Georgia school districts

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K-12 Education in Georgia
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Education facts
State Superintendent: John D. Barge
Number of students: 1,685,016[1]
Number of teachers: 111,133
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:15.2
Number of school districts: 216
Number of schools: 2,388
Graduation rate: 70%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,253[3]
See also
Georgia Department of Education
Georgia school districts
List of school districts in Georgia
School boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Georgia
Glossary of education terms

Georgia is home to 2,388 schools and 1,685,016 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education
    • Mike Long, First Congressional District
    • Vacant, Second Congressional District
    • Helen Odom Rice, Third Congressional District
    • Lisa Kinnemore, Fourth Congressional District
    • Kenneth Mason, Fifth Congressional District
    • Barbara Hampton, Sixth Congressional District
    • Mike Royal, Seventh Congressional District
    • Sandra Reed, Eighth Congressional District
    • Kevin Boyd, Ninth Congressional District
    • Brian K. Burdette, Tenth Congressional District
    • Scott Johnson, Eleventh Congressional District
    • Allen C. Rice, Twelfth Congressional District
    • Mary Sue Murray, Thirteenth Congressional District
    • Larry Winter, Fourteenth Congressional District
    • State Superintendent John Barge (R), Chief Executive Officer


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.

Student enrollment
1.) Gwinnett County Public Schools
2.) Cobb County School District
3.) DeKalb County School District
4.) Fulton County Schools
5.) Clayton County Public Schools
6.) Atlanta Public Schools
7.) Henry County Schools
8.) Cherokee County School District
9.) Forsyth County Schools
10.) Savannah-Chatham County Public School System


See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Georgia as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[5]

Demographic Information for Georgia's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 3,732 0.22% 1.10%
Asian 57,165 3.39% 4.68%
African American 623,601 37.01% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 1,803 0.11% 0.42%
Hispanic 205,317 12.18% 24.37%
White 743,258 44.11% 51.21%
Two or More 50,140 2.98% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

In the news

Gun control

Georgia education leaders decided that despite a recent 2014 law allowing Georgians to legally carry firearms, guns have no place in the classroom. The general law offers a provision to arm teachers, however many district officials, including Mark Scott, superintendent of the Houston County School District, say, "the risk far outweighed the benefit." The consensus was that board members in the Houston district were more comfortable relying on police officers stationed nearby and potentially upgrading building security, according to Scott. At least two Georgia district boards, including Houston, have publicly decided not to create the optional program. According to a report in Education Week, "officials involved in district-level conversations said it's unlikely that any board will volunteer as a test case."[6]

State law

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Georgia State Board of Education adopted these standards on July 8, 2010, and plans to implement them during the 2014-2015 school year.[7]

School board composition

School board members are elected by residents of the school district. Georgia state law declares that a school board shall be no larger than seven members. They can serve anywhere from two to six-year terms. Depending on the preference of the board and district, members can file as partisan or nonpartisan on the ballot.[8][9]

District types

There are two main types of school districts in Georgia: county school systems and independent (city) school districts. The county board of education in each county administers all local schools in the county except those operated by independent school districts.[10]

Term limits

Georgia does not impose term limits on school board members.[11]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Georgia school board elections, 2014

A total of 39 Georgia school districts among America's largest school districts by enrollment held elections in 2014 for 127 seats. Twenty-one districts held their elections on May 20, 2014, while 18 districts held elections on November 4, 2014. If no candidate received a simple majority of the vote for a given seat in the election on May 20, 2014, a runoff election for that seat was held between the top two vote recipients on July 22, 2014.

Here are several quick facts about Georgia's school board elections in 2014:

  • The largest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 was Gwinnett County Public Schools with 160,744 K-12 students.
  • The smallest school district by enrollment with an election in 2014 was Walker County Schools with 9,242 K-12 students.
  • DeKalb County School District had the most seats on the ballot in 2014 with seven seats up for election.
  • Twelve districts were tied for the fewest seats on the ballot in 2014 with two seats up for election in each district.

The districts listed below served 1,038,554 K-12 students during the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.[12] Click on the district names for more information on the district and its school board elections.

