What is a RESA?
The first educational service agencies began operation in Georgia in 1966 as providers of shared services. In 1972, the Georgia General Assembly created a network of Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESAs). In 1986, legislation established the current network of Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) which has been refined and improved by subsequent legislation. RESAs are defined and regulated by Georgia Statute (O.C.G.A. 20-2-270, 20-2-270.1, 20-2-271, 20-2-272, 20-2-273 and 20-2-274).
Georgia RESAs are governed by local Boards of Control that are established by the Georgia General Assembly. Duties and operation of Boards of Control are specified by legislation and by State Board of Education Rule (State Board Rule 160-5-1-.13). Board of Control membership is comprised of all superintendents of member school systems, presidents of the institutions of the University System of Georgia and technical colleges in the region, and a representative of the Georgia Regional Library System. Boards of Control function like local Boards of Education. They establish policy, approve budgets and personnel, determine services of the RESA, and evaluate the agency’s work. Boards of Control function as the school boards for special schools operated by the RESA. The RESA governance system allows the local school systems and public colleges to determine, manage, evaluate, and partially fund the services they receive. In Georgia RESAs, those who know local educational needs best – Superintendents and College Presidents – own and direct regional services of the RESA.
RESAs partner with other state agencies, including the Georgia Department of Education, the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. There are currently sixteen RESAs that make up the network, including NE GA RESA, North GA RESA, Pioneer RESA, West GA RESA, NW GA RESA, Griffin RESA, Middle GA RESA, Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) RESA, Chattahoochee-Flint RESA, Heart of GA RESA, First District RESA, Coastal Plains RESA, Oconee RESA, SW GA RESA, and Okefenokee RESA.