Lee County School Board’s September meeting covered some very sensitive issues. Many of these arose from a parental backlash against progressive agendas that have taken center stage in American politics over the past couple of years. Dr. Miller covered new Georgia legislation addressing these issues and his plan for implementing a parental complaint process in the Lee County School System.
New Procedures — Parents’ Bill of Rights and More
During the 2022 Georgia General Assembly, our legislators passed several new bills regarding schools, students, and parents of students. Dr. Miller covered several of these for the board during this meeting and explained that LCSS would soon publish complaint policies for receiving, investigating, and resolving parent complaints covered by these bills.
- HB1084 – Divisive Concepts: This bill effectively bans the teaching of Critical Race Theory without using that specific term.
- HB1178 – Parents’ Bill of Rights: This bill codifies and consolidates many pre-existing parental rights and adds the right to appeal administrative decisions in response to complaints. Examples of enumerated rights include:
- Review records about your child
- Learn about and examine instructional materials used in the education of your child
- Object to specific instructional materials
- Opt your child out of sex education
- Prohibit the photographing, videoing, or voice recording of your child
- SB226 – Materials Harmful to Minors: This bill responds to the recent incidents covered by the news that involved sexually explicit materials found in schools. It requires schools to enact policies for handling parental complaints about material harmful to minors.
- “Harmful to minors” is defined as “that quality of description or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse.”
- It further decomposes this definition into three characteristics that materials must meet to qualify as harmful to minors.
The PDF below describes these bills and provides suggested complaint policies published by the Georgia School Board Association.
SPLOST Collections Set Another Record
Dr. Miller announced that Lee County set another record for SPLOST collections, this time exceeding August collections for all previous years. For August 2022, the school district raised $450,757.27 through the tax.
School nurses saw 3,422 cases in August. Of these, ninety-two were “COVID-like” illnesses. Nurses sent 243 students home due to illness. Thankfully, 86% of those returned to school by the end of the month.
Dr. Miller announced that LCSS now has two substitute nurses on staff.
More Bus Drivers on the Way!
As many of you may have noticed, LCSS has struggled with a bus driver shortage for some time. The 2022-2023 school year started with two routes with no drivers. Next week, September 19 – 23, the Transportation Department will be holding a Bus Driver training class that is one of the largest in recent memory.
New Superintendent Evaluation Form
The Lee County School Board has been developing a new scorecard for the Superintendent’s performance. First considered for approval in May 2022, the scorecard has since undergone revisions and was passed 4-1 with Mrs. Donna Ford dissenting. Mrs. Ford explained that she believed it should more closely resemble the scorecard format used for teachers.
You can download and review the scorecard here: Superintendent Scorecard
Millage Rate Reduction
While not a substantial amount, the school board reduced the county tax millage rate for the School System by 0.0015. You can read the explanatory memorandum here: Millage Rate Reduction Memo
Increase in Milk Prices
As a result of supply issues, the school changed the price of additional milk cartons to $1.00 (an increase of $0.50).
We will publish an article soon that examines this issue in more detail.
Academic & Athletic Supplemental Pay
The board unanimously approved the Academic and Athletic Supplemental Pay agenda. While we have not secured a copy of the Athletic Supplemental Pay, you can view the Academic numbers here: Academic Supplementary Pay