Kemp signs bill to aid Georgia college students with financial need

The legislation will take effect on July 1.

Administrators at several Georgia colleges and universities say many students close to completing their coursework drop out each year because they cannot pay a relatively small portion of their tuition.

The Georgia Student Finance Commission will monitor and evaluate the program.

RCPS implements clear backpacks for students for the 2022-2023 school year (RCPS implementa mochilas transparentes para...

Posted by Rockdale County Public Schools on Friday, April 22, 2022

","provider_url":"https://www.facebook.com","_id":"https://www.facebook.com/RockdaleSchools/posts/5007368075966167&locale=en_US","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":1650754585822,"provider_name":"Facebook","type":"facebook-post","version":"1.0","type":"oembed_response","_id":"GJ2TFEMXORCSBCOXEMYA5HQTPI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650733098316,"type":"text","content":"Clear bag policies have become more common at music festivals, sporting events and other large gatherings. Mercedes-Benz Stadium requires clear bags, and Atlanta Public Schools has a similar policy for spectators at its athletic venues.","_id":"LOKC3OFRPNCSLJ6M6XBBE5SIP4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650746259299,"type":"text","content":"Districts have turned to clear backpacks as a safety measure since the 1990s, but the policies have often met opposition from families, safety experts and students.","_id":"BQGFACBK7JCYTBWRR6DX2Q3RIE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650746259300,"type":"text","content":"Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, protested the implementation of clear backpacks after the 2018 mass shooting at their school, arguing the bags infringed on privacy without making the school safer.","_id":"S2WJ2FMZU5CPFP7RIJ7QBZAXLE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650746259301,"type":"text","content":"Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, one of the largest districts in the country, spent $440,000 on clear backpacks as part of a larger school safety plan. However, the backpack plan is on hold.","_id":"N6KECCGMP5AMHPWQAXEM2N4LZQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650746371646,"type":"text","content":"The Charlotte Observer reported the district halted distribution of the backpacks after officials found that most of the items had a warning label about the possible presence of cancer-causing chemicals. The label was the result of a requirement for items that are also sold in California, which has a state law that manufacturers must have a label on products that use certain chemicals."],"display_date":"2022-04-23T23:10:59.733Z","headlines":"basic":"Rockdale district buys 16,500 clear backpacks in student safety effort","first_publish_date":"2022-04-23T23:10:59.733Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/education","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"Education","description":"School and education news from metro Atlanta and Georgia from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. including Atlanta Georgia schools: Atlanta, Gwinnett County Schools, Cobb County, DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Buford, Marietta, Decatur, city of Atlanta schools","_id":"/education","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"School and education news from metro Atlanta and Georgia from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. including Atlanta Georgia schools: Atlanta, Gwinnett County Schools, Cobb County, DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Buford, Marietta, Decatur, city of Atlanta schools","site_title":"Atlanta Schools: Education and School News","navigation":"nav_title":"Education","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Education","_id":"/education","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":1014,"default":1014,"SectionMap":1009,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2006,"ComposerNav":1039,"_website_section_id":"ajc./education","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","_id":"/news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","LoggedOutMenu":null,"MainMenuRedesign2021":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":null,"TopicsBar":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"site_url":"/news/","section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","site_title":"Atlanta GA News ,"navigation":"nav_title":"News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news","ancestors":"AmpNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"default":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"BottomNav":[],"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"LoggedOutMenu":[],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopicsBar":[],"order":"AmpNav":1001,"default":1001,"SectionMap":1019,"MainMenuRedesign2021":1002,"ComposerNav":1136,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0"],"primary_section":"path":"/education","name":"Education","tags":["text":"breaking-news.ajc","text":"publicsafety.ajc","text":"atlanta-now","text":"teamjennifer","text":"news.naviga","text":"school-news.ajc","text":"rockdale county"]},"type":"story","last_updated_date":"2022-04-28T07:00:46.381Z","promo_items":"basic":"credits":"by":["name":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","type":"author","byline":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","slug":"hyosub-shin-ajc"],"subtitle":"AJC Photos of the Week, July-15-21, 2017","width":1700,"caption":"A child poses with a clear backpack at a school supply distribution event. Starting next school year, Rockdale County Public Schools will require all students to use clear backpacks as a safety measure in its buildings. 