Q&A on the News

Q: The Georgia Constitution forbids the creation of any new school systems. If Milton County were created, would the Fulton County School System still control the schools? Would the constitution need to be amended to allow for a Milton County school system?

-- Tom Zarrilli, Atlanta

A: Yes, the state constitution would have to be amended, House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, the key sponsor of the proposal to create a new Milton County, told Q&A on the News. She said there would be no requirement to create a new school system, just as any two counties can merge their school systems if they want. But Milton County could create its own school system, and that would be addressed in the same legislation to create a new county.

Q: The AJC PolitiFact on Aug. 27 stated that U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, an Athens Republican, believes Social Security is unconstitutional. Do U.S. representatives and senators receive Social Security benefits?

-- Nora Summers, Ball Ground

A: Members of Congress did not participate in the Social Security program before 1984 because they and all federal government employees were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, a pension plan, according to www.senate.gov. A law passed in 1983 required all members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of Jan. 1, 1984, regardless of when they entered Congress. The Federal Employees Retirement System, a retirement plan for federal employees that coordinates a federal pension with Social Security, also was developed at that time.

Lori Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or e-mail q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).