Our Students: Georgia’s First Priority

March 24, 2017

ATLANTA, March 24, 2017 – Today, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the State Senate passed legislation to strengthen Georgia’s under-performing schools. When the First Priority Act is signed into law, participating school systems will receive targeted support from the state Chief Turnaround Officer (CTO) and local Turnaround Coaches. Each school’s leadership team will then be equipped with a full range of resources to remove any barriers holding our students back.

“When we unleash local school systems and affirm that our students must be our first priority, we will build a better Georgia,” said Lt. Governor Cagle. “Failure is not an option. The First Priority Act empowers local leaders to address each school’s individual shortfalls early and honestly. We are also investing in new resources to ensure we have strong leaders at every level of our education system who refuse to settle for anything less than preparing every student to achieve personal, academic, and professional success.”

The First Priority Act offers local school systems flexibility to address the individual needs of each student. Georgia’s schools cannot accept anything less than for every student to reach his or her own definition of success.

When signed into law, a CTO will manage and oversee a system of supports and assistance for struggling schools. The CTO will recommend highly qualified individuals to serve as turnaround coaches to work directly with local leaders throughout the improvement process. The coaches will then conduct individual student assessments, provide interventions to reverse causes of low performance and support students with enhanced academic resources.