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He values the program for his daughter “not only for the opportunity to learn a second language but, more importantly, to learn in another language.”","_id":"4PV2A7W5VJET3IOYWKQ6C7O6RQ","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"P6B6QR6UUNENFLCOBQ6V7NBYEM","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Milestones tests mark critical pandemic moment for Georgia students","url":"https://www.ajc.com/education/milestones-tests-mark-critical-pandemic-moment-for-georgia-students/CGK3XW47DVGILF3V5JKLSNAA5U/","_id":"TWQ4M7FVERAOPHNHRCI44UB4HM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650588889499,"type":"text","content":"Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said the change was needed “so we can continue the focus on teaching and learning for all of our students.” He said it’s also been increasingly difficult to staff the bilingual teaching positions.","_id":"QP5GI337S5DLBHX5NIRMHEPHCM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650635769259,"type":"text","content":"“When data is present that indicates students are not attaining higher levels of academic success — or even worse, performing at lower levels than students not in the specific program — modifications must be made,” he said.","_id":"TWQ4M7FVERAOPHNHRCI44UB4HM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650588889499,"type":"text","content":"Ragsdale did not provide data about the achievement of students in the program, but said there would be a presentation on the topic at a future board meeting. He added that ensuring elementary students can read on grade level is the district’s highest priority.","_id":"BUSWPVXXUNFWVILMHMBTCKFKYA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"QL3V3QVWZFGUHNQN6YMZXCKAME","type":"interstitial_link","content":"More stories about Cobb County Public Schools","url":"https://www.ajc.com/staff/cassidy-alexander/","_id":"GK5ENVM7IBHDBBFBIKHXDLEQDI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650588889508,"type":"text","content":"The dual language immersion program began in 2015 in Cobb. Nearby districts such as Gwinnett County Public Schools and Marietta City Schools offer similar programs.","_id":"XPEHFSTNNJD2NF7B54YVIEEPTI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650635769263,"type":"text","content":"Ragsdale said five elementary schools will continue to accept incoming kindergartners: Dowell, Mableton, Nickajack, Russell and Smyrna. The remaining schools will not accept new students but will continue to offer the program to currently enrolled students.","_id":"62JT6GHMYRF67IQ37MDBNRLUPE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650588889507,"type":"text","content":"Campbell Middle is the only middle school that currently offers the program. Floyd Middle will add it. Families currently in the program who believed it would be expanded to more middle schools will have a chance to opt into the existing programs as space allows.","_id":"WGECTVYCTZDNTFB3WHW67AKYGI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650635769265,"type":"text","content":"JoAnne Miranda told the board the program has been a great experience for her two children.","_id":"MCILJWA3MJFO5MAJEMURZ5RX5I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650635769266,"type":"text","content":"“My children speak Spanish with pride,” she said.","_id":"BPIO2DS6CZE4FB57MGEY2TWPIE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650635769267,"type":"text","content":"
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Afterward, the footwear will be donated to a charity that will give them to needy men, women and children in Atlanta.","_id":"OJWZJA7EJBBWNKT5GDV4M4HHFI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641002,"type":"text","content":"School orchestra members will play the “State Anthem of Ukraine.” They’ll hold a moment of silence, and speakers will talk about relief efforts and ways to support the people of Ukraine. A Midtown High School sophomore who was born in the Ukraine also will speak.","_id":"7YDLYFZHDZDU5JWEGX3R3TY5VY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"47BBQUDUPJFPJJDT3SOYCL4J7E","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Atlanta’s Midtown High School unveils new logos after Grady name change","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/atlantas-midtown-high-school-unveils-new-logos-after-grady-name-change/4QGZRTN4YNGCHLDF3IHAMVQBH4/","_id":"5NLD7RIORZCVLHPWMXPNRWSDVY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641003,"type":"text","content":"“As students, we don’t really know how to help in situations like this directly,” Sierra said. “The hope for this is that it gives an avenue for people our age to get involved in this issue.”","_id":"5PS5H7GIQZGIVLXAQ4DWKYJWEQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641004,"type":"text","content":"MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said the transit agency is pleased to be working with the students.","_id":"XZWKMVOAGJDX3FTGGDKWWDWTYM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641005,"type":"text","content":"Charlotte Keenan, a 15-year-old Midtown High School freshman, is Sierra’s debate partner and a member of the committee organizing the event. As part of their work on the debate team, she and Sierra researched the threat Russia posed and NATO’s role in the region.","_id":"LCWGVHCUFBF6PL3JZEFCGRESTU","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"PI5ZYFSFXVFSJLVRIQO7QV6Q4E","type":"interstitial_link","content":"More stories about Atlanta Public Schools","url":"https://www.ajc.com/staff/vanessa-mccray/","_id":"Q6ZQKE6RTZF2PM5G5SL7Y7O2UA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641006,"type":"text","content":"The images and stories from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit home.","_id":"YWJUFFSMO5C6TCGEQQKGO3LCZQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650483641007,"type":"text","content":"“It’s just crazy to think that something could happen in something so normal or something so pedestrian as a train station,” Charlotte said. “I know a lot of students have come up to me and said they weren’t aware of the missile hitting the train station before we started raising awareness.”","_id":"ZBYNTQWGFJGQZPTHL2ABPKBAWI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650549122365,"type":"text","content":"She hopes the shoes will remind people of the individual toll of war.","_id":"ZWF2OU2ULJFXVFIZVFJPAZQK3I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650549122366,"type":"text","content":"“We probably won’t get two pairs of the exact same. 