Donna Lowry

Capitol Correspondent

Donna Lowry is an award-winning journalist with a passion for storytelling. She currently serves as Capitol correspondent for GPB’s Lawmakers.

Donna spent nearly 30 years at WXIA-TV, 11Alive News, the NBC affiliate, where she created the acclaimed Class Act and Class Notes segments, which allowed her to honor hundreds of metro Atlanta teachers while giving her a unique view of education in action.

Most recently, she served as chief communications officer for Fulton County Schools. She also worked as director of communications for the Cobb County School District. Both managerial positions allowed her to continue spotlighting innovative, creative and exceptional news in education.

Her work has garnered her seven Emmys and three Gabriel Awards. She has also won prestigious honors for her work from the National Association of Black Journalists, Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, Georgia Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). Her educational background in journalism began at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received a degree in Mass Communications/Administration and Management.

After a short stint in radio at KQV in Pittsburgh, she obtained a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Her professional affiliations include the Atlanta Press Club, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, the Atlanta Association of Media Women and the Southeastern Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS SE).

She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Black Women Film Network, the Student Production Awards committee for NATAS SE, and the Marketing Committee for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Her previous board or advisory positions include the following non-profits: Sheltering Arms Child Care Early Learning and Family Centers; West End Boys and Girls Clubs; Old National Christian Academy; Save the Children; Georgia Association of Family Daycare Providers; the Statewide Belt Task Force; and, the Georgia School-Age Care Association.

Donna is in her tenth year as a Girl Scout Leader and has led troops of girls ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade. Her community service affiliations include the Magnolia Chapter of Links, Inc.; the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America; and, the Nu Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Donna and her husband, Army Major (Ret) Bennet W. Reid, Jr., live in the City of South Fulton and are the parents of three daughters.

GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed his first law since taking office.

"This was a team effort from the general assembly, law enforcement, educators and concerned citizens to do the right thing and help save kid’s lives," Kemp said.

Senate Bill 25 was the first measure Republicans passed under the Kemp Administration, and the law makes it illegal for oncoming traffic to drive past a stopped school bus in a road divided by a turn lane.

GPB

Georgia has a new tool to help those suffering from mental health issues.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced an app to go along with the Georgia Crisis and Access Line or GCAL. The hotline, which launched in 2006, receives almost 1,000 calls each day. Now, the state is adding a GCAL app.

GPB

Rep. Matt Barton (R Calhoun) called his first day as the newest member of the Georgia House “Lucky 13.”  That’s because he’s beginning his first term on the day 13 of the legislative session.

GPB

The Senate passed its first significant legislation Thursday to clarify a law about when vehicles must stop for school buses.

For years, Georgia law required motorists – on both sides of the road – to stop when a school bus extends its stop arm unless the way had a grassy or concrete median, and in that case, oncoming traffic could continue to move.

However, last year on the last day of the legislative session lawmakers passed a bill allowing vehicles to catch a school bus if the road had a turning lane.

GPB News

A move toward expanding school choice is expected to come up during this legislative session because both  Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan campaigned on the issue.

School choice can range from private to charters to magnet schools. Each are funded differently.

GPB News

Voters in Banks, Stephens, and Habersham counties are hoping three is the final number.

For the third time since December, voters will have to go to the polls to decide the race between incumbent Rep. Dan Gasaway and former Banks County School Superintendent Chris Erwin.

Grant Blankenship / GPB News

As the hearings continue on the governor’s proposed budget, among the proposals gaining wide-ranging, bi-partisan support is the $69 million proposed for school safety.

In Fulton County Schools, thanks to voter support of SPLOST or the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, the district is taking school security to the next level.

“The days of James Bond sci-fi is here in Fulton County Schools,” said Shannon Flounnory, the school system's executive director of safety and security.

Georgia’s high-speed internet deserts in the rural areas of the state appear closer to getting help.

State House Committee on Economic Development and Tourism held a hearing Monday on two bills that would authorize telephone companies and Electric Membership Cooperatives to provide broadband.

GPB

At the state Capitol, it’s time to take a deeper dive into Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed budget.  GPB's "Lawmakers" will continue work on the amended budget for the fiscal year 2019 and the general budget for the fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1, 2019.

Hours after his swearing-in on Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order on sexual harassment.  The Senate also passed rules on the same issue for its members.

Among other things, Kemp's order combines the complaint system for sexual harassment into one system, rather than several departments handling the issues raised by employees.

The governor's order includes: