Friday, February 20, 2015

Governor Deal in Cahoots With Koch Brothers

Governor Deal is at it again!  First, it was war on bus drivers and lunchroom workers.  Now he is waging war on teachers and making a power grab for our education system.  He represents the party whose mantra is “smaller government” and “more local control.”  Yet this week Governor Deal announced he would be creating a new government agency.  This education agency would have NO local control. After all the po-mouthin about the state budget, the Governor must have found the money to pay for more bureaucrats. 

This week Governor Deal announced his intentions to “take over” certain schools in Georgia labeled as “failing.” These certain schools happen to consist of poor and mostly minority students.  He offered little detail other than he was creating a new Agency with a School Superintendent appointed by the Governor.  Deal calls it “The Opportunity School District Plan.”  These schools will be autonomous from local school board control.  He would have the power to hire and fire teachers and principals at these schools.  Teachers will no longer have a strong voice or the protections of teacher unity organizations.  The Governor and his handpicked Superintendent will have the power to convert these schools to Charter Schools, and I have no doubt the end-game is vouchers for private schools for the not so poor and the not so minority.  

After twelve years of Republican reign in Georgia, the education budget has been cut eight billion dollars.  There are nine thousand fewer teachers today than twelve years ago. Think of all the new schools that you have seen built in the past twelve years.  Nine thousand fewer teachers?  Does it make any sense to a reasonable minded person that spending and personnel went down in the last twelve years?  We experience daily the effects of the soaring cost of living, from the cost of a loaf of bread, a gallon of gasoline, and the cost of heating and cooling our homes.  It is obvious!  Our students and teachers are NOT failing….our State government is failing THEM!  And this lame-brained, poor thought-out scheme is not the answer. 

By the way, the ideas put forth this week by Democrats in the Legislature were not much brighter.  We are not in the business of providing for all the needs of the children in the school children.

It is fortunate that these radical prescribed changes to our education system by Governor Deal have to be approved by WE THE PEOPLE by voting on an Amendment to our State Constitution in 2016.   That gives us time to come up with an alternate plan, one that doesn’t seem like punishment to our students and teachers.  This is not just a change in the way students are taught.  The Governor’s plan involves altering the entire structure of our education system.  The system we have now is working for Monroe County Schools.  Why would we want our forward progress halted by a “new” way of doing everything?

To stop this irrational act, we have to move quickly.  Shortly, the Koch Brothers will be flooding our State with propaganda in support of the Governor’s takeover of education in Georgia.  After all, anti-public education is the centerpiece of the Koch Brothers’ agenda.

You’re familiar with good ole Charlie and David Koch, aka The Koch Brothers; the John Birchers operating under new names; the beyond-billionaire brothers who have already pledged a day’s pay to the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate of their choice.  For these brothers, a day’s pay is nine hundred million dollars!  There’s no limit to how much the Koch Brothers will spend to uphold their interests.  They do not want students to be taught the science of climate change. They want students to be taught from history books that have been re-written to fit their lily-white narrative.

Governor Deal is following in the path of other states on a backward spiral, like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kansas and Louisiana.  He is following the path dictated by the Koch Brothers and their many affiliated organizations.  So, too, are most all Georgia Legislators.  Follow the money.

At the risk of sounding like one of those wing-nut jobs that I complain about all the time, follow the money and you will see that Governor Nathan Deal is handing the minds of our children over to the Koch Brothers on a silver platter!

Marilyn Langford

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