James.qxp Jan Feb 2019 web - Page 40



H
governor’s race in Georgia since 1966. It was also the
appy New Year and welcome to 2019!
most expensive race in the state’s history. In an election
The Georgia Partnership for Excellence
that set records for voter turnout, he defeated Democrat
in Education kicks off every new year
Stacey Abrams by roughly 55,000 votes.
with the release of the annual Top Ten
Moreover, Republicans maintained their majority in
Issues to Watch report, which analyzes many of the chalboth houses of the General Assembly, though they did
lenges and opportunities facing education in Georgia
lose some ground to Democrats.
today. The just-released 15th ediConsequently, Republicans will be
tion begins with an examination
in control of both the House and
of new leadership in Georgia’s
Senate education committees;
governor’s office and continues
however, there will be new chairs
with other pressing issues, such
of both committees for the 2019
as the professionalization of
New
Leadership
Changes
at
the
Capitol
legislative session. Republican
teaching, the true cost of postÅ
Richard Woods also won his resecondary access and completion,
Early-LearningÅQuality Care and Its Impact
election bid for state School
school safety and dual enrollment.
TeachingÅElevating the Profession...Now!
Superintendent.
Throughout 2018, no Georgia
So where does all this leave
resident could steer clear of the
School SafetyÅMore Than Metal Detectors
the future of education policy in
midterm elections. On the
FundingÅIs Fully Funding QBE Enough?
Georgia? The answer is still to be
national stage, political pundits
AssessmentsÅTesting the Waters
determined. Despite the gains
kept their eyes on Georgia, as
made by the previous administrathe hotly contested governor’s
ESA/VouchersÅTaking a Look at What’s Next
tion, of which there were many,
race spurred them to speculate
Summer Start DateÅMore Than Meets the Eye
there remains more work to make
on many questions: Would a
Dual EnrollmentÅGrowth and Sustainability
Georgia a top-performing state
blue-wave overtake Georgia?
where all children have the same
Would a conservative base that
Post-SecondaryÅCost, Other Barriers Impede
access to a high-quality educadelivered Georgia to President
tion. The newly-elected governor
Donald Trump hold? Who will
has outlined some education priorities which include:
suburban women vote for? Georgia’s own commentators and politicos carefully tracked every development
in the tension-filled races for governor, lieutenant gover• Improve literacy through early learning
nor, state school superintendent and many other state
• Increase school safety
and local offices.
• Increase teacher pay
In the end, Republican Brian Kemp won the closest
• Support the full funding of public education
continued on page 42
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019
41

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