Gwinnett Daily Post: Political Notebook: Woodall Hails House Passage of Local Education Bill

News Article

Date: July 11, 2015
Issues: K-12 Education

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall called the house of Representatives' passage of the Student Success Act a win for local control over school systems who have experienced a revolving door of federal education mandates over the decades.

The bill, also known as House Resolution 5, moves some policy-making authority from the federal government to state education departments and local school systems. The bill passed narrowly passed in the House by a vote of 218-213 on Wednesday, but it must still clear hurdles in the Senate and get the approval of President Barack Obama before it can become law.

This bill is another significant step towards restoring local control and removing top-down federal mandates," Woodall said in a statement. "It replaces the heavy-handed federal regulations of No Child Left Behind with state-led accountability measures and eliminates dozens of duplicative, ineffective federal programs and bureaucracy."

More than 65 of the 80 federal government's K-12 education programs would be consolidated or eliminated, and the U.S. Department of Education would be forced to downsize its workforce because of those consolidations, if the bill becomes law, according to Woodall's office. States would also have more freedom to opt-out of federal education programs, such as Common Core, without facing penalties.

Woodall, whose district include county and city-run school systems in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties, said the bill is not an end-all, be-all solution to restoring local control over education programs, but he pointed out it was a step in that direction. He said there is still work to be done, but he added he is proud of the product approved by the House.

"We did as much we could with the votes that we had to make education work better for students, families and teachers," Woodall said. "There is significant restoration of state authority and local control in this bill, and I am proud the House has taken a large step in the right direction today while looking ahead to what we can achieve tomorrow. This is a win for Georgia and the amazing school districts that I represent."

Deal: Film industry poured billions into Georgia economy in FY 2015

Georgia's growing film industry had an economic impact of more than $6 billion between July 1, 2014 and June 30 of this year, Gov. Nathan Deal announced on Thursday.

The news came months after Deal worked with the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia and film industry insiders to establish the Georgia Film Academy, which will train residents to work in the industry. More than 248 film and television productions were filmed in Georgia during fiscal year 2015, according to the governor's office.

"As evidenced by today's announcement, Georgia's film industry has had a significant impact on our state," Deal said in statement. "These statistics represent job creation, increased business opportunities and the revitalization of communities statewide, and I am committed to building a strong film-ready workforce in Georgia to ensure that the industry continues to flourish here."

Among the films that were filmed in Georgia over the last year were "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2" and "Ant-Man," which is the first in a line of Marvel films to be shot in the state. "Captain America: Civil War" will begin shooting at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, where "Ant-Man" was shot, later this year.