Posted: 11:00 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Statewide teachers group endorses Jason Carter’s bid for governor 

By Greg Bluestein

 

Democrat Jason Carter accepts the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators.

Democrat Jason Carter accepts the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators.

A statewide teachers group endorsed Democrat Jason Carter’s gubernatorial bid on Wednesday, warning that education funding under Gov. Nathan Deal is “demoralizing and dismantling” the state’s public education system.

Carter trumpeted the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators outside Grady High School, where his wife Kate was a journalism teacher. The GAE, which represents 42,000 educators, said it would mobilize its members to support Carter’s campaign.

“Sen. Carter truly wants to make public education our state’s number one priority, not just say so in an occasional opportunity or in an election year, and not just for the headlines,” said Sid Chapman, the GAE’s president. “Sen. Carter believes in true change, and the message and the hope of public education.”

Hidden in Chapman’s lengthy endorsement speech was his group’s uneasiness with the expansion of charter schools under Deal’s administration.

“We will not stand for the privatization of public education in Georgia. It’s not going to happen,” he said. “It’s not OK. It’s not right. It’s not moral. And it’s just not going to happen. And Sen. Carter believes in what we’re doing.”

Carter, an Atlanta state senator, has put increasing education funding at the center of his campaign, with a vow to create a separate budget for schools that would be free of legislative tinkering. He has ruled out tax hikes to fund the increase, but has not specified how he would pay for the increase beyond a state spending audit that he said would reveal a “giant amount of waste.”

The governor has offered more modest education proposals, including a push to rewrite Georgia’s complicated school funding formula and a pledge to grant merit pay increases to top teachers. At campaign stops and in a back-to-school dispatch to teachers, he talks of his budget proposal this year included a more than $300 million increase in K-12 spending, though Democrats say funding still falls short of what the state formula requires.

The GAE is the state’s most politically active teachers organization – and is the only educators group that formally backs candidates in electoral contests. (The Professional Association of Georgia Educators is larger, but does not endorse.) Georgia’s 180,000 teachers and their families are a potent force in Georgia politics, and many are also worried that changes to the state health plan could lead to skyrocketing insurance premiums. 

The GAE’s endorsement of the Democrat comes as little surprise. The group endorsed then-Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor in 2006 and former Gov. Roy Barnes in 2010 after initially staying out of that race. It made no endorsement during Barnes’ re-election bid in 2002, which came after the Democrat engineered a series of aggressive education reforms during his first term.

Carter, who said the endorsement was a signal that teachers were embracing his campaign, said educators have been largely silenced under Deal’s administration.

“Teachers have been treated for too long as though they are the only problem, when in fact we all know that teachers are the fundamental piece in our educational system,” he said. “The attitude toward educators over the last several years has been incredibly disappointing to me. You’ve watched as the profession has been denigrated, as they’ve been left out of the political discussion.”

191 comments
Andy123
Andy123

The teachers support a tax and spend liberal.  No way!

Derwin0
Derwin0

Does this endorsement really matter?  Over 75%  of Georgia's teachers do not belong, many more belong to the PAGE, which rightfully stays out of politics.


The GAE hasn't endorsed a winner since Barne's first term.  So I can't see how an organization with less than 25% of the teachers in it will do anything to impact the election.  Teachers in Georgia have never voted as a block, and never will.  Their voting patterns typically follow the general population of the State.

Milton1960
Milton1960

No surprise here. The GAE and it's members always endorse Democrats, fools, and village idiots, especially local ones. But they also walk the plank for statewide Democrats.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Our Young David aka Jason Carter, Yer Got One-Hundred Thousand Angels at Yer Side.

uh...huh.

jaysbehind
jaysbehind

How honestly can teachers support a dem candidate? Dems have played a huge roll in destroying our civil sane moral society which ultimately makes a teachers job a whole lot harder.... 

