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The Georgia Department of Education Policy Division performs duties and functions as follows:

  • Coordinating the development of policy, research, and evaluation projects for the Department
  • Processing Georgia High School Graduation Test waivers and variances and facilitating the application and review process
  • Receiving and processing State Board of Education rule waiver requests from local school systems
  • Providing assistance and support in the State Board of Education rule promulgation process
  • Providing timely and accurate policy related information to the State Superintendent, and State Board of Education
  • Providing support, information, and assistance related to Georgia’s Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) and the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (GSNSP)
  • Collaborating with other agencies and organizations to identify and address educational policy issues and concerns

Class Size Information

Education Guidance

Related Information

Best Practices

Student Attendance Improvement

Data indicates that missing more than five days of school each year, regardless of the cause, begins to impact student academic performance and starts shaping attitudes about school.

Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program (GSNS)

The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program is a parental choice program for special needs students attending Georgia public schools who are served under an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The GSNSP web page contains pertinent and useful information for parents, public school administrators, and private school administrators with regard to the program.

Georgia Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF)

All Georgia students in state custody from other state agencies are entitled to a free public education consistent with the Constitution n of Georgia, and in conformity with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Additional information and guidance pertaining to RTF may be obtained from the Georgia Department of Education RTF website.

Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) Student Waivers and Variances

Certain allowances may be considered in meeting high school graduation test score requirements for some students under limited and prescribed circumstance and conditions. Interested parties may learn more about the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) and Georgia High School Writing Test waiver and variance processes at our website as follow:

Georgia Tax Credit Program

The Georgia Private School Tax Credit law allows eligible private citizens and corporations to receive tax credits for donations to Georgia Student Scholarship Organizations (SSO’s). Potential donors and private school administrators may obtain useful and beneficial information related to this program from the Georgia Tax Credit website.

Strategic Waivers School System (SWSS) Partnership Contracts

SWSS Partnership Contracts are intended to provide local school districts with greater governance flexibility as a means of increasing student achievement. Local school system administrators, local board members, and other interested individuals may access and review information related to these contracts at the SWSS website.


 Contact Information


​Howard Hendley, Ed.D
Director, Policy
Phone: 404-657-2965
Fax: 404-463-2393