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Teacher groups ask: Why no active classroom teachers on governor's school funding commission?

Georgia teacher groups are unhappy with the composition of Gov. Nathan Deal's new commission to review the state's school funding formula.

Here is a statement from several of the state's groups, which represent thousands of teachers:

On Jan. 21, 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal’s office released the names of the members of his “Education Reform Commission,” which the governor has convened to “study the state’s education system, including its funding formula, and provide recommendations intended to improve the system, increase access to early learning programs, recruit and retain high-quality instructors and expand school options for Georgia’s families.”

This commission is charged with an extraordinarily wide examination of our public education system. Unfortunately, the members of the commission do not represent a wide array of backgrounds. The Education Reform Commission lacks fair representation from those who would have first-hand knowledge of our state’s public education system. As currently constituted, zero active classroom teachers, one principal, and five superintendents serve on the commission. In contrast, the committee includes 10 legislators and seven representatives from charter schools or education consulting firms.

The commission does not include representatives from our state’s leading teacher organizations or parent representatives whose own children are subject to the “reforms” that might be suggested by this commission.

The undersigned organizations, representing thousands of Georgia educators, parents and students who have a direct stake in the success of our state’s public education system, have established a joint resolution to call for fair representation. We ask that each of the undersigned organizations be granted representation to be placed on the commission immediately.

Our organizations exist to see Georgia’s public school systems remain strong and vibrant, while serving the educational needs of all of Georgia’s children. We believe current and active educators and parents must be included in any discussion regarding the future of Georgia’s schools.

Joint Resolution Signatories and Contacts:

  • Georgia Association of Educators, Sid Chapman, President
  • Georgia Federation of Teachers, Verdaillia Turner, President
  • Georgia Retired Educators Association, Vivian Teasley, President
  • Professional Association of Georgia Educators, Tim Callahan, Dir. of Communications
  • Teachers Rally to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Choices, John Palmer, Vice-President



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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.