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PM Duo serves on State Advisory Panel

In Georgia there is a group of people who gather to review policies, meet innovators around the state who share their unique initiatives and give voice to the needs of students with disabilities. That group is the State Advisory Panel.

They meet (virtually) several times a year. The next meeting is November  20, 2020. 

The majority of SAP members are inviduals with disabilities or parents of students with disabilities (SWD). 

Over the years, members of the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership have participated. Currently, two Parent Mentors serve they are: Matt Reese, in Montgomery County, and Rebecca Best in Grady County.  

Best said of her experience as a SAP member:

“I have truly enjoyed being a part of the State Advisory Panel.  It has been a great learning experience. I would recommend to any parent. 
Dr. Smith-Dixon has been awesome in explaining all facets of Special Education.  We have learned about the Annual Performance Report, Dyslexia Pilot, Disproportionality Determinations, Alternate Diploma, State Performance Plan, Graduation rate, and Family Engagement.
It has also been a great experience to meet people from across the State of Georgia.  We have been able to share experiences and resources.
I was approved for the Panel in May 2018.” 

The SAP emerged from guiding legislation passed in 2004, specifically, IDEA, SEC. 612 State Eligibility and Section 1412(a) (21)which as written, “established and maintains an advisory panel for the purpose of providing policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state. “

The stated duties of SAP include: 

  • To advise the State Education Agency (SEA) of unmet needs within the State in the education of children with disabilities;

  • To comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the State regarding the education of children with disabilities;

  • To advise the SEA in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary under section 618 of the Act;

  • To advise the SEA in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in Federal monitoring reports under Part B of the Act;

  • To advise the SEA in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with disabilities;

  • To review and comment on completed due process hearing findings;

  • To serve as a Stakeholder Committee as outlined in the Georgia Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process.