The Georgia Department of Education is awarding a total of $260,000 to rural school districts to help them expand the fine arts opportunities available to their students, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced today. 

Twenty rural districts are receiving stART grants, which can be used to create or expand arts initiatives that significantly improve students’ access to the arts. The grants are part of the Georgia Department of Education’s broader Partnership for Rural Growth initiative, which seeks to expand the resources available to public school districts in rural Georgia.

“Fine arts education is not an ‘extra’ – it’s a crucial part of a well-rounded education,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We continue to hear from parents, teachers, administrators, and other supporters of public education that they want those expanded opportunities for their students. This is a top priority for us at the Department, and we won’t stop until every student in Georgia has access to high-quality arts education.” 

Through the stART grants, GaDOE is taking advantage of the flexibility offered within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to use some federal funds to support arts learning and other programs that provide a well-rounded education to students.

The Department has also worked to expand fine arts instruction by hiring a full-time fine arts specialist at the state level, creating new virtual fine arts courses, refreshing standards, increasing the number of creative-industry-aligned high school arts courses, offering professional learning on arts integration for teachers of all content areas, and developing a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) certification for school districts and a Fine Arts Diploma Seal for graduates.

All eligible school districts were given the opportunity to apply for the stART grant funding. For the purposes of the grant, a rural school district is any district currently eligible for funding under the federal Rural Education Achievement Program.

Districts Awarded Funding

SCHOOL DISTRICT

SCHOOL

AWARD

Appling County School District

Altamaha Elementary 

$10,000 

Ben Hill County School District

Fitzgerald High School and Ben Hill Middle School

$10,000 

Berrien County School District

Berrien Primary School

$10,000 

Berrien County School District

Berrien Elementary School

$10,000 

Brooks County School District

Brooks County Schools

$10,000 

Bulloch County School District

Bulloch County Schools

$10,000 

Colquitt County School District

Willie J. Williams Middle School

$10,000 

Cook County School District

Cook Elementary School

$10,000 

Cook County School District

Cook County Middle School

$10,000 

Cook County School District

Cook Primary School

$10,000 

Cook County School District

Cook County High School

$10,000 

Crawford County School District

Crawford County High School

$10,000 

Gilmer County School District

Ellijay Elementary, Mountain View Elementary School, Gilmer Middle School and Clear Creek Middle School

$10,000 

Madison County School District

Madison County Middle School

$10,000 

McDuffie County School District

Dearing Elementary School and R. L. Norris Elementary School

$10,000 

Meriwether County School District

Meriwether County Schools

$10,000 

Pataula Charter Academy

Pataula Charter Academy

$10,000 

Pierce County School District

Pierce County Middle School

$10,000 

Quitman County School District

New Quitman County Elementary School andQuitman County High School

$10,000 

Stewart County School District

Stewart County Schools

$10,000 

Thomasville City School District

Harper Elementary School

$10,000 

Twiggs County School District

Jeffersonville Elementary School

$10,000 

Twiggs County School District

Twiggs County High School

$10,000 

Twiggs County School District

Twiggs County Middle School

$10,000 

Union County School District

Union County High School

$10,000 

Wayne County School District

Wayne County Schools

$10,000 

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