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Teachers are teaching the kids that the republicans are the bad guys.

jaysbehind
jaysbehind

How can teachers legally endorse anyone? They are public employees who should fall under the Hatch Act... Anyone affiliated with this group should be fired or reprimanded if they are taking up a political cause!

EdUktr
EdUktr

The endorsement will help neither Carter nor the GAE.

Google "NEA" and "contributions" and you'll see that GAE's parent union—the National Education Association—is likewise a cash-cow for the Democrat Party and liberal causes. But it LOVES to pretend otherwise to gullible new recruits.

As per state law, by the way, GAE members can quit at any time and tell their county payroll department to cease all dues deductions. And they don't have to seek the union's "permission" to do so.

I expect more than a few new recruits will go elsewhere for legal protection.

jaysbehind
jaysbehind

Well great! Another reason to vote for Nathan Deal! These people only care about one thing. Their salary!!! They could care less about the education of Georgia's children...

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

Teachers have finally been educated on the ways of the Republicans and found that it is not in their best interest to support them. Vote out the GOP and vote for a better future.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Georgia's public educational system has been undercut by over 4 billion dollars in the last decade under Republican political control.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Many political propagandists have portrayed Georgia's traditional public educational system negatively for so long that people - who are not seeing into the propaganda tactics and intent - are not aware of the untruths in the propaganda. Some public schools are excellent and some need work to improve, but that is not the same as that which the propagandists against public schools have proclaimed to be true.


Why have they done this? They want more charter schools, more private schools, and more voucher use which will undermine public education as we have known it. Moreover, it is my opinion that their own monetary gain is behind the influx of this negative propaganda against so-called "government schools." 

JonLester
JonLester

If school choice is important to you, then the GAE are telling you that Carter isn't your candidate. You might want to consider Andrew Hunt.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Jason Carter is a Democrat who is running on the Democratic Party's platform regarding educational policy in Georgia. Nathan Deal is a Republican who is running on the Republican Party's platform regarding educational policy.


The Republican Party, which often aligns itself with ALEC in Georgia, has had a long-standing goal of dismantling public education as we have known it. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is the political party whose members support Georgia's traditional public educational system and whose members, also, support improving Georgia's public educational system in order to serve all of Georgia's students, equally well.

I hope that Georgia's citizens will see the light, know what has been happening adversely to public education in Georgia for over a dozen years under Republican control, and vote for Democratic candidate Jason Carter in November for Georgia's next governor.

td1234
td1234

Teachers had their chance to knock off Deal is the primary and place one of their own and their biggest advocate into the governors office but they could only muster 66,000 votes. 


Teachers and this association has no one to blame but themselves. 


Deal received more votes in the primary than Barge, Pennington and Carter combined. 

Andy123
Andy123

@Bernie31 

One hundred thousand on welfare and SNAP by his side is more like it.

Uh...huh

Chris30338
Chris30338

@Jefferson1776 Considering that Republicans have been at the forefront of destroying public education, bringing in creationism and make no secret of their disdain for the teaching profession as nothing no than glorified day care workers who are grossly overpaid as a whole, who can blame them??? 

Republicans have shown nothing but disdain for teachers in Public schools as no one except the insane can argue against that fact. 

td1234
td1234

@jaysbehind I am pretty sure the Hatch act only covers individuals and not associations that represent them from actively participating in partisan political causes.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@jaysbehind Can we start with firing republicans which currently have SCOTUS  as arrogant activist for the Republican party?  Judicial activism is more atrocious than a bunch of teachers endorsing a candidate.

Chris30338
Chris30338

@jaysbehind So you don't agree with them so you want to retaliate against them. Free Speech as long as you agree with it, right???

jaysbehind
jaysbehind

@EdUktr This group is nothing more than a hyenas looking for attention for the dem party. Next they'll trot out an endorsement for far left loon michele numb. 

