Ga. legislature considering limiting dual enrollment

Ga. legislature considering limiting dual enrollment
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The state of Georgia is considering a bill that would limit dual enrollment for high school students.

It's a popular program that right now more than 550 students are taking advantage of at Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools.

Dual enrollment has been around for years. It gives students a chance to earn college credit while still in high school. But new House Bill 444 would limit state funding to just 30 credit hours for junior and senior high school students.

For Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, this is something they are watching. Last year their students earned more than a million dollars in college credit. They say this change would impact them if approved, but they have a plan.

"So, are we alarmed? No because we're always going to provide those options and opportunities for our students to make sure that they are successful and that they are receiving the rigor they need to move on to the next level whether that be college or career so what it simply does is we go back to the drawing board." Bernadette Ball-Oliver, the ex-director for High Schools, said.

Georgia Southern University says dual enrollment is a big deal for universities, not only financially, but for student success, too. Just this fall they had 721 students in their classes, that's up more than a 100 from the previous year. They want to see the program grow. While the SCCPSS school board made a legislative priority to resist minimizing dual enrollment, leaders say if it does happen they will adjust. They have other options for students such as AP courses and more.

"We just look at our schedules how we move students and how we serve them to make sure we capitalize on what we have in place as well as capitalizing on what the legislation will provide them the opportunity for if that's the case." Ball-Oliver said.

According to the Effingham County School District, a student graduated with 45 credit hours earned from Georgia Southern University. She would have been impacted by the proposed legislation.

Approximately 15 AP courses are also offered in Effingham County as a possible alternative to dual enrollment.

While the future is still unknown, education leaders say they will be watching what happens next with House Bill 444.

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