2014 Georgia School Board Elections
District Date Seats up for election Total board seats Student enrollment
Bibb County School District 5/20/2014 2 8 24,961
Bulloch County Schools 5/20/2014 4 8 9,530
Camden County Schools 5/20/2014 2 7 9,437
Carroll County Schools 5/20/2014 3 5 14,587
Catoosa County Public Schools 5/20/2014 2 5 10,959
Clarke County School District 5/20/2014 5 9 12,371
Colquitt County Schools 5/20/2014 3 6 9,259
Columbia County School System 5/20/2014 2 5 23,722
Coweta County School System 5/20/2014 4 7 22,490
DeKalb County School District 5/20/2014 7 7 98,115
Effingham County Schools 5/20/2014 2 5 11,553
Fulton County Schools 5/20/2014 4 7 91,864
Griffin-Spalding County School System 5/20/2014 3 5 10,685
Henry County Schools 5/20/2014 2 5 40,909
Houston County Board of Education 5/20/2014 5 7 27,061
Liberty County School System 5/20/2014 4 7 10,525
Lowndes County Schools 5/20/2014 3 7 10,357
Muscogee County School District 5/20/2014 5 9 32,288
Rockdale County Public Schools 5/20/2014 2 7 15,864
Savannah-Chatham County Public School System 5/20/2014 5 9 35,246
Troup County School System 5/20/2014 3 7 12,648
Barrow County School System 11/4/2014 5 9 12,703
Bartow County School System 11/4/2014 3 5 14,366
Cherokee County School District 11/4/2014 5 7 38,760
Clayton County Public Schools 11/4/2014 4 9 50,366
Dougherty County School System 11/4/2014 3 7 15,906
Douglas County School System 11/4/2014 3 7 24,601
Fayette County Board of Education 11/4/2014 2 5 21,274
Floyd County Schools 11/4/2014 2 5 10,496
Forsyth County Schools 11/4/2014 2 5 37,262
Glynn County School System 11/4/2014 3 7 12,868
Gwinnett County Public Schools 11/4/2014 2 5 160,744
Hall County Schools 11/4/2014 3 5 25,946
Newton County Schools 11/4/2014 3 5 19,478
Paulding County School District 11/4/2014 3 7 28,407
Richmond County School System 11/4/2014 5 10 32,322
Walker County Schools 11/4/2014 2 5 9,242
Walton County School District 11/4/2014 3 7 13,208
Whitfield County Schools 11/4/2014 3 5 13,436

Path to the ballot

A candidate in Georgia is ineligible to hold office if they are:[13]

  • Not a resident of Georgia.
  • Under the age of 18.
  • Not a resident in the county in which the individual is seeking office for 12 months prior to the election or appointment.
  • Employed by or serving on the governing body of a private educational institution.
  • Employed by the Georgia Department of Education.
  • Employed by the board of education the individual is serving on.
  • The holder of another county office.
  • A holder or receiver of public money that has refused to, or failed to, account for it or pay it over when asked.
  • A convicted felon who has not been pardoned and is not the subject of a restoration of rights.
  • Of unsound mind or unable to discharge the duties of the office because of advanced age or bodily infirmity.
  • A publisher of schoolbooks, an agent of schoolbook publishers, or someone with financial interest in the sale of school books.

Candidates must file an affidavit for the local school board they wish to represent prior to the qualifying deadline.[14]

Campaign finance

Candidates in Georgia must file a Personal Finance Disclosure within 15 days after qualifying for the election. They must also keep detailed records of all contributions received and expenditures made. They may be inspected by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission at any time.[15]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "State Education Data Profiles," accessed August 15, 2013
  5. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  6. Education Week, "Ga. schools resist arming teachers despite new law," June 27, 2014 (dead link)
  7. Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
  8. Georgia Department of Education, "Local School Board Governance," accessed July 9, 2014
  9. Georgia School Boards Association, "Georgia Public School Boards," accessed July 9, 2014
  10. United States Census Bureau, "Georgia," accessed July 9, 2014
  11. National School Boards Association, "Survey of the State School Boards Associations on Term Limits for Local Board Members," accessed July 9, 2014
  12. National Center for Education Statistics, "Elementary/Secondary Information System," accessed March 21, 2014
  13. Center for Public Education, "Georgia School Boards Association," accessed July 9, 2014
  14. Georgia Secretary of State, "Local School Board Affidavit," accessed July 9, 2014
  15. Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, "Filing Responsibilities for Candidates & Candidate Committees," accessed July 10, 2014