WHAT WOULD YOU PAY FOR? Statewide “Community Conversation” to focus on setting budget priorities for education

WHAT WOULD YOU PAY FOR? Statewide “Community Conversation” to focus on setting budget priorities for education

Local residents to participate at Peachtree Ridge High School

If you could create an education budget, what would you put in it? What would you leave out?
On Wednesday, October 26, the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force will explore these difficult questions with residents locally and statewide. Governor Sonny Perdue and State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox will lead the second statewide “Community Conversation” that aims to create Georgia’s definition of educational excellence. The conversation will take place simultaneously at 16 sites across Georgia. Locally, residents will participate at Peachtree Ridge High School, located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee.

The program will open with a presentation by the Governor and the Superintendent, which will be broadcast from Georgia Public Television. Participants will then be given different scenarios and be asked to build budgets around those circumstances. Participants will get a peek into the difficult decision-making process that goes on at the state and local levels when determining budgets for schools.

There are two ways to actively participate in this conversation.
·In person: Area residents are encouraged to arrive at Peachtree Ridge High by 6:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.
·Online: Residents can log-on to www.IE2.org and participate by webcast.

The Governor’s Education Finance Task Force
In August 2004, Governor Sonny Perdue appointed the Education Finance Task Force to review the current QBE (Quality Basic Education) funding formula and devise a new framework for financing schools in the future. The Governor appointed Dean Alford, a former legislator and member of the state Board of Education, to lead the Task Force.

The Task Force is developing a new financing mechanism to replace QBE know as IE2, which stands for Investing in Educational Excellence. This name is an accurate description of the two key elements that are most needed if Georgia is to take bold strides in improving education. The first is recognizing that we need to view education as an investment in the most important resource we have: our children. However, it is important to remember that with any investment a return is expected. This should be the same with investing in education and this return should be measured in student achievement. And the level of expectation for student achievement should be nothing less than that of excellence, the second key element. To settle for anything other than excellence is to become satisfied with “basic” and to never reach the goal of leading the nation in improving student achievement.

For more information on the Governor’s Education Finance Task Force, and a complete list of members and subcommittees, please visit www.IE2.org