2017 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Article 6 - Quality Basic Education
Part 3 - Educational Programs
§ 20-2-154.1. Alternative education programs; intent; description; funding

Universal Citation: GA Code § 20-2-154.1 (2017)
  • (a) It is the policy of this state that the alternative education program shall provide a learning environment that includes the objectives of the content standards and that the instruction in an alternative education program shall enable students to return to a general or career education program as quickly as possible. Course credit shall be earned in an alternative education program in the same manner as in other education programs. It is the policy of this state that it is preferable to reassign disruptive students to an alternative education program rather than suspending or expelling such students from school.
  • (b) Alternative education programs are intended to meet the education needs of a student who is suspended from his or her regular classroom and also of a student who is eligible to remain in his or her regular classroom but is more likely to succeed in a nontraditional setting such as that provided in an alternative education program.
  • (c) As part of the process of assigning a student to an alternative education program for academic or nondisciplinary reasons, the school shall assess, through policies and procedures promulgated by the local board of education, the needs of the student and consider options for addressing those needs.
  • (d) Each local school system shall provide an alternative education program that:
    • (1) Is provided in a setting other than a student's regular classroom;
    • (2) Is located on or off of a regular school campus and may include in-school suspension that provides continued progress on regular classroom assignments;
    • (3) Provides for disruptive students who are assigned to the alternative education program to be separated from nondisruptive students who are assigned to the program;
    • (4) Focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and self-discipline;
    • (5) Provides for students' educational and behavioral needs; and
    • (6) Provides supervision and counseling.
  • (e) An alternative education program may provide for a student's transfer to a different campus, a school-community guidance center, or a community based alternative school.
  • (f) A local school system may provide an alternative education program jointly with one or more other systems.
  • (g) Each local school system shall cooperate with government agencies and community organizations that provide services in the school district to students placed in an alternative education program.
  • (h) The amount of state funds appropriated and allocated for the alternative education program provided for in this Code section shall be based on the actual count of students served during the preceding year, except that the count of students served shall not exceed 2.5 percent of the sum of the full-time equivalent program count of the middle school program, the high school general education program (grades nine through 12), and the career, technical, and agricultural education laboratory program (grades nine through 12). Funds earned may be expended in kindergarten and in grades one through 12.
  • (i) A local school system shall allocate to an alternative education program the same expenditure for each student attending the alternative education program, including federal, state, and local funds, that would be allocated to the student's school if the student were attending the student's regularly assigned education program, including a special education program, except as otherwise provided in this Code section.
  • (j) Upon the request of a local school system, a regional educational service agency may provide to the system information on developing an alternative education program that takes into consideration the system's size, wealth, and existing facilities in determining the program best suited to the system.
  • (k) If a student placed in an alternative education program enrolls in another local school system before the expiration of the period of placement, the local board of education requiring the placement shall provide to the local school system in which the student enrolls, at the same time other records of the student are provided, a copy of the placement order. The local school system in which the student enrolls may continue the alternative education program placement under the terms of the order or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of placement.
  • (l) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules necessary to administer the provisions of this Code section. Academically, the mission of alternative education programs shall be to enable students to perform at grade level. Annually, the Office of Student Achievement shall define for alternative education programs acceptable performance and performance indicating a need for peer review, based principally on standards defined by the Office of Student Achievement that measure the academic progress of students toward performing at grade level while attending an alternative education program.
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