The time is drawing near for Georgia 8th graders to choose a career path. They have to make a decision by the end of the school year under the state's new Career Pathways mandate. But in many districts like Savannah-Chatham, deadlines are arriving even sooner.
Users of older two-way radios could be in for a scramble this year as a federal deadline looms. The FCC mandated narrower bands for the radios 15 years ago and manufacturers stopped making them. But one wireless industry consultant says, he still has hundreds of clients in the state who've yet to comply.
Chatham County school officials are turning over alternative education to an Illinois-based company next year. The current school, Scott Learning Center, enrolls about 500 students with discipline problems each year. The private company combines traditional face-to-face classroom instruction with computer driven activities in a model called blended learning.
Chatham County school officials are counting on voters looking past the weak economy and a possible transportation sales tax to approve their own sales tax for schools. Several school districts state-wide have E-SPLOST on the ballot this year. E-SPLOST pays for school projects. And next year, voters statewide also could approve new transportation sales taxes.
A long-underperforming Savannah high school appears to be making good on its federal turnaround money. Beach High School hasn't met academic standards for Adequate Yearly Progress since the No Child Left Behind Law was passed nine years ago. Based on test results, though, officials say, they believe Beach will make AYP for the first time ever.
Big changes are in store for one of Savannah's worst public schools. The new principal at Groves High School on Monday was scheduled to tell parents about a plan to turn around one of three Savannah schools where officials fired half the teachers in a bid to boost performance. Groves had been on No Child Left Behind's Needs Improvement list for five years.
The President Pro Temp of the Georgia Senate says, he'd like to start up pilot programs to see if books in Georgia middle schools could be replaced with iPads. Tommie Williams says, Georgia wouldn't be the first state to try going bookless. Texas and Virginia schools are trying iPads -- as is one private school in Savannah.
President Obama's plan to freeze federal spending could have big budget implications in Georgia. The state is expected to spend about $11 billion of federal funds in the coming year. Most of it goes to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled. But about a billion also goes to education.
Savannah-Chatham County school officials say, they expect some push-back because of new school reform ideas being considered as part of the federal Race to the Top program. Under that program, the public schools in Chatham County would get about $13 to turn-around under-performing schools and get students up to their reading levels. But the aim is to change public education. And that could ruffle some feathers.