Teachers spend their days creating the next generation of doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers and skilled professionals of all kinds.
But in Georgia, we haven’t treated our job creators very well at all.
About 80 percent of Georgia’s school districts will furlough teachers this school year.
In Stewart County, teachers will be furloughed 30 days.
In fact, half of Georgia’s school districts will lay off teachers for five days or more this year.
Every single furlough day cuts our teacher’s salaries, adds stress and reduces planning time.
But Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t see it this way.
Today he will run the first television ad of his re-election campaign to brag that he “lowered taxes on the job creators.”
But he didn’t lower taxes for teachers. And he didn’t lower taxes for middle class families.
No, Gov. Deal lowered taxes for these men:
These men are wealthy corporate CEOs. And they are Gov. Deal’s buddies.
He has spent the past two-and-half years taking care of these men, his top donors and members of his family.
But our schools?
Here’s the result of his leadership for our schools:
- 71% of school districts no longer teach students the full 180 days
- 95% of school districts have had to increase class sizes
- 42% are eliminating arts and music programs
- 62% are eliminating electives
- 38% are cutting back on remedial programs that help low performing students
Read the full report: Cutting Class to Make Ends Meet (PDF)
Our schools have been underfunded, according the state’s own formula, every single year Gov. Deal has been in office.
And to make up for the shortfalls, 38 school districts were forced to raise local property taxes to make up for state funding cuts.
Those are just a few of the problems facing our children in K-12. Gov. Deal has also made it tougher for our children to reach technical college or universities.
Gov. Deal’s signature legislation, which he claims saved the HOPE Scholarship, has been called “one of the state Capitol’s biggest economic blunders of 2011.”
Gov. Deal’s short-sighted changes to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship program nearly destroyed the state’s best pipeline for highly skilled jobs.
Georgia’s technical schools lost nearly 25 percent of full-time enrollment in two years.
When we watch Gov. Deal’s expensive television ad, we’ll know exactly who he’s standing with.
It’s not our teachers. It’s not our students. And it’s not Georgia families.