Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hide Your Children and Your Silver: Richardson is at it Again

Glenn Richardson is perfectly happy to make your child into a lab rat. If the experiment doesn't work out so well, not to worry, he promises not to make your city and county follow suit. He won't be able to fix things for your child, but it's all for a good cause-shifting more of the tax burden to the middle class and giving Atlanta politicians control of funding for our neighborhood schools while creating a statewide voucher system for private schools. It's really a cool idea. Rich kids in private schools will get vouchers, and middle class families will pay for it.

Almost exactly as predicted, Glenn Richardson has narrowed his tax plan to target public funding of education, letting municipalities and counties off the hook-for now. He is also leaving medical services off the list of newly taxable items, thus possibly gutting well-funded opposition to the Glenntax. He is still imposing a sales tax on food and other services. Including private school tuition, Glenn?

Here's my favorite line from Galloway's article in today's AJC: "If there's not enough money we won't go on to the next level." Uhm, Glenn, how will you fix the mess you're about to create for schools? This is a constitutional amendment, actually, two constitutional amendments. You can't just twitter your little rat nose and change it back to the way it was.

This republican-led legislature has zero credibility on school funding. Why should we in Macon, for example, send our school tax money up the road to Atlanta and trust them to send it back? Where is the cost savings in that formula? I thought republicans were supposed to be all about local control, yet they now want to centralize education funding for all of Georgia in Atlanta. I don't know about you, but personally, I like the idea that the people who set the school budget live in my community and their children attend the public schools. There's a different kind of accountability that comes along with running into your constituents at the grocery or at the Little League game. I like the fact that they have to deal with all of us directly. They have to look us in the eye. Atlanta politicians, not so much.

I'm hearing that the cities and the counties are not yet abandoning the schools systems, but that the Georgia Chamber has gone quiet. This is going to be an expensive, difficult, high stakes fight, and I question whether the education lobby is up to the challenge. The agenda is to centralize education funding in Atlanta, so that a statewide voucher system is possible, and simultaneously reduce the tax burden for the richest Georgians.


Tina said...

All the more reason to work for Democratic victories !

Open+Transparent said...

Go after him Dem's. Knock him out for once and all. He's messing with schools, and the public does not want schol funding messed with. This is a no brainer.
Be agressive, tell people what you stand for, and tell them why Richardson is wrong (and crazy) and why you are right.