On July 1, 2000, Governor Roy Barnes signed the A-Plus Education Reform Act (HB 1187) Part of the bill called for the formation (over the next four years) of Local School Councils (advisory groups), consisting of the principal, parents, teachers and business leaders. Each school under the local board of education must have a Local School Council by October 1, 2003.
"The intent of the law is to bring communities and schools closer together in a spirit of cooperation to solve difficult education problems, improve academic achievement, provide support for teachers and administrators, and bring parents into the school-based decision-making process”.
In compliance with House Bill 1187, A+ Education Reform Act, every school district in Georgia is required to organize Local School Councils according to the timeline below:
- October 1, 2001 One elementary school, one middle school, one high school
- October 1, 2002 Fifty percent (50%) of schools
- October 1, 2003 All schools
The establishment of Local School Councils is intended to help local board of education develop and nurture participation, bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s concerns, and share ideas for school improvement.
Each Local School Council is composed of at least seven members, to be chaired by a parent, and membership comprised of the principal, two certified teachers (elected), a number of parents or guardians (elected) of students enrolled in the school, and other members as specified in the council’s bylaws. Other members may include businesspersons (non-parent), students, staff, and representatives of school-related organizations. Parents or guardians are required to make up a majority of the council and at least two of the parents must be businesspersons.
Each council member will serve on the council for at least two years or for such other term as may be specified in the council’s bylaws. Meetings are held at least four times annually at a location accessible to the public. All meetings are subject to Open Meetings Act and records are subject to Open Meetings Act.
Local boards of education are required to provide a training program to assist schools in forming Local School Council to assist Local School Council members in the performance of their duties. Training programs focusing on the organization of councils, their purpose and responsibilities , applicable laws, rules, regulations and meeting procedures, and important state and local system requirements, and a model school council organization plan. The law also requires that additional training programs be offered annually to assist Local School Council members in the performance of their duties.
For information on Local School Councils, contact your local school or Department for Learning Excellence at 404-802-2304.