Do you agree or disagree with the views of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) on vouchers? We have talked several times about the lack of ability or ability for teachers in public education to defend themselves regarding public issues regarding their jobs and the issues which affect them. Some individuals appear to think that teachers cannot lobby for themselves. This is an example of the network teachers have to lobby their representatives. Teachers have representation under the gold dome daily. Do you think that teachers around the state will have an impact on the decision made regarding vouchers? Do you feel teachers do lobby successfully regarding educational issues?
I am shocked that teachers who work for the Dekalb County School System have a difficult time under the recent stipulations of the county school administration, to speak directly to the school board, either at school board meetings, or in any other form of communication. Any citizen of Dekalb should be able to speak at school board meeting regardless if they are a teacher or not. The decisions the school board makes directly affects the teachers, the parents, and every citizen in Dekalb County. Why should teachers be given different guidelines to speak at the school board meeting? I see this as being discriminatory toward teachers who live in Dekalb County. They are not given the same opportunity as other Dekalb County citizens. How do you feel about this topic? You are welcome to disgree with me. It is important to look at all sides of the issues to get a broader perspective. Read the article below and please tell us how you feel.
Report from the Capitol – Voucher Alert
By Margaret Ciccarelli on March 5, 2009
SB 90, legislation which would allow every Georgia public school student to attend private school using a voucher, recently passed the Senate Education and Youth Committee. The bill is in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting placement on the Senate voting calendar. Immediate action is needed to stop this harmful legislation.
PAGE is unalterably opposed to vouchers as extremely harmful to public education and likely harmful to private education as well. We fail to see how taking students and resources away from public schools will lead to their improvement. Given the economic crisis public schools are facing it is unconscionable to seriously consider a voucher proposal such as this. PAGE remains opposed to use of public funds for private education, which this legislation calls for. We would prefer that the state return to its efforts on improving public education, which affects more than 1.6 million students, rather than focusing on funding programs that at most will only affect a relatively few students. While this legislation may be a sincere effort to help those students who are not succeeding in public schools, we believe that the solution lies in improving the schools rather than abandoning them. For schools that are not succeeding there are a series of increasingly severe interventions which include changes in staffing, changes in leadership and takeover by the state. These sanctions are serious and when warranted are, in our view, a solution that addressed the root problem. We prefer to look for solutions within the framework of public education. One thing we all need to agree on is that no scholarship or voucher program should result in a loss of funds to public schools.
Please contact your state Senator today and ask your Senator to vote against SB 90. Please note that you should not email your Senator from your school email address or email your Senator during school hours.
To find the contact information for your state Senator, visit the State Senate website of the Georgia General Assembly.