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Friday, February 24, 2012 - 4:28am

Bill Gives Schools A Letter Grade

Georgia schools would be given letter grades based on how their students perform under a bill being considered by state lawmakers.

Senate Bill 410 passed the Senate Education and Youth Committee Thursday. The legislation is modeled after a similar system in Florida created by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams, the lead sponsor on the bill, said the grading system would give parents and the public a clear idea of how schools are doing.

The grading system would tie into the state's recently approved federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind law.

Meanwhile, the committee also approved a constitutional amendment to allow the state to create charter schools.

Committee members voted 7-5 for the measure one day after it passed the House. If the constitutional amendment passes the full Senate, it goes on the ballot in November for voters to decide.

The legislation would clarify state law after a May ruling from the state Supreme Court outlawed the Georgia Charter Schools Commission. The court ruled the commission was illegally creating charter schools over the objection of districts.