Fellow Agriculture Teachers,
As we witnessed at the 90th Georgia FFA Convention during session 5, The Georgia Agricultural Education Act (Senate Bill 330) was signed into Georgia Code by Governor Nathan Deal. We were fortunate to witness this history-making event and now get the opportunity to work toward the future with this new legislation. This solidifies the agricultural education model of instruction and provides for expansion of the AgEd program into the elementary school grades. There certainly has been a great amount of attention on agricultural education because of this legislation. We are fortunate to have so many great supporters as evident by the fact that it passed in the Georgia Senate 53-0 and the Georgia House by a vote of 163-0. As agriculture teachers, we should all take pride in the fact that “The Georgia Agricultural Education Act” has become part of the Georgia Legislative Code with no opposition. It is rewarding to see the value others place on the AgEd model of instruction. I truly believe it validates what most every agriculture teacher believes and works toward every day.
Senate Bill 330 provides that the 3-component model of agricultural education is fully operational. Beginning July 2018, any state board of education approved course in agricultural education must also be accompanied with a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) for the students enrolled and the opportunity for student leadership development through the FFA.
Additionally, there are still many questions pertaining to the legislation that provides for an elementary agriculture “pilot” program. Hopefully this email will help with some of the initial questions as we begin to move forward. If you have not read Senate Bill 330, I encourage you to take the time to look it over. http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20172018/SB/330
Attached you will find more information about the timeline for beginning the elementary AgEd programs. If you and your school system is interested in being involved in the pilot program for elementary school AgEd, please pay attention to the timeline and contact us if we can help in any way. We hope to start receiving applications for the Elementary AgEd Pilot Programs during the month of June. It is anticipated that the schools (and school systems) participating in the pilot program will be named on August 1, 2018. As a reminder, the legislation gives us until the 2019-2020 school year to implement the first elementary AgEd programs.
John (Chip) Bridges
Program Manager, Agricultural Education
Georgia Department of Education
1752 Twin Towers East
205 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
Office Phone: 404.657.8311
Cell Phone: 706-410-4605