2023 Legislative Priorities
- Senate Bill 169 - Georgia Appleseed has been working with partners and legislators to ensure that public school students facing disciplinary action have access to timely tribunals and instructional materials. This bipartisan bill will clarify the tribunal process for schools, parents and guardians, minimize catch-up burden for teachers and learning loss for students. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and is heading to the House. Follow SB169 here.
- Georgia Healthy Housing Coalition 2023-2025 Policy Reform Agenda - In 2023, Georgia Appleseed-founded GHHC created an equity-driven Housing Advocacy Plan that incorporates an array of strategies to increase access to stable, healthy housing, reduce evictions to the national average, and improve housing conditions across the state.
- 2023 School-Based Behavioral Health Policy Recommendations - These recommendations incorporate reforms identified from speaking with diverse groups of youth, parents, school personnel, law enforcement, juvenile courts, partner organizations and other stakeholders across Georgia.
All of Georgia’s children deserve a nurturing and affirming school community and a high-quality education that prepares them for a bright future. We work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline so that schools can provide children with needed supports and reduce their risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Schools with effective discipline policies keep kids in class learning and create a safe and productive learning environment for all students.
> The FAIR Project for Children in Foster Care
Children in foster care face unique barriers to school success. The FAIR Project is transforming Georgia’s foster care system to support these youth and children through advocacy, policy change, and direct representation.
> Georgia Education Climate Coalition (GECC)
Georgia Appleseed’s Georgia Education Climate Coalition brings together stakeholders throughout the state to lead Georgia’s efforts to create more equitable and positive school climate and discipline policies to better support children, families, and communities.
> Keeping Kids in Class Toolkit
This handy online toolkit is filled with information, up-to-date school discipline data, and ideas to support parents, local community leaders, teachers, school leaders, and others collaborate to address disparities and improve outcomes for all children.
> Effective Student Discipline: Keeping Kids in Class
Effective school discipline policies support nurturing and affirming learning environments for school children and are key to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Our policy recommendations rely on up-to-date school discipline data from the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) data and others, as well as the results of extensive stakeholder interviews and research.
> Productive Learning Environments
Productive learning and effective discipline go hand in hand. Georgia Appleseed advocates that schools adopt the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school climate change framework as an effective alternative to suspensions and expulsions.
> School Justice Partnerships
Communities that come together in School Justice Partnerships (SJPs) keep kids in class and out of the criminal justice system. SJPs include school districts, juvenile courts, healthcare providers, and law enforcement collaborating to reduce the number of children suspended and expelled from school, juvenile arrests, and referrals to Juvenile Court.
Substandard housing conditions lead to increased childhood illness, more home and school moves, and behavior and learning challenges that set children back and increase their risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Our healthy housing initiative increases access for low-income children and their families to safe, healthy housing.
> Stable & Healthy Housing
Georgia Appleseed advocates for reforms large and small, local and statewide, that increase access for low-income children and their families to stable, healthy homes. Children in healthy homes do better in school, have lower levels of justice involvement, and can look to a brighter future.
Understanding and addressing students' behavioral health can reduce schoolwide truancy and discipline rates, increase high school graduation rates, and help create a positive school climate, including teacher morale and attrition.
> School-Based Behavioral Health
Georgia Appleseed continues to research, survey and consolidate best practices and new models for school-based interventions aimed at improving mental and behavioral health for students.
> Bridges to Behavioral Wellness
It is essential that children with mental illness, autism, and other mental and behavioral health needs have access to behavioral intervention and supports. Bridges to Behavioral Wellness helps families, educators, and others advocate for more and better supports for their children.