promoting this policy, which would create a customized education for Georgia students, in the 2016 legislative session.

The Georgia General Assembly is expected to consider many of these reforms in the 2016 session. Over the coming months, ExcelinEd will work to provide information, best practices and technical expertise to policymakers, stakeholders and the general public on these important policies.