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Four Democratic candidates are also vying for the position.","_id":"4G4EI6PX5ZEBRJTM7KWQ72JWXM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606185,"type":"text","content":"Most of the candidates are talking about the culture war issues that have dominated educational policy recently. Book banning, critical race theory, mask mandates and other controversial school topics addressed during the legislative session.","_id":"NO7LKDGYSBFTRGS5Y3KFTRCVKE","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"WRS4FVWA2VCVDKURJ73DDPHX44","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Georgia officials sending team to Druid Hills High after student video","url":"https://www.ajc.com/education/georgia-officials-sending-team-to-druid-hills-high-after-student-video/NZUXK3NEQ5HGTNO6JQHSILRYIM/","_id":"3TO6RWDOVFDULOXNUPORFYYHQU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606186,"type":"text","content":"But several of the issues these candidates are talking about are timeless, such as public school funding, poor academic outcomes and a shrinking teacher pool.","_id":"TXFNJJHK5FBRXA62RBPH6TXJEY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606187,"type":"text","content":"Woods, a former teacher and school administrator from rural Georgia, supported GOP bills that would limit how teachers discuss race, let sports associations decide on transgender student participation, amend the process for removing books and affirm rights to see instructional materials. He said his education department’s implementation will ensure uniformity.","_id":"HNLCNOELLRCHJITBLQZ7OCMI4U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606188,"type":"text","content":"“It will put in place processes that will unite us as a state so it’s not so much Wild West out there,” Woods said.","_id":"NAA4C4UTYNE75FLHL77SERNMGA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606189,"type":"text","content":"Barge, the other Republican in the race who opted to run for governor rather than reelection in 2014, says the Legislature didn’t go far enough. He said he wants his old job back because of parent allegations about obscene materials in schools and because of transgender policies.","_id":"MCV7SWKN7VFH7I3IYMIQA36RYM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606190,"type":"text","content":"“Who is going to make a stand to make sure that children are being educated and not indoctrinated?” he asked.","_id":"OIG7TDSQFFB6NKTXOJNKBRUNLM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"V5IAS6WDORFT7P5MHIPMOUYIVQ","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Education was often Georgia lawmakers’ wedge issue this legislative session","url":"https://www.ajc.com/education/education-often-georgia-lawmakers-wedge-issue-this-legislative-session/L7D4LMDRVJD5LNP6HDUAMSBR3E/","_id":"4XZOLVILP5GJXK4XVIWG24VQOI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650338551835,"type":"text","content":"GOP lawmakers saw the potential of these issues last year. The Georgia General Assembly convened two months after Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor’s office by courting parents opposed to COVID-19 safety measures, critical race theory and school books they deemed obscene.","_id":"WFU4RHL5BREPZGGLIZQFUGQR2M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606193,"type":"text","content":"Atlanta lawyer Currey Hitchens and Dr. Jaha Howard, a pediatric dentist elected to the Cobb County school board, said they were inspired to run, in part, in reaction to this political movement.","_id":"DI5V3JK7YZEHTMHRV363TRITZM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606194,"type":"text","content":"Hitchens, who recently left the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, said she read a book parents have attempted to ban from schools. “It’s about police violence against teenage kids, but that’s something that happens,” she said. “Things that happen are sometimes divisive but we still have to learn about them.”","_id":"34VELGYZFFHWPJL4UO7Z2AXZBM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470392406,"type":"text","content":"She was referring to adopted state legislation that defines nine “divisive concepts” prohibited in classrooms. They involve generalizations, like saying one race is inherently superior or America is fundamentally racist.","_id":"FZ6SL3JNJRFN7H7HLPGEAASR34","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606195,"type":"text","content":"Howard said Woods follows his party’s lead. Howard said he would push for more funding and call attention to problems like low literacy rates.","_id":"D6IWRRHAMVH4NJ55X7ECKKLGZI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606196,"type":"text","content":"“So here we have somebody who’s touting all this educational experience, but when you get into a room of political sharks, he’s folding like a lawn chair,” Howard said.","_id":"KJIEBJZHTBAPBPTXKIYHESN7W4","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"TKUOEERMS5GRZJAFYBMGUKZM6M","type":"interstitial_link","content":"More stories about Georgia schools","url":"https://www.ajc.com/staff/ty-tagami/","_id":"KPQ4CZODGZB65HJFLWTC4FRU7Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650338551841,"type":"text","content":"Alisha Thomas Searcy, a former Democratic state representative from Austell and charter school operator, ran for state superintendent eight years ago. She said she was inspired to run this time in part by “the ugliness of politics.” But she was more interested in school funding and teacher recruitment and retention. She thinks the state should be doing more to innovate.","_id":"QSWEV47HGBGL5FOXYIFP4OJ2NQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606198,"type":"text","content":"“The pandemic should have been an opportunity to rethink, reimagine public education, and it appears that the desire is just to go back to quote-unquote normal,” Thomas Searcy said.","_id":"MXXZVUGKIFHQ3OXNS5I5ZFDKIU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606199,"type":"text","content":"James Morrow Jr. coaches soccer and flag football in a Clayton County high school. The former social studies teacher is concerned about student violence and said schools need more police officers and stricter discipline.","_id":"MXXZVUGKIFHQ3OXNS5I5ZFDKIU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650336606199,"type":"text","content":"“We’ve got to take drastic measures to get it done,” Morrow said. “Because we’re going to lose a lot of these kids, man, because they’re just pushing them through. They barely can read.”","_id":"2EYELJE4MVCBRN4A4VNBMKUTW4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650324161509,"type":"text","content":"
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