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How two Augusta schools sit on different ends of Georgia’s Climate Star Rating system
In part two of this two-part series on the state of Georgia’s School Climate Star Rating system, designed to measure a school’s environment for learning and thriving, State Affairs senior investigative reporter Tammy Joyner looks at two schools in Augusta that sit right next to each other but were rated the best and worst in the School Climate Star Rating system. Read part one here.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — W.S. Hornsby Middle School recently hosted a “Books and Burgers” night, hoping to draw parents to the school. Less than two dozen came.
“We sent out flyers. We told the children, ‘Hey, [tell] your parents come to get free books. You get free hamburgers and chips. You have dinner for the night,’” Principal Stacey King told State Affairs. “Still 20 parents. What do you do?” Hornsby has nearly 400 students in grades six to eight.
Hornsby Middle School and W.S. Hornsby Elementary School are situated in one of Augusta’s toughest communities: East Augusta. Neither school has a Parent-Teacher Association.
East Augusta is a collection of mostly single-parent, working-poor households. Both schools have had their share of change. Initially, both schools started in 2007 as one school for kindergarten through eighth grade. It later split into two schools: K-3 and 4-8, which served as the middle school. The two schools became traditional elementary (K-5) and middle schools (6-8) after the last climate rating was done in 2019.
The middle school is among five of Augusta’s Richmond County schools that received one star on the state’s School Climate Star Rating metrics in 2019, the latest data available. Two of the five schools no longer exist while two others are under new leadership, including Hornsby Middle School. (Hornsby Elementary School received five stars.)
The five-star system
While the School Climate Star Rating system is not a measure of academic achievement, it does provide a glimpse into whether a school is a good, safe environment for learning.
Following nearly three years of a pandemic that kept children from a structured learning environment, the answer to whether the Department of Education will continue the rating system, which was halted in 2020 when COVID-19 hit, is unclear.
“We are currently evaluating when the star rating can be reinstated to ensure valid and reliable data,” Meghan Frick, a spokesman for the state Department of Education (DOE), told State Affairs in an email.
DOE officials may be considering revising parts of the system, according to several people familiar with it.
Georgia’s statewide School Climate Star Rating program is the result of a decades-old effort to cut the number of bullying incidents and out-of-school suspensions. The rating system is calculated using data from the Georgia Student Health Survey, Georgia School Personnel Survey, Georgia Parent Survey, student discipline data and attendance records for students, teachers, staff and administrators.
“When you walk in the building, it’s that warm feeling you get. It encourages kids to come to school, and it provides the metrics for school systems to use to improve,” said Caitlin Dooley, who oversaw the School Climate Star Rating program from 2020-2022. “It’s a foundation for learning, going to a school that is a comforting place, a school where people greet you at the door and talk to you while you’re there. A school where you feel like you’re safe, and you have a sense of belonging and you feel like you have a friend. Those are places where you would have the cognitive capacity to learn,” said Dooley, who noted that the program cost between $2 million and $3 million a year to administer statewide. The costs, she said, were largely for personnel.
The tale of two schools
This year marks Principal King’s first year as the head of W.S. Hornsby Middle School. She’s working with the elementary school next door to co-host more school activities since many families have kids at both the elementary and middle schools.
King is aware of her middle school’s 1-star climate rating and some of the factors that have resulted in the low score.
“We are working on our school climate score. I think our school climate score is a combination of maybe some mishaps just like in the community as a whole,” she said during a sitdown conversation in a conference room at the school.
Just getting students to show up for school has been one of the middle school’s biggest post-COVID challenges.
“A lot of times … what gets us [is] attendance. Our students sometimes are out of school for a while, depending on what's happening at home,” King said. “That's something we can't really control here in school. You can do all the calling, ‘Hey, mom bring them [to school],’ but when mom needs them to babysit or whatever, then they’re home,” she added.
According to the Georgia Department of Education, “Data indicate 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.”
King insists there’s healthy teacher-student interaction at the school.
“When they're in class or even during the day when they’re walking from here to there, they're quiet. They're very mannerable. They know we care about them but they also know the ones who come in who might not care so much about them,” she said. “We do a lot of counseling and mental health work. We talk to them all the time.”
Frank Scott said he's not surprised the middle school got low marks on school climate rating. Scott, a married military vet with a year-old son, is raising his nephew DeMarquez Dukes, a sixth grader at Hornsby Middle.
