Brian Robinson, spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal: “Gov. Deal aims every day to bring high-paying jobs to Georgia by making our state the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business. We can’t accomplish that without a world-class educational system. Of all the policy issues facing the state, the governor has prioritized education.
Gov. Deal’s budgets have increased spending on K-12 education by more than $440 million since he took office, even as he’s continued to cut spending and reduce the size of government in almost all other state agencies. He also fought successfully to expand choices for students trapped in failing schools by championing the charter school amendment. There’s always a policy debate about how best to move forward, but Gov. Deal will continue to work with John Barge and numerous other leaders to do what’s right for Georgia’s students.
The governor and the superintendent have continued to meet and work together, despite differences of opinion. I don’t think there’s much factual support for the “escalating cold war” talk. They just disagree sometime, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
John Barge, Georgia State School Superintendent:“Regardless of what my future holds, I am firmly committed to improving public education in the state of Georgia. Education is economic development, and I intend to keep as my No. 1 priority making education work for all Georgians so we improve everyone’s quality of life. Unfortunately, our public schools have been starved for the last decade but, despite that, we were still the only state in the country last year to show improvement on all major national tests. We still have a lot of work to do, but robbing our schools of resources and putting more of a tax burden on our local communities isn’t the best way to make improvements. Education is an investment, not an expense.”
“I find it hard to believe that I am ‘defending the status quo’ when we are implementing a new teacher and leader evaluation system, giving kids more relevance in education through career pathways, providing teachers and parents with a world-class data system to help increase student achievement and we have created a more transparent and rigorous accountability system, just to name a few. We should really be working as a team to make our public schools throughout the state the first and best choice.”