Gov. Kemp signs education bills; critics say it’s a ‘solution searching for a problem’
Dade County superintendent says the legislation shouldn't impact his district much because of what the educators already do for their students and parents
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed seven bills into law Thursday that are aimed at the way education is taught in our schools.
The question many of Georgia’s teachers and superintendents asked was “Why?”
After speaking to one local superintendent, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators and the A-C-L-U of Georgia, it became clear that most of what was addressed in the bills is already in place.
Josh Ingle, the superintendent of schools in Dade County says, “This really doesn’t impact us that much because any time parents have concerns, they’re welcome to come in, meet with the principal, meet with the teacher, meet with the director of academics. We’re service providers. We’re here to educate children.”
“This legislation is about pitting teachers against parents and members of the community. We are all working together, and want to work together for the sake of our kids,” says Andrea Young, the executive director of the ACLU of Georgia.
One of the bills signed into law is House Bill 1084. A summary of it says it prevents “divisive concepts and ideologies from invading the classroom.” Superintendent Ingle says parents shouldn’t be concerned with that because Dade County’s educators know what and how subjects should be taught.
Ingle: “If teachers are teaching the standards… the standards are laid out for them. Here’s what kids ought to be able to know, do and understand, and if they’re following those standards, then there really shouldn’t be any divisive concept issues at all.”
Georgia’s education experts say the bills addressing these school problems have no basis in facts coming from the classroom.
Young: “When legislators asked the proponents of these bills, ‘Well, give us an example. What’s an example of of what you’re trying to stop.’ We didn’t get any examples.”
Lisa Morgan, President of the Georgia Association of Educators, echoed that sentiment. “One of the things that I have said throughout this time where we have all of these education bills as, I call them, ‘solutions looking for a problem.'”
We reached out to Governor Kemp’s office to clarify the sentence about ideologies “invading” the classroom, and he said in a statement that the word was to “convey the danger of divisive ideologies.”
When I mentioned that to Lisa Morgan, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, she says the use of the word is close to making teachers look like the enemy of education, and not those who foster learning.