The AJC had an interesting article about the Republican primary runoff for State School Superintendent. The article should be particularly interesting for school choice advocates, parents and anyone interested in government spending on education.
The two candidates, Richard Woods and Mike Buck met for a debate in Cobb County on Saturday. As the article touted, there is a clear difference between the candidates on Common Core. Woods is against Common Core and Buck is a proponent. But the most revealing comments that each candidate made were about school choice and the operations of the Georgia Department of Education.
On school choice the AJC wrote that, “Woods described the charter-school option as an intrinsic right. “We need to fight for the right of our parents to be autonomous,” he said.”
The AJC quoted Mr. Buck as saying, “I don’t have a thing in the world against charters,”… “But as the state superintendent, it is my job to make sure that public school is the choice for parents.”
Mr. Buck should know that charter schools ARE public schools. Why do the educrats within the Georgia DOE continue to see charter schools as something outside of public education? Perhaps public education is only public to them when they can control it? And, if there are no other public choices for parents, how can his statement about choice be meaningful?
The AJC article went on to say, “The debate moved to rapid-fire answers about firearms in schools, Department of Education staffing and test frequency. Woods said he would have carried a gun to protect students and teachers, would like to launch a full audit of the DOE to assess budget issues and would work to decrease the frequency of tests.
Buck preferred hiring more school resource officers over allowing more guns and described frequent testing as an accountability measure. He also said he believed the DOE is already understaffed, especially after recent budget cuts.”
One of the central principles uniting Republicans is fiscal responsibility. Republicans that will be voting in the runoff should note that one candidate, Richard Woods, stated that he would audit the Georgia DOE. The other candidate, Mike Buck, said the Georgia DOE is understaffed. That sounds like he is already planning to grow the largest bureaucracy in the state. Let’s be clear on what that means: It’s reaching into your wallet for more of your money. Georgia already spends more per pupil than all of our borders states and gets worse results. Spending more money will only continue to subsidize failure. The Georgia DOE must restructure and deliver value and results for the kids and taxpayers of our state.
I hope all the voters out there take note of this article. Richard Woods was the only candidate that espoused conservative financial principles. He is the only candidate that said parents have rights and spoke positively about charter schools as an option. I hope Republican voters are paying attention.