Chris30338
Chris30338

@jaysbehind Yeah, Deal's done so much for education here in Georgia, right??? And here's another right-wing idiot claiming that teachers are nothing more than glorified day-care workers who are paid too much.


No wonder most teachers hate the Republican Party. This moron here is a classic example of that disdain.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

@jaysbehind Let us know when you find one thing Deal has done to improve the education of Georgia's children.  Don't forget that charter schools are funded by the public school systems.

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings Since when has money equaled education? Most countries in the world that are ahead of us spend less than we do per student. If money was the answer then the best and brightest children in the nation would be in the DC public schools. Why are they not killing all these poor districts around the country in test scores? 

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings The work that needs to happen is not in the schools but in the homes. I actually believe that 90% of teachers in schools are prepared and have the necessary skills and knowledge to turn a child in to an educated young person. All the teachers need is for the child to come to school everyday with a willingness to learn and not be a discipline problem in the classroom. 


It is the parents that are failing their own children by not setting the proper expectation levels and not demanding excellence from their own children. 


We need parent reform not education reform. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

@MaryElizabethSings

No, parents criticize traditional public schools and their stubborn resistance to reform because they're failing our kids!

And the taxpayers.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@JonLester A vote for a 3rd party is a wasted vote. You might as well have stayed home.  That is a sad reality, sorry, even if they churn out a decent candidate.  Even Ross Perot with all his money didn't stand a chance.

td1234
td1234

@MaryElizabethSings And exactly what are the Democratic policies that would improve education? How would Democrats increase the graduation rate? 

How would Democratic policies increase test scores? 


Please be specific and remember you must also talk about how you would pay for any addtional spending that might be required in those different policies? 

honested
honested

@td1234 

Why would they want to vote for 'shady light' when they have a real opportunity for competent change in November.

If 'dr. barge' wanted to make a real change, he should have moved to a Real Political Party, not just a band of robbers.

SouthernDem
SouthernDem

@td1234 You're well versed in how this primary thing goes: The real test comes in November. For example, I am a consummate political junkie and avid voter whose been casting ballots for Democrats since 1973--but I skipped this year's primaries. I didn't feel there was any compelling reason not to since there were few surprises on the Dem side.

But let me assure you: Come November, my vote will be cast and I will absolutely continue to encourage friends, relatives and people I meet in the street to get to the polls--even if they have to carpool to do so. And I'm sure there are many other Democrats who feel exactly the same way that I do.

So in other words, you Republicans didn't see that many of us Dems over the summer, but I suspect you'll see us plenty come November.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 yeah, well, the gop these days are having problems with unity before the general election so their primaries are the fun ones and the ones folks actually try to vote in.

td1234
td1234

@Chris30338 Man you have been brainwashed. Education is not ruined in this state. There are many indicators that state children are succeeding at historical levels. Ex: Georgia leads the nation in the number of black children taking and passing AP test. 


The best and brightest are succeeding what is ruined in this state is more and more parents that do not set high expectations on their children and demand excellence because they are to busy sucking up the progressive agenda and its welfare state mentality. 

td1234
td1234

@CuriousPrime Not that you have been paying attention:


Georgia leads the nation in the number of blacks that take and pass AP test.


Georgia in the top seven states with total students taking and passing AP test


Georgia is only one of 6 or 7 states to improve test scores on both the SAT, ACT and NAP test in a single year. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Since when has LACK of money signaled education?  Most countries in the world tax at a higher rate and spend much more per-child on education.

td1234
td1234

@SouthernDem @td1234 As an avid "political junkie" in Georgia then maybe you can answer a couple of questions.


1: Romney beat Obama in Georgia by 8 points with the largest youth and black turnout in the history of the state. How is this going to be not only equaled but increased this year? 


2: In other words how is a Carter going to motivate blacks and the youth more than the historical election of the first black President? 


I am not seeing that ground swell in polling, at rallies or in money being spent and people talking about the ads on social media or in the papers. 


Without those two groups surpassing the totals of 2012 then Democrats have no chance. 

