Congress to find collaborative solutions
School board members encourage congress to find collaborative solutions to education challenges
Posted on 02/15/2011

George Bevels, chairman of the Floyd County Board of Education, and David Johnson, vice chairman, joined more than 800 school board and state school boards association leaders last week to ask Congress to support public school students as they consider the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) this year. Participation of local communities in the reauthorization of ESEA is vital because local school boards will be responsible for implementing the federal policies. 

Bevels and Johnson were in Washington, D.C., to take part in the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 38th annual Federal Relations Network Conference, held February 6-8, 2011. Both are participants in NSBA’s Federal Relations Network, a national grassroots legislative effort that urges members of Congress to make K-12 education a top priority.

School funding also remains a major concern for local school systems. School board leaders are requesting that Congress help ensure that public education is adequately funded and that lawmakers seriously consider the impact of passing education legislation without providing the necessary funding for local implementation. “It is our mission to provide a quality education for a quality life for our community and our children,” stated George Bevels. “To make that a reality, public officials on the local, state, and federal level must work together to provide proper funding and support for our schools and our teachers.”

Another issue of concern is that of local control of education. Some members of Congress have pushed for alternatives to local school governance. Local school board leaders strongly believe that schools are best governed by the local communities vested in the results impacting the areas quality of life and the futures of our children. David Johnson said, “Local governance and decision-making are essential to the success of schools and children and that is why our community has made the move to the charter system model of local control and involving the community in school decisions.”

David Johnson currently serves as president-elect of the Georgia School Board Association (GSBA) and George Bevels serves as director for the 7th District on the GSBA board. GSBA is the state affiliate of the National School Boards Association. NSBA was founded in 1940 as a not-for-profit organization representing state associations of school boards and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the United States.