Monday, July 12, 2010

GEA Endorses David Poythress for Governor

Georgia Education Alliance has endorsed Gen David Poythress for Governor.

From the GEA:

Public education in Georgia is currently facing a crisis.

Georgians are experiencing cuts that cripple our public schools with unchecked class sizes, encroaching federal mandates, and less instruction time for students. Some cuts have been so deep that the schools themselves have been closed, resulting in even less opportunity for our children.

Under these strains, Georgia’s teachers have continued to provide the constitutionally required quality education while facing furloughs, layoffs, and attacks on their professional integrity.

We have witnessed an 11th hour merit pay push that sought to shackle our education to the federal government and hold teacher salaries hostage to a failed testing model.

Despite these attacks on public education, the current administration has pursued its own interests instead of seeking out realistic solutions that would benefit all of Georgia’s students.

This administration has claimed to listen to teachers, basing their claims on a survey, loaded with generic questions, where only 20% of Georgia’s teachers responded.

With so much at stake, we need a governor that has clearly engaged Georgia’s educators in the development of a realistic and effective education plan that addresses the current crisis, a history of working with both Democrats and Republicans, and has a proven track record of reform and leadership.

After the careful review of GEA gubernatorial candidates’ questionnaire responses, extensive discussion with GEA members, and a conversation with Poythress concerning his education priorities, Georgia Education Alliance is hereby endorsing General David Poythress for Georgia Governor.

General Poythress has the distinction of having been recognized as a strong leader by both parties: Poythress was appointed by then-Governor Barnes (D) as head of Georgia’s National Guard and later re-appointed by current-Governor Perdue (R).

Poythress has provided a clear plan to turn around education. Specifically, Poythress:

_Has made a concerted effort to not only reach out to Georgia’s educators, but to also engage them in the process of educational reform;
- Has vowed to walk with Georgia’s educators as they experience furloughs and layoffs, by not accepting salary until Georgia’s economic conditions improve;
- Understands the negative impact from increased federal mandates and deep state
budget cuts have had on Georgia’s commitment to quality public education;
- Has a realistic plan to manage the current budget crisis, without resorting to additional cuts in public education;


- Has a consistent record with educational priorities, and has not had to apologize for past decisions.

General David Poythress has served his country, and the great state of Georgia, throughout his distinguished career. Our state constitution challenges us to provide quality education to
all of Georgia’s children. Georgia Education Alliance believes that General Poythress has proven his dedication to educational priorities that will serve students, parents, teachers, and our local communities in their shared pursuit of educational excellence.

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