The Georgia Department of Education hopes to gather community feedback before establishing a board rule that would make changes to the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (“GNETS”) program.

The state education department plans to host three regional feedback sessions in October to collect stakeholder comments before drafting State Board of Education Rule 160-4-7-.15.

“We are having these to ensure we get appropriate stakeholder feedback before it becomes board rule,” said Matt Cardoza, a spokesman for the Department of Edudcation. “We want to hear feedback before we go through the formal process of review.”

The state-run GNETS prorgram, which serves about 70 students in Glynn County, provides special education services and therapeutic support to students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders and to students with autism.

The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Georgia on Aug. 23, claiming that the GNETS program violated the civil rights of thousands of Georgia students.

The DOJ lawsuit claims that the program unnecessarily segregates students, violating Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The GNETS program serves approximately 4,600 Georgia students at 24 locations statewide.

The Department of Education feedback sessions will take place in Gainesvile, Tifton and Fayetteville.

Those interested in providing feedback can do so in person or by email. Written comments can be emailed to GNETrule@doe.k12.ga.us.