“That's basically because of where the school is located here in Richmond County,” the Augusta resident said. “I went to Lakeside [High School] in Columbia County. I've never been to an Augusta school. Over here is very different from what they teach in Columbia County. So having a kid in this school system is an eye-opener. It's very different from when I was going to school.
“If it wasn’t for the kids, it would be a great atmosphere,” Scott said. “The teachers do their best. Some of them go above and beyond for the students. [Although] I had one [teacher] tell me that she has a lot of kids and she just can't focus on one.”
Dukes, 13, said he likes school in general, especially math because the “teacher sits down and breaks it down for us,” but he “hates the bullying.” He said he is constantly being provoked into fighting other students at the school.
More than 56,000 fights were reported in schools across Georgia during the 2021-22 school year, according to the Georgia Department of Education. Bullying has become such a problem that the state has moved to make bullying a misdemeanor crime.
Dukes said he recently got two days of in-school suspension after a boy pushed him and he pushed him back. Not a school day goes by, the 13-year-old said, where he’s not seen students fighting or talking back to teachers. Despite the “drama,” he said he feels safe and supported in school.
The gold standard
Next door at W.S. Hornsby Elementary School, principal Gregory Shields Jr. reflects on his school’s 5-star rating.
“I wasn’t here but what I’ve noticed is one thing: behavior,” said Shields, who is in his second year as principal. “We have a great PBIS program here.”
Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) focuses on praising rather than punishing students and redirecting, when possible, a student’s behavior to get a better outcome. It has been known to improve academic performance and perceptions of schools, education experts say. It also has reduced suspensions, anti-social and aggressive behavior, bullying, drug use and teacher turnover, according to the Center on PBIS.
At the elementary school, students participate in after-school events. Those with perfect attendance or positive behavior are regularly singled out for recognition.
“The more they are involved and recognized, it encourages them to come to school,” Shields said. “I know for sure that was definitely a positive factor in regards to school climate.”
Creating a good learning environment “takes a lot of work,” Shields said. “When our parents see that the teachers care, we do very well. We’re intentional with the support we provide our students as it relates to their health. I tell our teachers and staff all the time, ‘This is their safe place.’”
When the students are not in school, Shields said he is aware of the turmoil many of them are exposed to in the surrounding communities or in their homes.
“So when they come here, we want this to be a structured and stable environment for them.,so that when they come, they will get a good meal,” Shields said. “When they come, they will be spoken to in a manner that we want them to be raised up to speak to others. They get the opportunity to speak out and to be heard and express their feelings and things of that nature.”
The elementary school has two counselors who Shields said regularly visit classrooms and provide guidance. “They are well-versed. They’ve discussed topics like bullying and different things like that. So that helps tremendously.”
Home of the Masters, and the poor
Hornsby elementary and middle schools are about a mile from historic downtown Augusta where a statue of native son and “Godfather of Soul” James Brown is prominently featured.
Aside from being Brown’s hometown, Georgia’s third-largest city is the azalea-draped home to the prestigious Masters Golf Tournament during the first week of April when this city of over 200,000 doubles in population.
Throngs of golf fans flood the town known for its azaleas and large southern homes with grand porches. The tournament, along with a slew of festivals and the city’s picturesque River Walk, draw tens of thousands to the city each year.
Beyond the pageantry, Augusta is a place that’s been struggling to right itself for over a quarter of a century, some longtime residents say.
“Augusta seems like it never reaches its potential. We have lost our luster over the years,” Janice Allen Jackson, former city manager of Albany and former administrator of the consolidated Augusta government, said recently over lunch at Augustino’s Grill in downtown Augusta.
Born and raised in Augusta, Allen Jackson is now a consultant and host of the podcast “Local Matters.” She recently produced a multi-part series, “Are Schools Failing Our Kids? Or Are Our Kids Failing Schools?
Like many communities in Georgia and across the country, Richmond County has experienced its own version of white flight, a phenomenon that began shortly after Augusta and Richmond County consolidated its governments under a federally-approved plan in 1996.
Allen Jackson remembers people leaving the county for nearby Columbia County, a more affluent, mostly white county where the population has exploded. Others put their children in private schools or they home-school. Meanwhile, Augusta-Richmond County’s population has limped along, adding only 16,000 residents in the last 25 years.
