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Costs a focus for curriculum change
State Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons Island, received substantial support for his proposal of Senate Bill 167 during a press conference Thursday in the Capitol in Atlanta.

The bill includes legislation to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core Standards Initiative, adopted in July 2010 during the administration of Gov. Sonny Perdue in compliance with Georgia's participation in the Federal Race to the Top. The math and English language arts curriculum is part of the first attempt at nationalized standards for public schools with grades K through 12.

Ligon was quick to point out that the previous administration had good intentions, but far too many costs - generally hitting taxpayers - were not taken into account before adopting the program.

"First of all, there has been no thorough cost analysis of what the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia's taxpayers at either the state or the local level to implement and maintain the terms of the grant," Ligon said.

Ligon's measure calls for future standards to require input from Georgia citizens and would ensure the state does not relinquish control of curriculum standards to any outside parties.

Ligon says the state should have a transparent and democratic process when developing standards.

"Our educational system should not be accountable to Washington bureaucrats but to the people of this state who pay the taxes and to the parents who have children in our public schools," he said.

Supporters of the legislation include Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

"The most important task we face each legislative session is finding ways to strengthen and reform the education of Georgia's children. I believe that Georgians know best how to educate our children - not Washington, D.C. bureaucrats," Cagle said.

The bill also addresses privacy concerns.

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