Committee Named to Study Role of Federal Government in Education

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston has decided the members of the committee that will take a look at how the federal government influences education in Georgia. The committee is being named in accordance with H.R. 550, which made it through the lower chamber on the last day of the 2014 session. The committee will be co-chaired by Education Committee Chairman Rep. Brooks Coleman and Higher Education Committee Chair Rep. Carl Rogers.

The creation of the committee was in reaction to the effort led by Sen. William Ligon to remove the influence of Common Core from the state’s public schools. After his Senate Bill 167 failed to clear the House Education Committee, Ligon attempted to modify H.B. 897. When that failed, what came out was the resolution authorizing the study committee.

When announcing the appointments, Ralston said,

Education is one of the most important issues that we address as policymakers. Funding, mandates, and other directives that come down from the federal government, as they relate to education, deserve a thorough review by leaders in our state from time to time. I plan to ask this committee to examine these issues as well as the role the federal government played in the adoption of the common core state standards. I am very excited that this group of leaders and educators agreed to give of their time to do just that, and I look forward to addressing the study committee next week.

The Committee will hold its first meeting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in room 606 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

The full list of committee members is below the fold.

House Members

  • Rep. Brooks Coleman, Co-Chair, (R-Duluth)
  • Rep. Carl Rogers, Co-Chair, (R-Gainesville)
  • Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper)
  • Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville)
  • Rep. Mike Glanton (D-Jonesboro)


  • Robert Avossa, (Milton), Fulton County Schools Superintendent
  • Charles Wilson, (Statesboro), Bulloch County Schools Superintendent
  • Mark Scott, (Bonaire), Houston County Schools Superintendent


  • Justin Adams, (Mansfield), Math and Social Studies teacher at Henderson Middle School in Butts County.
  • Sarah Ballew Welch, (Blue Ridge), English Language Arts teacher at Fannin County High School in Fannin County.
  • Beth Blankenship, (Preston), English Language Arts teacher at Webster County High School in Webster County


  • Misty Skedgell, (Powder Springs), Skedgell has three children in Cobb County Schools.
  • Hubert Parker, (Ellijay), Parker has three grandchildren in Gwinnett County Schools.
  • Eric Johnson, (Hahira), Johnson has two children in Lowndes County Schools.

State Board of Education

  • Helen Rice, (LaGrange), State Board Chair


  1. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    Jon, are you planning to cover the meeting? I’ll be in Albany and unable to attend.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    How about we just save everyone the trouble and note that the federal government influences education in Georgia (and most every other state) by holding (our own) money hostage and making us submit to their demands.

    • Dr. Monica Henson says:

      Actually, federal spending accounts for less than 10% of dollars expended annually for K-12 public education. There are relatively very few “demands” that states obey the federal government in education matters, special education and disability access to facilities, Title IX, and a few others being notable exceptions. Title I, for example, forms the basis of state testing “mandates,” which are actually optional. Any state that chooses to forego Title I funds for educating low-income students would be exempt from so-called “mandated” achievement testing. Race to the Top is a competitive grant program, not a mandate.

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