Lars Lonnroth / GPB News

The superintendent of Fulton County Schools, Mike Looney, spoke with NPR’s Morning Edition anchor Rachel Martin about how the district is seeking to safely resume classes on Aug. 17 in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Tuesday on Political Rewind education experts joined guest host Donna Lowry for a conversation about the uncertainty over the coming school year. Many families are wondering what schooling will look like in just a few months.

Under a cloud of the pandemic, school systems are asking parents to decide whether to send their children back to classrooms or continue online learning.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University announced that over 20,000 students enrolled in summer classes this year, a 14% increase in summer enrollment in comparison to last summer, KSU Vice President of Enrollment Services Brenda Stopher said.

With KSU’s record-breaking enrollment numbers coming in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, administrators and students suggest that the increase may indicate that some students in Georgia are taking online classes as a way to make use of the additional free time caused by the pandemic. 


Education Takes Big Hit In Proposed Budget

Jun 24, 2020

"To call this an unusual or abnormal time is an understatement at best," said Sen. Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.


State revenues from income and sales taxes have taken a cornavirus-fueld nosedive brought on by record unemployment and a shutdown of businesss that are still struggling to regain financial footing.


Mike Stewart/AP

Morehouse College will furlough employees, cut jobs and slash salaries to offset the impacts of COVID-19, officials said Monday.

In the first phase of the reduction, the historically black college or university will furlough 54 part-time and full-time employees for two months. Also, the college will terminate 13 full-time employees and cut pay for 194 full-time employees.

Brynn Anderson/AP

After the Chattahoochee County school district called an early end to the school year, seniors lined up one day last week to complete their graduation paperwork.

Students who hadn’t seen each other since in-person classes ended abruptly in March amid the coronavirus outbreak commiserated over all they’ve missed out on, including the prom and a senior class trip.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Thursday on Political Rewind, we look at how the virus is disrupting education for Georgia students. Administrators face a big decision as the fall semester approaches; do they prepare for in-person classes that will likely require social distancing measures or adopt another round of remote learning?

But, what do students lose when they cannot meet for classes in-person? 


The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia announced a potential plan that would include staffing reductions and furloughs. The plan is a result from the expected loss of state funds caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board made the announcement Thursday as all 26 colleges and universities in the state develop a new spending plan for fiscal year 2021 — which will include a 14% reduction from the 2020 fiscal year.


University of Georgia students could physically return to campus this fall. The school’s president, Jere Morehead, outlined steps to reopening in an email to the UGA community.


As schools in Grady County closed temporarily amid the outbreak of the coronavirus in March, Superintendent Kermit Gilliard asked teachers to reach out to parents with four questions. 

Was there internet access in the home, they asked the parents of approximately 4,600 students in the school district. Is there a device in the home, a laptop or iPad maybe, the teachers asked in the rural county on the Florida-Georgia border. Did cell phones work at home or were they out of service range, in case the county was able to place a wi-fi hotspot nearby?  


Loop It Up Savannah

When the nonprofit arts and enrichment program Loop It Up Savannah realized that their regularly scheduled programming was going to fall apart for the foreseeable future, Executive Director Molly Lieberman realized they needed to shift gears — fast.

“We realized we weren’t going to have any of the special events we’ve planned,” Lieberman said. “So, what can we be doing to stay connected to our students and contribute in a positive way?” 


Teachers in Georgia are firing up laptops and turning their homes into virtual classrooms as schools statewide remain closed amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

There are challenges with digital learning for both children and parents still adjusting to this new reality. 

Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order to close all public schools in Georgia beginning Wednesday. Schools from elementary through college and technical schools are included in the order to remained closed from March 18 through March 31.


No, schools will not be closing. Yes, the school district will be purposeful in making sure school bathrooms have enough soap.

Those were just a couple of the things Bibb County Schools Superintendent Curtis Jones addressed during a press conference on the district's coronavirus response Tuesday.

Donna Lowry / GPB

The Georgia Department of Education has updated its list of Georgia schools that receive special academic support from the state.