Today, nearly 6 in 10 Richmond County residents are Black. It’s a mix of white- and blue-collar jobs: sales and office workers, service providers and professionals. Many residents work in the medical field, manufacturing plants or at the nearby Fort Gordon Army Base. Slightly more than a third — 34% — of the families in the county live below the poverty level. Half of the homes in the county are headed by women. The median household income of parents with kids in public schools is $41,903.
Three in 4 students who attend Richmond County public schools are Black.
In the last decade, the school district has spent more than $300 million building and renovating schools. More recently, the district has begun closing or consolidating schools, including Southside Elementary, another school that got a 1-star climate rating in 2019, the latest data available. It was closed because it was underused, school officials said.
Students in 54 of the district’s 57 schools are eligible for free or reduced lunch. For a family of four, that means earning $55,500 before taxes.
‘We need to do work’
Like many school districts, Richmond is experiencing teacher shortages.
Since the pandemic, job openings for teachers in Richmond County have grown more than 50%. The need was so great at the beginning of this school year that 1 in 5 teachers hired by Richmond County schools got their jobs through emergency or provisional waivers, one local TV station reported.
The district currently has 300 teacher openings.
Richmond County School Superintendent Kenneth Bradshaw called the 2019 school climate rating data for his district a “broad stroke.”
“I looked at not only the five schools [that got a 1-star rating] but we also had five schools that obtained a five-star rating,” Bradshaw said. “The five schools that obtain the lower ratings means we need to do work. We need to focus on it. We need to target those schools and provide the support that's needed based on that being an indicator.”
Bradshaw said the 32,275-student district has begun focusing on PBIS.
“It really tries to capture what’s happening in the building,” Bradshaw said. “We believe that when our administrators, teachers and students become more familiar with this program, it's aligned with our code of conduct and it gets our parents and teachers involved. It will work for our school system.”
Bradshaw believes the PBIS program is a gateway to creating better relationships between students and teachers.
“The PBIS program gives us direction on how we can get to better know our students, and then begin to teach them,” he said. “Many of them come from different and various environments. It’s helpful to get to know who they are.”
As for the state’s School Star Climate Rating system?
“I’m fine with it,” Bradshaw said. “I always believe in metrics for accountability. In general, I like having some sort of metric because you always want to establish your baseline.”
Bradshaw said he “couldn’t say 100%” whether the 2019 data accurately reflected the district. “A lot of this information is based on how our students feel as they take the survey. So there are a lot of intangibles,“ he said. “But I would say that it's an indicator.”
US education system falls behind
Richmond County School Board member Wayne Frazier said the American education system hasn’t kept pace with societal changes and challenges.
Richmond schools are not educational outliers. Students and schools throughout Georgia and the nation are increasingly under siege with school shootings and higher cases of mental health, among other issues.
Educators are overwhelmed, stretched beyond their capacity and leaving the district, say school officials. Parents are work-stressed. Some students live in communities where it’s not unusual to find bodies behind school buildings or children having to duck bullets when they’re at home. Kids are acting out, bullying each other and picking fights at school, Frazier added.
“We’re behind. We’re not keeping up with the culture of the communities,” Frazier told State Affairs. “We’re teaching these children as if they’re coming in the school doors ready to learn.
“The teachers are not social workers. They are not trained at that level. They shouldn't be trained to handle this kind of stuff that comes in a classroom. So these situations play out in the classroom with misbehavior and everything else. Not interested in work. Not interested in school. The teachers and the staff are not prepared to address these types of issues when these issues are dominating the schools.
“We need more wraparound and psychological help for these children to get them prepared to learn. This is a major problem we’re having in the school that's causing the [low ratings in school] climate. These types of problems are really what's overwhelming the education environment right now and we’re not prepared to handle it.”
Churches like Greater Young Zion Baptist, which sits across from the two Hornsby schools, have stepped in to fill those needs with mentoring and meals.
“These kids really see a lot of things that kids should not be seeing,” said Rev. William B. Blount Sr. “We started a mentoring program. We're taking a lot of these kids in and trying to teach them how to dress and teach them how to conduct themselves properly. We have a curriculum-based program with the kids. Number one, ‘you got to obey your parents.’”
Crime and violence has declined in the area since a major housing project was eliminated about six years ago, Blount said. “It’s much quieter now.”
Meanwhile, school board member Frazier said rating school environments is fine if state officials plan to address the inequities found in the data.
