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Newton Board of Education to discuss issues with legislators

CONYERS - The Newton County Board of Education will present its legislative priorities to members of the legislative delegation at its December board meeting.

The board will present its list of legislative issues during its combined work session and regular session meeting at 2109 Newton Drive at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11.

The board invited members of the Newton County legislative delegation to attend.

"Hopefully, the legislators will give serious consideration to these issues when they enter discussions with fellow legislators and cast their votes this session," said Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administrative services for the Newton County School System.

The board drafted 10 position statements "as means of communicating to the legislative delegation those issues of major importance for which the state, through the legislature, supports achievement and success of public school students and the maintenance and operation of the school district," according to a memorandum approved by the board at its Tuesday regular session meeting. "The board members have attended the Georgia School Boards Association summer and fall meetings and have reviewed issues that affect the policies, procedures and funding of public schools, as determined through legislative action."

Robertson said the 10 selected issues are "some of the most critical of all the issues."

"We reviewed the position statements of Georgia School Superintendents Association and position statements of the Georgia School Boards Association," she said. "Most of these have been issues for a number of years."

Items include supporting a state budget that funds the local school system, the selling of state bonds to provide more funding for school buses and legislation allowing school retirees to continue public school employment without penalty.

"We do not support the unfair shifting of the tax burden to the local school district or shifting the tax burden from one group of taxpayers to another group of taxpayers," one issue reads.

Board member Cathy Dobbs encouraged school councils, PTO, PTA and other educational stakeholders to attend the meeting "to show support of education."

"If people could come out to that meeting to show that they are interested in education (and) if we could fill the room up, it would be nice," she said.

SideBar: If you go

What: 2008 legislative issues meeting

When: 7 p.m. on Dec. 11

Where: Newton County Board of Education, 2109 Newton Dr., Covington

More Information: www.newtoncountyschools.org