 The federal Every Student Succeeds Act mandates that states keep track of high poverty schools or at-risk groups of students that struggle academically. That way state education departments can target extra aid to those schools or demographics within a school population.

The good news is that this year 47 Georgia schools rolled off the list, including five in Fulton county and two in rural Macon County.

Skiff Mountain Films

There are more than two million people incarcerated in the United States. Over two-thirds of them lack a high school diploma, and less than 13% have attended college.

But where nearly half of all formerly incarcerated people return to prison within three years, the students working towards associates and bachelor’s degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative, or BPI, have a recidivism rate of just 4%.


Overall grades for Georgia's schools fell in the 2018-2019 school year, with Gov. Brian Kemp and state Superintendent Richard Woods repeating their calls Friday to overhaul grading methods.

In this file photo, chairs sit empty in a classroom of Hunt Elementary School in Fort Valley, Ga., on Monday, May 17, 2010.
(AP Photo/Peter Prengaman)

On this edition of Political Rewind, we’re focusing on the state of public education in Georgia.



Grant Blankenship / GPB

Georgia has been given the green light by the U.S. Department of Education to experiment with leaving high stakes, year-end testing behind.

But now Georgia and three other states — New Hampshire, North Carolina and Louisiana — have permission to find other federally compliant ways to assess students.

Summer Meals Are Heating Up For Hungry Kids In Macon

Jun 18, 2019
Marianna Bacallao / GPB

Most kids who rely on free or reduced-price lunch during the school year lose that steady source of food when the summer begins.

To help compensate for lost meals, counties across the state participate in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program. Schools, parks and other USDA-designated meal sites provide free breakfast and lunch to students in need.

There's a building on the campus of the University of Georgia where the foundation rests on the bodies of enslaved people.

That's Baldwin Hall on UGA's picturesque North Campus. It's been years since more than 100 burials of enslaved people were discovered during an expansion of the building that houses the Anthropology Department. Since then, many on campus at UGA and in the larger Athens community have not been happy with the way UGA handled those remains.

Atlanta Public Schools

Terrilyn Rivers-Cannon didn't always want to be a social worker. Growing up in Savannah, she wanted to become an attorney.

Rivers-Cannon didn't decide until she was about to graduate high school that she might be interested in following in the footsteps of her aunt, a professor of social work who for years had shared stories at family dinners about the people she helped.

The state of Georgia — and the country — is divided over so-called "heartbeat" bills and other new state laws restricting abortion. Many are confused about who could be prosecuted and what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the law.

On Second Thought leaves the flashpoints of politics behind and attempts to get some clarity on the legal questions raised by HB 481.


Georgia’s high school graduation rate has increased over the past several years. For the third year in a row, the state’s graduation rate is above 80%. That’s according to the Georgia Department of Education.

Sarah Blake Morgan / AP

When science teacher Diana Allen set out to teach climate change, a subject she'd never learned in school, she fell into a rabbit's hole of misinformation: Many resources presented online as educational material were actually junk.

David Duprey / AP

Parents in west Georgia and east Alabama now have a new resource to help their babies and toddlers learn before they enter school.

Right now, some of the country’s top schools have a diversity problem.


According to recent data, more than 50% of students accepted to Ivy League schools are white, while black students make up just 11% of the student body.



You may have heard Curtis Harding's voice before, perhaps without realizing it. That's because, for a number of years, he worked with a familiar Atlanta native: CeeLo Green. Harding sang back-up vocals for CeeLo and even co-wrote songs with the Grammy Award-winning musician, like "Grand Canyon" — which was a bonus track on CeeLo's 2010 album, The Lady Killer

After that and several other collaborations, Harding launched his solo career, applying his distinctive falsetto vocals to his own style of music, which he calls "slop 'n' soul."



On The Credits, we’ve talked to many people who dedicate their lives to Georgia's film and television industry, but what about the next generation of filmmakers? Host Kalena Boller visited the Savannah College of Art and Design to find out how the university is teaching cultural changes in the film industry.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.