Our schools and children are suffering thanks to massive cuts to education funding over the past eight years.
Education cuts have been implemented every year since 2003, even when there was money in the budget. The current leadership has cut almost $3 billion from education. Teachers have been furloughed, class sizes increased and foreign language, music, art and PE programs eliminated.
The state has lost sight of the crucial role education plays in ensuring future prosperity for our state and equal opportunity for all.
We must restore funding cuts, invest in early childhood education, and give high school students the option to take technical/vocational courses that can enable them to be trained for a skilled, high-paying job immediately upon high school graduation.
Making high school more relevant to students would help decrease the drop-out rate, which is currently the second-worst in the nation. We need to hire, train and provide support for the best teachers and reward them for their results.
A well-educated workforce will permit Georgia to attract good jobs and will also halt the growth of Georgia's prison population, which has grown to the fifth-largest in the country. It costs twice as much to incarcerate a person as to educate them.
The vast majority of Georgians are educated in public schools and those students are at a clear disadvantage against students from other parts of the country, and increasingly, the world.
Georgia needs elected officials who will not accept Georgia's public schools place in the bottom 10 percent of all U.S. schools. Our students and families deserve better, and the future prosperity of our state depends on it.
I'm proud to be endorsed by the Georgia Association of Educators. In me, GAE believes it's found a new proactive voice for education at our State Capitol.