Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Perdue's in a Pickle

Swicharoo Perdue, out campaigning with his buddy Zigzag, now proclaims that he's done great things for public schools. "Just ask any teacher," he says. Ooh...I don't think he wants to go there. With funding cuts of 1.25 billion to local school districts, the 65% Deception that undercut critical support for the classroom and ongoing efforts to sneak school vouchers through the legislative door, Perdue enters this election season in trouble with teachers. So, now, in Rove-esque fashion, Perdue is repeating, over and over again, in hope that he will ultimately be believed, that his administration is a friend to educators. And then there are those gift cards....

The pickle for Perdue is that teachers do not trust the Governor's newly found election-year affection for public education. They're also saying that Perdue better be very clear about one thing: educators put Barnes out of office and they are ready to do the same for Perdue. They are unimpressed with Perdue's timely change of heart and will not be bought with gift cards.

But what's a governor to do? Perdue has to run on rhetoric, because he certainly can't run on his record. Like mom and apple pie, political candidates nearly universally claim to support our teachers. In fact, most are careful to lay any blame for failings in our public schools at the feet of administrators, parents and, of course, the children. Everybody knows that taking a position against teachers is political suicide. Just ask Roy Barnes.

Perdue's claims don't pass the smell test, so if the DPG, Cox or Taylor are listening: please take Sonny up on his offer, and give teachers air time to tell the Governor exactly what they think about his education policy.

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