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End-of-Course Test results released

End-of-Course Test results released

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Education released system-level results for End-of-Course Tests (EOCT) Tuesday morning.

Parents and students can now visit the Georgia Department of Education's website to see how students in their school system performed. Results for individual schools will be released by July 31.

EOCT tests are more important than ever because they have replaced the graduation tests that kept many students from getting a diploma.

The tests now count for 20% of a student's final grade, up from 15%.

By 2015, students will have to pass all eight tests, spread over their course of their high school careers, to graduate.

Appraiser: School board shortfall data released weeks ago

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School System basically lost $12 million in projected revenue in what appeared to be the wink of an eye. But the county agency that crunches the numbers says the school board may have overlooked numbers that had been available for weeks.

The revenue projections are based on data gathered in downtown Decatur at the tax assessor's office. It's no secret that property assessments are down, which is why property tax revenue is down.

But on Monday night, school board officials said they got new data -- just in the previous day or so -- that drastically reduced those projections.

But that data was available weeks ago, says the man behind the data, Dekalb chief appraiser Calvin Hicks.

DeKalb schools budget an extra $12 million in red

DeKalb schools budget an extra $12 million in red

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School Board members received shocking news on Monday night that the system faces another $12 million dollars in cuts on top of the $73 million dollar hole they've spent weeks trying to fill.

The panel tabled a vote on the budget after learning the news they now have to consider $85 million in budget cuts.

"Based on some new figures from the county that the tax digest would actually be worse," said Walter Woods. 

"The original projection was 6 percent lower, when it's actually 9 percent lower," Woods said. "We'd have to account for another $12 million in the budget."

That now brings the total budget gap to $85 million; but who does it affect?

Here are some of the areas already on the chopping block:

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."

Combining summer learning and fitness for kids

Combining summer learning and fitness for kids

TUCKER, Ga. -- Summer can be crucial for keeping your kids sharp both mentally and physically.

The National Summer Learning Association has created a healthy summer campaign to encourage parents to take advantage of the summer to improve things for schools.

"When school doors close for the summer months, many children and families living in poverty face multiple, interrelated challenges. Learning loss, safety concerns, risk for obesity, and food insecurity all set children back developmentally and academically," according to the National Summer Learning Association.

There's a new workbook that can help parents in both those areas.

It's called "The Summer Fit: Exercises for the Brain and Body While Away From School."

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

School districts cut jobs, boost class sizes

ATLANTA -- School districts are cutting teachers, enacting furloughs and increasing class sizes to fill budget holes.

RELATED | Local school budgets cuts are the new normal

The Atlanta school board has approved cutting 375 positions and giving employees four furlough days next school year. The district is trying to make up for an expected $47 million shortfall.

In Gwinnett, the budget includes two furlough days and 600 jobs cut from the payroll. It also means two more students per classroom.

As Students End School Year, Boys & Girls Clubs Offers Way to Fight “Summer Brain Drain"

ATLANTA -- This month, millions of kids begin their summer breaks, looking forward to vacations, pool time and carefree days. But studies and experience show a lack of mental stimulation causes them to unlearn much of what they were taught over the school year.  Boys & Girls Clubs across the country offer young people a safe, exciting place to spend their summer months, with staff and resources to fight the effects of this “Summer Brain Drain.”

The reality for today’s kids is that many will find themselves with few structured activities, caregivers who are working all day, and too much unsupervised television, video game and computer time.

President Touts Concerns Over Summer Learning

Also known as “summer learning loss” or the “summer slide,” this issue is a growing problem for American children.  In 2010, President Obama noted, “Students are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year during the summer.”