GAE “cautiously optimistic” on Gov. Deal’s proposals in State of the State

For Immediate Release
January 13, 2016

Please attribute the following comments to GAE President Dr. Sid Chapman:

"Overall we are pleased and cautiously optimistic on what Gov. Deal proposed in his address. We are obviously pleased with his proposal to give teachers a well-deserved three percent raise after 8 years of having to go without. Over the past year GAE has been making a concerted effort to get a pay raise for our teachers. However, we will be working to make sure it passes the legislature and then monitor local systems to help guarantee that the raise is actually passed along to teachers. In addition, we hope those systems that are still not at 180 instructional days and do not have 190 day teacher contracts will be fully reinstated.

Over the summer and fall while we were monitoring the Education Reform Commission, we implored the governor to slow down to ensure that all facts are reviewed before making decisions on such a critical issue. It seems he heard us by asking the legislature to take this session to study and vet the Commission’s recommendations for action next legislative year.

We also were pleased initially to hear about his proposal to establish a Teacher Advisory Council. We hope he will look to place currently working teachers and representatives from all organizations and stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard.

GAE has been talking about over-testing and toxic testing for years and we are happy the governor saw fit to mention the need to do away with unnecessary testing that does little to help a child progress.

It was encouraging to see the governor implore parents to do their best to help their children be successful in the classroom. We also understand that we still need to address issues of poverty, homelessness, poor health, etc. that impact why children are not performing to their potential."