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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
GAE Endorsements for November 8 General Election
Lisa Morgan, president of GAE, has announced endorsements by the Georgia Association of Educators for the November 8 federal, statewide, and legislative races.

The announcement culminates months of meetings, research, and candidate interviews by local associations and the GAE Fund for Public Education (FPE) - GAE's PAC.  GAE questionnaires were sent to all candidates immediately after qualifying on March 11, 2022.

This November, Georgians will cast their ballots in a race for the U.S. Senate.  The incumbent, The Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock, is seeking his first full-term, and has been endorsed by GAE.

Warnock was first elected two years ago to fill the unexpired term of the late former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned because of health issues and who has since passed away.

Besides the U.S. Senate, there are races for all 14 of Georgia's U.S. congressional seats.  Here are GAE's federal general election endorsements:

U.S. SENATE: U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock

Congressional District:

2.   U.S. Rep Sanford Bishop
4.   U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson
5.   U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams
7.   U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath
13. U.S. Rep. David Scott
Every four years, Georgians vote to elect candidates in eight statewide races and for the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the state.

GAE has made endorsements in six of those races:

FOR GOVERNOR: Stacey Abrams

On Sunday, June 12, at a news conference at GAE headquarters, in front of a large crowd of GAE members, friends, and the press, GAE announced that it had endorsed Stacey Abrams in the race for governor.

At that time, Morgan told the crowd: "Stacey is far-and-away the best choice to lead our state forward and to build the premier public-education our students deserve.  The 1.8 million public-school students in Georgia and their parents as well as educators from classroom teachers to bus drivers can count on her," Morgan said.
Click here to register for GAE Town Hall with Stacey Abrams next Wednesday
"Class sizes are ballooning in our schools, and staff and teacher shortages are putting put more stress on already over-worked and under-appreciated educators.  We've suffered the effect of $11 billion in cuts over public education in the last 20 years.  Educators are under-paid.  Adjusted for inflation, educators in Georgia are making less today than they did in 1999," Morgan told her members.

At that event, Abrams announced her plan to raise starting teacher salaries to $70,000 a year.  Accepting GAE's endorsement, Abrams told the crowd: "We are losing the fight for our children's future.  We need a governor who does not see education as an election year gimmick, but sees our responsibility as a guarantee for the strongest future for our people."
The GAE FPE has also made recommendations in the following state legislative districts:

Senate District/Name

2.    Derek Mallow

5.    Sheikh Rahman
6.    Jason Esteves
8.    Russ Goodman
9.    Nikki Merritt
10.  Emanuel Jones
12.  Freddie Powell Sims
14.  Josh McLaurin
15.  Ed Harbison
17.  Brian Strickland
19.  Blake Tillery
22.  Harold Jones
26.  David Lucas
33.  Michael "Doc" Rhett
34.  Valencia Seay
36.  Nan Orrock
38.  Horacena Tate
39.  Sonya Halpern
40.  Sally Harrell
41.  Kim Jackson
42.  Elena Parent
43.  Tonya Anderson
44.  Gail Davenport
52.  Chuck Hufstetler


House District/Name

5.    Matt Barton
14.  Mitchell Scoggins
15.  Matt Gambill
18.  Tyler Paul Smith
32.  Chris Erwin
35.  Lisa Campbell
37.  Mary Frances Williams
38.  David Wilkerson
40.  Doug Stoner
41.  Michael Smith
42. Teri Anulewicz
48.  Mary Robichaux
50.  Michelle Au
52.  Shea Roberts
53.  Kelly Coffman
54.  Betsy Holland
57.  Stacey Evans
58.  Park Cannon
61.  Roger Bruce

65.   Mandisha Thomas
66.   Kimberly Alexander
69.   Debra Bazemore
76.   Sandra Scott
77.   Rhonda Burnough
78.   Demetrius Douglas
79.   Yasmin Neal
81.   Scott Holcomb
82.   Mary Margaret Oliver
85.   Karla Drenner
86.   Imani Barnes
87.   Viola Davis
88.   Billy Mitchell
89.   Becky Evans
90.   Saira Draper
92.   Rhonda Taylor
93.   Doreen Carter
94.   Karen Bennett
95.   Dar'shun Kendrick
96.   Pedro Marin
98.   Marvin Lim
99.   Om Duggal
101. Greg Kennard
106. Shelly Hutchinson
107. Sam Park
108. Jasmine Clark
109. Dewey McClain
113. Sharon Henderson
115. Regina Lewis-Ward
116. El-Madhi Holly
117. Demetrius Rucker
122. Spencer Frye
123. Rob Leverett
126. Gloria Frazier
129. William "Wayne" Howard
132. Brian Prince
137. Debbie Buckner
141. Carolyn Hugley
142. Miriam Paris
143. James Beverly
146. Shaw Blackmon
149. Danny Mathis
151. Joyce Barlow
152. Bill Yearta
154. Gerald Greene
162. Carl Wayne Gilliard
163. Anne Allen Westbrook
165. Edna Jackson
168. Al Williams
174. John Corbett
178. Dexter Sharper
Senate to study public education funding
A State Senate Study Committee on Education Funding Mechanisms will meet three times over the next three months, beginning with a hearing on Friday August 19, 2022 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in Room 450 of the State Capitol.  The first meeting will also be live-streamed at https://vimeo.com/showcase/9027934?autoplay=1.

GAE invites you to submit your ideas to us on possible changes to the QBE funding formula, funding priorities for the future, and funding needs at: https://form.jotform.com/222286590365158.

Future meetings will be held in Savannah on Friday, September 16 and in Columbus on Friday, October 21.

The study committee is chaired by State Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, and includes the following members:

Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia, and Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta.

Georgia Department of Education releases teacher burnout report
The Georgia Department of Education has released its study on teacher burnout, led by the 2022 Teacher of the Year, Cherie Bonder Goldman.  The results are absolutely worth a read.

The study included five recommended actions to address burnout, that GAE will seek to address with the Department and at the General Assembly:

1. Conduct local assessment inventories to identify and eliminate redundant testing requirements.

2. Establish a process that includes current
classroom teacher input in the adoption and/or creation of new assessments and uniformity of grading practices and policies.

3. Make transparent and easily accessible to the public the number and type of assessments administered locally, along with time spent testing.

4. Reduce the emphasis on high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools.

5. Re-evaluate the disproportionate weight of high-stakes testing in the state's accountability system (the College and Career Ready Performance Index, or CCRPI) and teacher evaluation system (TKES) to paint a fuller and fairer picture of performance.
Department releases new "divisive concepts" model policy
The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation this year to regulate the teaching and discussion of issues pertaining to race and racism in public schools, HB 1084.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, implements a vague and confusing list of set of rules censoring educators in a way that GAE believes stifles the curiosity of students and which sanitizes a full and accurate teaching of American history.  The law will certainly have a chilling effect on educators.

As required under the legislation, the Georgia Department of Education has released a "model policy" for school systems to use to implement the law.  The new law became effective on July 1, 2022.

As the school year progresses, GAE is interested in knowing how this new law is affecting you, your students, and your school.  Let us know by filling out our survey here.
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