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer @td1234 It is not "problems" but rather diversity of opinion on what is the correct vision. This is unlike the Democrats that are all progressives and monolithic in thought. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @Chris30338 

Repeating the same nonsense (that, by the way you NEVER source) does not diminish the terrible damage done to education in Georgia since 2003,

And then you jump straight to 'welfare state mentality', howsabout look at the facts which are 'PLUTOCRAT' mentality.

Our venerable State Government has done more to exempt those at the top (you know, those most able to pay for the system that prevents them from being served for lunch rather than being served lunch) from paying reasonable and historic levels of taxation than to ensure all schools, all teachers and all classrooms are adequately funded.

Do the republiklans really want to spark a revolution? Think for a moment how long the 1% lasts in a battle with the 99%

Pay your taxes, fund Civilization and quit whining!!!

td1234
td1234

@ByteMe @td1234 Really? 


"WASHINGTON The United States spends more than other developed nations on its students' education each year, with parents and private foundations picking up more of the costs, an international survey released Tuesday found."


"United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system — more than any other nation covered in the report.

That sum inched past some developed countries and far surpassed others. Switzerland's total spending per student was $14,922 while Mexico averaged $2,993 in 2010. The average OECD nation spent $9,313 per young person.

As a share of its economy, the United States spent more than the average country in the survey. In 2010, the United States spent 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on education, compared with the 6.3 percent average of other OECD countries. Denmark topped the list on that measure with 8 percent of its gross domestic product going toward education."


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 Sure td1234 I just bet that you have an insight into what young adults are talking about on their social media accounts.  How many young adults in your circle actually are friends on face book with someone in Atlanta's hip hop community, R& B singer Usher who does live in Atlanta or any black celebrity in Atlanta which does and have influenced the black vote in past elections?  Never state what you don't know.  That's why polls can't predict what young people will do when it's voting time, they don't have an insight into what is being talked about or what is being done.

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 sorry son, all democrats are not progressives. that's the main problem with conservatives today. their inability to recognize that simple, basic fact. 

td1234
td1234

@honested  Our country is the most civilized this world has ever seen and a shining light and beacon of hope as to what can happen when you buy into Capitalism. 


Teachers are paid an equitable amount of money for what they bring to the table and the job they do. We spend more more than any other nation in the world to educate our children. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Ok, I'll stand corrected, although comparing our rather diverse racial and economic make-up with Switzerland seems pretty unrealistic.


However, you still didn't answer: since when does LACK of money signal a better education?

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer @td1234 Why is it that the progressive caucus in the House has increased to be almost all the Democratic members of the body while the old Bill Clinton Centrist caucus has almost disappeared?  

Lynn43
Lynn43

@td1234 @honested And we are the only country in the world that tries to educate all the children until they are at least 16.

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

We used to be the 'beacon, but today that local beacon is Canada (if only they had better weather).

As to spending the most on education, maybe on administration and real estate, but certainly not per-capita on students.

As you will never comprehend, you should get out more.

Noot's lies have damaged you.

td1234
td1234

@ByteMe And my argument is when has money equaled education? How can you justify that we are not spending enough money on education? 

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

@td1234 Clinton's "Centrist caucus"???? you mean corporatist caucus. for all the admiration, clinton did a lot of damage to the democratic party brand. Republican Lite wasn't a platform; it was surrender. it's why hillary can stay home in 2 years imho. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Because we aren't paying enough to attract better teachers.  It's really pretty simple: if you want a good education, it starts with good teachers and not below-average teachers.  A starting teacher in Georgia makes less than a starting UPS driver.

td1234
td1234

@consumedconsumer You just made my point that the Democratic party is noting more than the progressive party with no diverse opinions. 

td1234
td1234

@ByteMe But the facts about how the best and brightest are succeeding in this state disproves your quality teacher argument. 


The problem is we need to increase the quality of parents in the state.