“I don't see anything that we're doing to close the gaps, other than punishing teachers and punishing the system,” he said. “We’ve got some of the most up-to-date, technologically-advanced schools in the world. But what good is that if you’ve got broken children in the schools and [they] can’t learn?”
Want to see how your individual school or school district performed on the last School Climate Star Rating? Find out here.
You can reach Tammy Joyner on Twitter @lvjoyner or at [email protected]. Joyner is State Affairs’ senior investigative reporter in Georgia. A Georgia transplant, she has lived in the Peach State for nearly 30 years.
The Gist The House Human Relations & Aging Committee explored several legislative and regulatory solutions to address the long-term care needs of Georgia’s rapidly expanding elderly population last week. A big focus was on how to best use Medicaid funds to provide more care for seniors who don’t yet need to be in a nursing …
If anyone knows the inner workings of Georgia’s top law enforcement agency, it’s Chris Hosey.
In his 36 years with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia native has worked under five GBI directors and held every sworn supervisor rank in the bureau’s investigative division.
On Aug. 1, he assumed the helm of the 86-year-old bureau, succeeding Michael Register who returned to Cobb County where he is public safety director. Hosey is the third director of the bureau in the last four years. Register’s predecessor, Vic Reynolds, was appointed by the governor to be Superior Court judge in Cobb County.
Hosey takes on a bureau with a staff of about 850 and a budget that topped $147 million in FY 2023. The bureau has investigated 65 officer-involved shootings since January, according to its latest monthly statistical report released this month.
State Affairs spoke with Hosey about his nearly four-decade tenure with the bureau, his plans for moving the agency forward, the case of the headless goats, and Will Trent, television’s quirky, fictional GBI special agent.
The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Q. What inspired you to go into law enforcement?
A. While I was in college, I had the opportunity to meet GBI agents and learn about the agency a little bit. I liked the professionalism that I saw in the agents that I met. I liked the fact that it was a statewide agency. And I had the ability to travel throughout the state to investigate crime and that sort of thing.
I don’t mean this to sound bad but violent crime interested me. Just the ability to investigate and solve a complex situation intrigued me.
Q. You’re a career GBI employee. What unique attributes do you bring to the bureau?
A. Knowledge of the agency. There was still a learning curve obviously going into the director position. But I think I brought a lot of knowledge of the agency and the operations of the agency from just being around it for 36 years. I’ve served in literally every capacity the GBI has, beginning in the investigative division and then as deputy director over investigations. DirectorRegister made me assistant director last year. So I got a lot of exposure to what the director does, prior to his leaving.
Q. You’ve been with the GBI a long time, what do you love about the job?
A. I enjoy the work. I enjoy the people. I enjoy the partnerships in working with our state partners, our sheriff’s office, our local partners in our sheriff’s office and police departments. I’m just big on relationships like that because I don’t believe one agency can do the job by itself. It takes everybody working together with a common goal in mind, set egos aside and work together and get the job done.
When you find yourself a part of a great team, that makes you not want to leave. It makes you want to stay. It makes you want to see that team develop. It makes you want to see new players come, watch them grow and be successful as well.
Q. The GBI has had three directors in the last four years? Has that created disruption within the organization and its goals?
A. As I’ve said before, the success of this agency doesn’t depend on who’s sitting in the director’s chair. It’s dependent upon the men and women that are out there doing the job everyday. The director provides guidance, oversight, sets goals, whatever. Every one of the directors I’ve worked for were … very, very good leaders. Very good vision for the agency. They did great jobs.
Q. How does your leadership style differ from your predecessor?
A. I don’t know that there’s a lot of difference. One thing that I recognized when he came was, in a lot of ways, we were a lot alike in our leadership styles. We believe there’s a mission out there. We set our goals and we give our people within the agency the ability to do their job, and we support them in that. He taught me a great deal in the time that he was here. He exposed me to a lot.
I think one thing important about leadership is … once you get in a leadership position, it is not about you anymore, it’s about taking care of your people.
Q. What are the biggest challenges facing the bureau?
A. We have to make sure that we’re staying current with the times. The world is changing around us as a law enforcement agency; we’ve got to change with it. That involves technology, additional resources, equipment, personnel, whatever the case may be. We’ve got to be forward thinkers. We’ve got to be dealing with a day in front of us, but we’ve also got to be looking down the road trying to predict what could change next that we can be ready for and prepared for and not trying to catch up.
