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January 5, 2013

General Assembly — Items worth watching

(Continued)

ATLANTA — VOUCHERS: A Georgia program that lets businesses and individuals get tax credits for money that finances private school scholarships could draw proposed changes from both ends of the spectrums. There are always lawmakers who want to expand the existing scheme into a statewide voucher program. Other lawmakers, particularly among leading Democrats, want to require more transparency in the current structure: what schools are getting how much money, and how are those students doing?

TEACHER EVALUATIONS: Lawmakers and the Department of Education must work out details of Georgia's new teacher evaluation system that ties educators' job performance assessments to student performance. The key question is how to measure certain teachers — those in art, band or physical education or in early grades — whose students do not take clearly measurable standardized tests.

NEW STADIUM: Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants a new domed stadium, but the public investment of tourism tax revenues will require legislative approval.

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