Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Perdue's 65% Deception

A Republican legislator told me this morning that he hopes Democrats do run on education.

I predict he'll get his wish, and that the public will give a vote of no confidence to a Governor who pledged support of public schools and then imposed funding cuts of 2.3 billion. Yes, with Georgia schools on life support, scraping the bottom of the educational barrel on key indicators like SAT scores, Perdue's idea of fulfilling his promise on education was to cut funding. Only now, in a election year, does Perdue move to restore some of that funding.

Georgia Democrats have a long record of innovative and meaningful support for public education. From the HOPE Scholarship, which Perdue opposed, to reduction in class sizes, support of neighborhood schools is not an election year strategy for Democrats; it is a value that is at the heart of our party. We believe that excellent public schools are the bedrock for economic development and our best weapon in the war on poverty.

Georgia Republicans, on the other hand, must hope that the public has a very short memory.

They hope that by November the electorate will have forgotten that The Perdue Team, that once touted educators and local school districts as the best decision makers, stripped local school districts of control of the little money they have.

They hope we forget that the reform adopted was developed not by educators, but by a DC-based think tank with a greater interest in an election policy than education policy.

They hope we forget the editorial headline in the Macon Telegraph calling this an "asinine" idea and the Atlanta Journal's comparison of this law to "non-dairy whipped topping."

They hope that we forget that this plan excludes principals and teacher training while including athletics and field trips.

Most of all they hope that we forget that this is the Governor that cut 2.3 billion from education, with 1.25 billion of that cut impacting local schools.

Perdue opted to give a billion dollar tax cut to business and industry at a time when our schools were at a tipping point. Now, for many districts, like Twiggs County, it is too late, and a frustrated school board faces angry parents who want answers about why a needed school is closing. I suggest they just ask Governor Perdue.


politically blonde said...

They should also ask the idiot republicans who voted for the freakin thing. sheesh.

Amy, girl, love your stuff.

Tina said...

As a retired counselor, I was puzzled to learn that while counselors are not covered in the 65%, each high school is mandated to have a "graduation counselor." I wonder what the Republs think that counselors have been doing all along! Did that part of the law pass? If it did, my guess is that counselors already hired in the system will be shifted into the "graduation counselor" position and continue doing what they've been doing all along. And who's going to do the scheduling? The principals? (ha-ha)