Government and school officials have set up a series of meetings Thursday to discuss education issues ranging from pupil-teacher ratios to the new federal No Child Left Behind Law.
The public is invited to attend a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. where state Sens. Joey Brush, R-Appling, and Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, and state Reps. Ben Harbin, R-Evans, and Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, will discuss legislative issues for the coming session.
"The night is open to anything," Harbin said. "It gives us a chance to hear from the public. We hear from them during the session, but a lot of times they call after something's happened. This is a chance for them to talk to us before it's happened, to get their input, so that if we need to work on something and make changes, now's the time to do it."
The meeting will be at the Columbia County Courthouse Annex on Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans, in Courtroom 1.
The county's delegation holds the public meetings every year as the legislators prepare for their upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly, which starts next month.
Other attendees at Thursday's public meeting include Ben Scafidi, Gov. Sonny Perdue's education policy adviser, and William Butts, an assistant to the U.S. Department of Education's regional representative.
U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will make a stop in Columbia County to conduct a listening session with the Richmond and Columbia County school boards at the Columbia County Board of Education office in Appling.
Isakson, who is a candidate for the U.S. Senate and is a former chairman of the Georgia Board of Education, will hold the meeting with local education officials from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday.
Earlier that morning, Columbia County school officials also will meet with the state legislative delegation to discuss their priorities before the legislative session.
Columbia County commissioners, the county's elected officers and the city leaders of Harlem and Grovetown also will meet with the state legislators to prioritize issues.
Those discussions are open to the public, but because they are short meetings will not include time for audience feedback like during the night's town hall meeting.
"They're helpful for us to get good feedback from our local elected officials and maker sure those communications and dialogue are open," Brush said. "It's always good to have that discussion."
IF YOU GO:
What: Legislative delegation meetings with city and county officials
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Grand jury room, Columbia County Justice Center and Courthouse Annex, Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans
What: Legislative delegation town hall meeting with residents
When: 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Where: Court room No. 1, Columbia County Justice Center and Courthouse Annex, Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans
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