Senate GOP wants to overhaul school funding

Republicans said Monday that they hope to revamp the school funding formula that determines how the state doles out education dollars.

Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, the chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Committee, said the state has not made large-scale changes to the formula in decades, and the laws need to reflect significant changes that have occurred in education.

Millar said he and other legislators have discussed forming a joint committee with House members and Georgia residents that will recommend changes, much like the special committee that recommended a large-scale tax overhaul for this session. It would probably take a year for the committee to make its recommendations, and legislation could be proposed for the 2012 session of the General Assembly, Millar said.

Also Monday, Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he would like to move quickly on the changes suggested in January by the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians, but Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, reined him in during a meeting with reporters.

Rogers said changing the tax codes of Georgia would be a complex task and he is not sure how quickly it would be before legislation comes out of the committee's suggestions.

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, also said in January that he wants to move carefully on tax reform and suggested it could be a two-year process.