There’s a lot that doesn’t change in investigations. There’s the traditional investigation, talking to people, collecting evidence, whether it be physical or testimonial evidence. I believe we should always be at the top tier of doing that. But with today’s times, with the technologies out there for something as simple as cell phones we’ve got to be able to ensure that we are utilizing current technology that can assist us and complement the traditional investigative tasks that we have done for years.
Q. What will be your top priority going forward?
A. We’ve got to continue to address violent crime and gang activity across the state. We’re continuing to look at ways we can advance in that. But again, that’s an area GBI will not fix by itself. We rely heavily on those partnerships around the state as we do in every investigation that we work.
My focus is on the agency and providing the resources, manpower, and the leadership that it needs. We’re an agency that has always adapted regardless of all of the instances that have come up. We have always found a way to adapt and get the job done.
Q. What budget and policy requests will you make for the upcoming amended FY 2024 and FY 2025 budget?
A. We’re still working through that right now. We’ve not finalized anything, budget wise. I’m looking at what our needs are coming from the division directors and how that can best support the agency over the next year or the following year.
Q. Are you expecting any policy or legislative changes with regard to the GBI during the 2024 session?
A. No, hopefully. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Senate Bill 11, which enables the GBI to investigate all acts of terrorism, passed during the last session. This bill opens the door for the GBIto pursue alleged crimes that local law enforcement agencies have deemed not worth their time. Are there some cases you’d like the GBI to pursue?
A. Not that I can think of right now. We take them as they come. If they’re worthy of an investigation, then we’re going to pursue that.
Q. SB 44, which is intended to limit gang activity, appears to have some unintended consequences. Apparently, critics believe more people could face prison sentences if they miss a court date or, for example, if they get stopped for something like a broken tail light. Thoughts?
A. In general, I think we have very good gang laws in this state. It’s not hard to work across the state and realize that there are concerns when it comes to gang activity. There’s a nexus between human trafficking and gang activity at times; it just depends on where in the state you want to look. The fact that we’re seeing evidence of gangs attempting to recruit 11 year olds, 12 year olds is very uncomfortable to see and hear about. I believe we have good gang laws. I believe we’re pursuing it in the right way. And at the end of the day it’s to make Georgia safer.
Q. Have you personally sat down with gang members or alleged gang members?
A. Years back I have.
Q. Would you consider doing that again going forward?
A. Yeah, absolutely.
Q. The GBI is investigating a case involving headless goats that have been dumped in the Chattahoochee River over a number of years now. Has any progress or arrests been made in that case?
A. I’d have to go back and check on that. I’m not really familiar with the incidents.
Q. Georgia’s ban on abortion after six weeks, or the first detection of a heartbeat, took effect last year. Have you had a case where an individual had violated Georgia’s abortion law? If so, did you arrest that person?
A. I’m not familiar with any. But just like any other law that is set forth for us to enforce, if we had the need to investigate one, we will. I’m not familiar with any we’re working on right now.
Q. Aside from becoming head of the bureau, what’s your biggest accomplishment at the GBI?
A. Probably them allowing me to stay here 36 years.
Q. What’s your biggest disappointment?
A. I don’t know that I’ve had a big disappointment. There’s things that have come up through 36 years that bothered me. But you know, I live under the adage that this too shall pass.
Q. Have you seen the [ABC Friday night television show] Will Trent. It’s about a GBI special agent. Do you have a Will Trent on staff and more importantly do you recognize the TV version of the GBI?
A. I watched it the first night [it came on] and I wasn’t real sure. Then I continued to watch it. It’s entertainment. I mean, it’s Hollywood. You know, Will Trent is depicted as an excellent investigator and from that standpoint I got 300-something of him. I enjoy watching it.
I actually went to an out-of-state conference in the spring of this year. When they handed me my name tag, my name was on one side and [the name] Will Trent was on the other side. They knew I was from Georgia and that show was out. I was getting ragged about that a little bit.
Want to get a glimpse of what the GBI does? Take a look at its monthly statistical reports here.
The Christopher E. Hosey Files
Title: Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Current residence: Thomaston
Education: Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Georgia Southwestern State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Columbus State University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class 247.
