Public education in Georgia

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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
Georgia
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Georgia
Glossary of education terms
The Georgia public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Georgia had 1,685,016 students enrolled in a total of 2,388 schools in 216 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students was 1:16, in Georgia there were 111,133 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 15 students. There was roughly one administrator for every 275 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Georgia spent $9,253 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 35th in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 70 percent in 2012. This was the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the United States Department of Education for all students in 2011-2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Georgia Superintendent of Schools
Georgia school districts
List of school districts in Georgia
Public education in Georgia
School board elections portal
The Georgia Department of Education oversees public education across the state by ensuring education laws and regulations are followed, monitoring state and federal money is allocated correctly to local school districts and providing information about Georgia's schools to parents, students, government officials and the media. The Georgia Department of Education is led by the State Superintendent of Schools.[6] Under the State Superintendent of Schools, there are two branches: Business Operations and Academic Affairs. The Business Operations branch houses the offices of Policy and Charter Schools, Finance and Business Operations, Legal Services and Technology Services. The Academic Affairs branch houses the offices of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Race to the Top and School Improvement.[7]

The Georgia State Board of Education has 15 members, one from each congressional district and one Chief Executive Officer.[8]

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.[9]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Georgia compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Georgia 2,388 216 1,685,016 111,133 1:15.2 1:274.9 $9,253
Alabama 1,618 170 744,621 47,723 1:15.6 1:293.5 $8,813
Florida 4,212 76 2,668,156 175,006 1:15.2 1:325.8 $8,887
South Carolina 1,223 105 727,186 46,782 1:15.5 1:281.1 $8,986
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

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
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states
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.[10]

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.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

Most students in Georgia attend suburban or rural schools, with 38 percent of students attending each. Both Florida and South Carolina have similar region demographics, but students in Alabama are more likely to attend city schools than suburban schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Georgia 14.0% 38.0% 9.9% 38.0%
Alabama 20.6% 16.9% 14.4% 48.0%
Florida 24.3% 50.3% 5.0% 20.5%
South Carolina 17.4% 24.3% 14.3% 44%
U.S. average 28.9% 34% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Georgia's scores were either below or equal to the national average.[11]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Georgia 39 29 34 32
Alabama 30 20 31 25
Florida 41 31 39 33
South Carolina 35 31 28 29
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state and ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Georgia and surrounding states.[11][12][13]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Georgia 70% Fifth 20.7 52% 1452 75%
Alabama 75% Fourth 20.3 86% 1608 7%
Florida 75% Fourth 19.8 70% 1457 67%
South Carolina 75% Fourth 20.2 57% 1436 64%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Georgia was higher than the national average at 3.9 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[14]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Georgia

School choice options in Georgia include: charter schools, homeschooling, online learning, private schools and inter-district and intra-district public school open enrollment policies.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Georgia state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 24 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 3.7 percentage points, a 13.4 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 27.7 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[15][16][17][18][19] Georgia's education funding derives mainly from state and local resources in roughly equal amounts, with just over 12 percent of funding coming from the federal government.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Georgia 24% $9,253 12.57% 41.58% 45.85%
Alabama 20.9% $8,813 14.6% 53.77% 31.63%
Florida 18.8% $8,887 17.81% 34.29% 47.9%
South Carolina 15.9% $8,986 13.4% 43.45% 43.15%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Georgia totaled approximately $18 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Georgia and surrounding states.[20]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Georgia $2,267,612 $7,499,327 $8,268,366 $18,035,305
Alabama $1,077,070 $3,965,614 $2,332,472 $7,375,156
Florida $4,710,376 $9,069,119 $12,666,978 $26,446,473
South Carolina $1,051,679 $3,408,719 $3,385,398 $7,845,796
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Georgia totaled approximately $17.1 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Georgia and surrounding states.[20]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Georgia $15,465,308 $1,368,403 $291,801 $17,125,512
Alabama $6,582,496 $564,183 $255,905 $7,402,584
Florida $23,428,499 $2,217,069 $1,346,378 $26,991,946
South Carolina $6,455,918 $1,018,769 $455,360 $7,930,047
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Georgia, the average salary decreased by 5.7 percent.[21]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Georgia $56,062 $56,694 $53,819 $52,880 -5.7%
Alabama $50,139 $50,779 $48,802 $47,949 -4.4%
Florida $50,184 $49,858 $47,253 $46,944 -6.5%
South Carolina $49,308 $50,712 $48,217 $47,924 -2.8%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Georgia ranked 45th overall, or weakest, which was in the fifth tier of five.[22]

The largest union in the state related to the Georgia school system is the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). The second largest union is the Georgia Federation of Teachers (GFT), an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

List of local Georgia school unions:[23]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Georgia government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization in the state is the Georgia School Boards Association. Another government sector lobbying organization is the Georgia Association of School Personnel Administrators.

Transparency

The state of Georgia's official spending transparency database, mandated by the Transparency in Government Act of May 2008, was launched in January 2009. The site is available here. However, for education spending the Georgia Public Policy Foundation launched the website Georgia Report Card for Parents. The site was first created in 1996. It allows citizens to compare schools in every county in the state on a wealth of factors, including rankings and spending.

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Georgia ballot measures

Ballotpedia staff have tracked 4 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Georgia Amendment 2 (1998)
  2. Georgia Charter Schools, Amendment 1 (2012)
  3. Georgia Education Taxes for Redevelopment, Amendment 2 (2008)
  4. Georgia Private College Buildings Tax Exemption, Referendum 1 (2014)

Studies and reports

ABCs of School Choice

The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice publishes a comprehensive guide to private school choice programs across the U.S. In its 2014 edition, the Foundation reviewed the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program and Georgia's Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit. The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program allows parents of students with disabilities, who are dissatisfied with their assigned schools, to attend private school through a voucher system. The Foundation found that the program was well-funded, giving students vouchers worth up to their funding cost in public schools, but suggested growth in the eligibility of students. The Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit provides tax credits for donations to Student Scholarship Organizations (SSOs), up to $1,000 for individuals, $2,500 for married couples, and 75 percent of tax liabilities from corporate taxpayers. The Foundation found that the tax credit program had the opportunity to be one of the most expansive and successful programs in the country, as its only requirement for a student to be eligible is to attend public school for at least six weeks. However, the Foundation found that the funding cap for the program allowed less than one percent of students to receive scholarships.[24] The full Friedman Foundation report can be found here.

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Georgia Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  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. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. Georgia Department of Education, "About GaDOE," accessed May 19, 2014
  7. Georgia Department of Education, "GaDOE Organization Structure," accessed May 19, 2014
  8. Georgia Department of Education, "Georgia State Board of Education," accessed May 19, 2014
  9. Common Core: State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed July 12, 2014
  10. 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
  11. 11.0 11.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  12. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  13. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  14. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  16. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  21. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  22. Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  23. Center for Union Facts, "Georgia teachers unions," accessed November 12, 2009
  24. The Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, "The ABCs of School Choice," 2014 Edition