2020 Georgia Code
Title 49 - Social Services
Chapter 4A - Department of Juvenile Justice
§ 49-4A-12. Special School District

Universal Citation: GA Code § 49-4A-12 (2020)
  1. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall be a special school district which shall be given the same funding consideration for federal funds that school districts within this state are given.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the schools within the department shall be under the control of the commissioner who shall serve as the superintendent of schools for such district. The Board of Juvenile Justice shall serve as the board of education for such district.
    2. Any school within the department that is operated by a state charter school pursuant to a contract entered into in accordance with Code Section 20-2-2084.1 shall be under the control of the State Charter Schools Commission and the governing board of the state charter school, subject to any conditions in the contract. Any such school shall not be considered a part of the special school district established pursuant to this Code section.
    1. The schools shall meet the requirements of the law for public schools and rules and regulations of the State Board of Education. It is the intent of this Code section to fund educational services and programs in this special school district so that youth served therein shall receive the same quality and content of educational services as provided to youth in school districts within this state.
    2. The State School Superintendent may grant waivers for such provisions of the laws and regulations with which the schools cannot comply because of their functioning on an annual basis and in response to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee's written request and justification. Such exceptions shall be in writing.
    1. Each teacher in the special school district shall receive annual compensation at the rate specified for the type of certificate held by such teacher based on the appropriate teacher salary schedules established pursuant to Code Section 20-2-212.
    2. This provision shall not act to reduce the compensation currently paid any teacher in the special school district.
    3. To the extent such resources are available, federal funding resources shall be utilized to meet increased costs resulting from implementation of this subsection.
  2. The commissioner shall develop and implement a plan whereby there shall be sufficient substitute teachers available for temporary service as needed for each school composing the special school district.
    1. Nothing in the language of this Code section shall be construed as prohibiting any local school district from issuing a diploma to a youth in the custody of the department, upon certification of the principal of a departmental school.
    2. School records of any juvenile in the department's programs who is issued a diploma by a local school district shall be maintained by such local school district, provided that all references to the juvenile's commitment to and treatment by the department are expunged.
  3. The special school district under the department shall have the powers, privileges, and authority exercised or capable of exercise by any other school district.
  4. The effect of this Code section shall not be to provide state funds to the special school district under the department through Part 4 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20, except as otherwise provided in Code Section 20-2-2084.1.

(Code 1981, §49-4A-12, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1983, § 24; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1453, §§ 1, 3; Ga. L. 2016, p. 443, § 2-6/SB 367.)

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, near the end of subsection (a), substituted "within this state" for "within the state"; designated the existing provisions of subsection (b) as paragraph (b)(1), and, in paragraph (b)(1), substituted "Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the" for "The" at the beginning of the first sentence; added paragraph (b)(2); substituted "within this state" for "within the state" near the end of the second sentence of paragraph (c)(1); and added ", except as otherwise provided in Code Section 20-2-2084.1" at the end of subsection (h).

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2016 amendment of this Code section, see 33 Georgia St. U. L. Rev. 139 (2016).


Responsibility for providing education.

- When a student is committed to the department, the educational agency responsible for providing a free and appropriate public education under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.) is either the department or the local school district in which the student resides. 1995 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-6.

Eligibility of department to receive tuition grants.

- Department is eligible to receive tuition grants for disabled students whose federal Individualized Education Programs (20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.) place those students in private residential programs for educational reasons. 1995 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 95-6.

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