Bulloch County Schools Superintendent Charles Wilson is one of 16 members who will serve on the Georgia House of Representatives' Study Committee on the Role of Federal Government in Education.
House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, recently announced his appointments to the committee. Wilson is one of three superintendents serving on the panel, which held its first meeting July 30 in Atlanta.
"The speaker contacted me, and I have agreed to commit my time to this," Wilson said. "I believe our community will benefit from my involvement, and I want to make sure we, and other school systems, are well-represented."
Ralston issued a statement saying: "Education is one of the most important issues that we address as policymakers. Funding, mandates, and other directives that come down from the federal government, as they relate to education, deserve a thorough review by leaders in our state from time to time. I plan to ask this committee to examine these issues as well as the role the federal government played in the adoption of the common core state standards. I am very excited that this group of leaders and educators agreed to give of their time to do just that, and I look forward to addressing the study committee next week."
The first meeting was held in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. All meetings will be streamed live on the Georgia House of Representatives website, and a video of last week's meeting is archived here. Ralston may schedule additional meetings if necessary.
House Resolution 550, which was passed March 20, authorized the creation of the committee. In addition to Ralston, the panel is co-chaired by Carl Rogers, the chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, and Brooks Coleman, the chairman of the House Education Committee.
The committee's first meeting focused on reviewing the Common Core standards, how they came about, how they were adopted in Georgia and their impact on the state. Members could possibly discuss other federal roles in education.
According to HR 550, K-12 public education currently makes up 40 percent of the state's budget, and the federal government has an ever increasing role. The resolution also states that the Georgia General Assembly's position is "that public education should remain squarely within the purview of the state and local boards of education."
Based on the resolution, the committee will also evaluate whether it should recommend the abolishment of the U.S. Department of Education and "have any funding derived returned to the states in the form of block grants for the purpose of education spending."
Wilson was nominated by Rep. Jan Tankersley, R-Brooklet, after Ralston asked state representatives to submit to him the names and resumes of superintendents, teachers and parents/grandparents whom they believed would be interested in serving on the committee.
Wilson has more than 20 years of experience in public education both as the Bulloch County school system's chief financial officer and now as its superintendent. His roles have given him insight into the federal government's involvement in public education.
"I feel confident that I can bring value to the conversation," Wilson said.