Career path: Narcotics agent, local violators squad, 1987-89; special agent, Region 5 in Statesboro, 1989-90; special agent, Region 2, Thomaston/Greenville, 1990-2001; assistant special agent in charge, Region 2, Greenville, 2001-05; assistant special agent in charge, West Georgia Drug Task Force/West Metro RDEO, 2005-08; special agent in charge, Region 5, Statesboro, 2008-09; special agent in charge, Savannah RDEO, 2009-12; inspector, headquarters, investigative division, 2012-20; deputy director of investigations, HQ, investigative division, 2020-22; GBI assistant director, 2022-23.
Family: Married 34 years to Powell; two daughters.
Hobbies: “I go to the gym. I’ve been doing that for years. I enjoy golf. Working in the yard. I like woodworking. I just haven’t had time to do much of that here lately.”
If you weren’t in the field of law what would you be doing? “The first thing that popped in my mind was probably something in the medical field. I went to school for EMS [Emergency Medical Services]. The GBI actually sent me to school for that for our tactical team. Once I completed it, I actually went to work part-time with an ambulance service at home. And I did that up till last year. Then things just got so busy. I didn’t have time to do it anymore but I enjoyed it. I still have the uniforms. I still intend on going back and doing it some more when I can, when things settle in.”
The days of standing in long lines to get or renew a driver’s license may soon be in the rearview mirror for good.
Over the next month, Georgia drivers will continue to see significant updates in services as the Georgia Department of Driver Services continues its push to modernize through state-of-the-art technology and to cut back on long wait times caused by a shortage of workers and backlogs due to Covid-19.
The department will roll out about 20 kiosks in its metro Atlanta offices where motorists can get or renew driver’s licenses, replace lost or stolen ones and record address changes. The rollout is a pilot program and will be extended to the rest of the state later, department spokesperson Susan Sports told State Affairs.
At the same time, the kiosks you use at Kroger and Publix to renew your car tags “are being updated and modified to add the driver’s license [renewal services] to them,” Sports said. Initially, those kiosks will renew licenses and ID cards. More services will be added later. The grocery store kiosks are run by the state Department of Revenue.
Driver services has also taken steps to make traveling easier for Georgians.
The department now allows Georgians to add their driver’s license or state ID to Apple Wallet on iPhone and Apple Watch, making check-in at airports quick, easy and secure. It is not intended as a replacement for a physical copy of your license or ID but it can speed up the process at TSA checkpoints. Android users will soon have a similar option, Sports said. Georgians meanwhile also have the option of renewing their driver’s license online.
Despite the online presence, some people still prefer to come into the office, Sports said. Now, they’ll have the option of using a self-serve kiosk rather than having to stand in a long line.
Why It Matters
The state is spending close to $2 million to add the kiosks and update services for Georgia drivers, an initiative driven by fewer department staff and greater demand for quicker services.
“The kiosks especially should help with the agency’s workforce issues,” DDS Commissioner Spencer R. Moore said. “If you have a self-service kiosk that is handling that renewal customer coming in, not having to take a break or a lunch or take vacation, it’s going to really offset some of those staffing challenges that we have.”
The new technology isn’t just for giving short-handed staff some help. It also is intended to head off a potential rise in wait times once a round of license expirations kicks in over the next two years, Sports said.
“Having a self-service kiosk option will save wait time for customers,” she said. “In turn, the driver examiners will be able to assist those customers that cannot be served in any way but in person. It will save customers time because if they use the kiosk, they do not have to fill out the required ‘application for service’ or take a ticket number for service as is required for all customers visiting in person.”
While as many as 45 Department of Motor Vehicle agencies in the United States were using some type of self-service kiosks in 2021, there is still a large number of government agencies that have not yet taken advantage of the technology, according to Kiosk Marketplace.
Meanwhile in Georgia, the Department of Driver Services’ kiosks are currently wrapping up the test phase, Sports said, and should be rolling out over the next 30 days at the 65 DDS offices statewide and in grocery stores.
“That’s the wave of the future and our customers are on the go. They want more options,” said Sports. “In the old days, you’d go to the DDS and you would take a lounge chair and you’d take a book and you knew you were going to be there all day. So now … our service goal statewide is less than 30 minutes.”
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Header image: City of Warner Robins former Police Chief John Wagner poses with a Georgia driver’s license. (Credit: Georgia Department of Drivers Services)
The Gist ATLANTA — Skyrocketing rents and punitive fees by homeowners associations that place some Georgia residents at risk of losing their homes are among the targets of several housing-related bills that Sen. Donzella James, D-Atlanta, and other members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus hope to revive in the next legislative session. Four such …