Tuesday, January 19, 2010

42. DuBose Porter: Governor Perdue Misguided on Education and the Meaning of Smaller Government.

Dear Voter, 
Is phasing out the public school system in Georgia what you had in mind when you voted for smaller government? How about staying number one, in the entire United States, in the percentage of our population in the correctional system? Does that sound like what you had in mind when you voted for smaller government? That is what you will continue to get with Governor Perdue's unrelenting cuts to education.
It is true, you can predict prison populations based on third grade reading scores. It cost around $8,000 to educate a child and up to $50,000 to imprison one. Who do you think is paying for that difference? You are. Is that the smaller government you meant?
Even if it were morally correct to lock up entire segments of our population, when we know a quality education will prevent it, Georgia can not afford to keep doing so financially. Civilized society requires an educated public. What people want and deserve is not, no government, but efficient, cost effective government at a price they can afford to pay. (If you will remember DuBose voted against the largest property tax increase in Georgia history, which the elected Republican leadership voted in for you last session. Georgians can not afford higher property taxes. At a time when Georgia has more people unemployed than the population of the city of Atlanta, how on earth could politicians have voted to raise the citizens' property taxes? Many of these citizens are barely holding on to their homes as it is.)

Education is good for Georgia and it is possible to educate our students in a way that produces law abiding, job holding citizens. Not only is it possible to have an affordable public education system that graduates every student at the peak of their potential, with "the point of sale" bill, HB356, that DuBose cosponsored last session and will again this session, it is also possible to find the money to prevent teacher furloughs (for all state employees as well) without raising taxes. It was a long sentence, but a correct one. Georgia could have prevented furloughs. The Governor has chosen to furlough teachers under some misguided interpretation he has of smaller government. To him smaller government includes not giving an adequate education to “the general” public. What he does not seem to accept is that dismantling education will only increase Georgia's budget shortfalls by turning away industry and jobs at the same time as it continues to create a burgeoning prison population that is financially unsustainable in any economy. Not only would the passage of HB356 have prevented furloughs, it is possible through priority budgeting, innovative thinking and new technology usage to stop the cuts to education even in this economy.
Watch the video clip below to see Governor Perdue's comments and those of DuBose Porter and then scroll down to read blogs on how the point of sale bill would work for you.
Lori Geary reports for WSB Channel 2 in a segment entitled: “Governor Looks To Furloughs To Save Money” (use your back button to return.)

Stop Furloughs.
Help DuBose Porter pass House Bill 356. 

Save Education.
Vote DuBose Porter Governor,  July 2010 

Feel free to cut, paste and email this blog to as many friends of education as possible.