The mission of the Georgia School Boards Association is to ensure excellence in the governance of local school systems by providing leadership, advocacy and services, and by representing the collective resolve of Georgia’s elected boards of education.
The Georgia School Boards Association’s (GSBA) Rural Task Force was created to make recommendations on ways to mediate and alleviate challenges, and to support rural school systems. Recommendations may include additional services from GSBA, policy changes at the state level, ways to build on the existing collaborative relationships, and other ideas.
The impetus for creating the Rural Task Force is the growing number of issues facing rural school districts, and an increase in the requests for innovative solutions to the challenges of dwindling student populations, increased poverty, a lack economic development and other opportunities.
The GSBA Rural Task Force is pleased to release the 2020 Rural Report. This year the Rural Task Force made a concerted decision to take a more in depth look at the 4 major topics it developed in the 2019 Report. While much has changed, funding, healthcare, teacher recruitment and retention and early learning continue to be the issues at the forefront.
The 2020 Rural Report takes each of the 4 topics from 2019 and expands on the why, while also examining the additional layer of COVID-19, which has placed a larger spotlight on gaps that must be addressed.
The report not only tells the in depth story of each topic, it suggests recommendations for local school districts and the state alike.
2020 Rural Task Force Report – Click the Topic of your Choice to view:
Identify ways for GSBA to support rural districts’ efforts to meet their challenges and take advantage of their opportunities.
Identify educational challenges that need to be addressed through cross-sector collaboration.
Improve the understanding public education advocates statewide on issues/challenges impacting rural school systems.
Develop methods for information sharing with the public and across public school systems.
Develop an ongoing discussion with state legislators and key decision-makers for public education policy and public policy.
Explore ways to promote investment in rural communities.
Educating policy makers about the need for rural success in order to optimize state success…and the consequences of our failure to recognize that relationship.
Task Force Guiding Principles:
Exploring ways to highlight the challenges and opportunities specific to rural school districts
Raising the consciousness of local governing authorities, state legislators, the business community, and other stakeholders with regard to the rural challenges impacts on the achievement of all students.
Yielding positive outcomes for students through public education policies and resource planning.
Providing best practices and collaboration opportunities for rural challenges.
Engaging the public to obtain input and participation in policy development.
GSBA convenes the Rural Task Force, utilizing two school board representatives, and one superintendent representative from each GSBA regional district to serve. During the convening, GSBA will facilitate the task force in clearly defining the charge, completing an overview of rural data, developing potential policy solutions, and creating a framework for presentation of recommendations and action plans for specific stakeholder use and implementation. During the meetings, the task force will be broken into two working groups, the north and the south, who will target their energy on various subject areas, to be decided upon by the task force, that will serve as basis for recommendations and policy.
To view the 2019 GSBA Rural Task Force Recommendations, click here.