SB 89 State Controlled Instructional Materials and Content

When Georgia’s State Senators passed SB 89 on March 3, 2015, they expanded the authority of Georgia’s appointed State Board of Education and diminished the authority of parents and their locally elected school boards over “digital instructional materials and content.”   With the passage of SB 89, the appointed State Board of Education will be given the sole authority in the State of Georgia to select a committee to examine and recommend “instructional materials and content” for approval by the State Board of Education.  If a local school system wants to adopt “instructional materials and content” that is not on the approved list, they must have local superintendents from five or more different school systems make the request.  Local boards of education, parents, and citizens are not permitted to make any requests.  If teachers want to request specific instructional materials and content, “… twenty or more teachers from at least 20 different school systems who teach and are certified to teach the courses encompassed by the instructional materials and content requested” need to petition the State Board of Education with their request.  (lines 50-53)  According to lines 69-76, the instructional materials and content purchased by local units of administration with Quality Basic Education Program funds or any other means of acquisition may, not shall (as written previously), remain the property of the local unit purchasing or acquiring them.  This removes the provision from the law that instructional materials and content ownership would remain with the local units of administration.  Why would citizens want to take away local ownership of purchased instructional materials and content?    In addition, this legislation strongly encourages local boards to provide, “a laptop, tablet, or other wireless electronic device to each of its students in grades three and higher or allow students to provide their own for use as the principal source of reading or accessing instructional materials and content.”  (lines 107-109)  

SB 89 State Controlled Instructional Materials and Content
(1) Albers, John 56th(2) Beach, Brandon 21st(3) Hufstetler, Chuck 52nd
(4) Black, Ellis 8th(5) Williams, Tommie 19th(6) Unterman, Renee 45th
SB 89 State Approved Digital Classroom.p
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