ATLANTA -- “We are here today to let the citizens of Georgia know loud and clear that as educators we are wholeheartedly endorsing Stacey Abrams for the next Governor of Georgia,” said Charlotte Booker, president of the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) during today's press conference. “Our GAE Board of Directors concurred with the recommendation of GAE’s Fund for Public Education Committee, and voted unanimously to endorse Ms. Abrams during the Democratic primary. That endorsement now continues through the general election on November 6.”
Booker says that from the beginning, there was never a doubt about who was going to work for the advancement of public education for Georgia’s 1.6 million schoolchildren and the professionals who teach and support them. “That person is Stacey Abrams,” she says emphatically.
“Why?,” Booker says. “Maybe you haven’t yet heard about how she feels public education saved her family’s life because of having access to a quality public education. There are many more families counting on their local public schools to help provide them the means with which to make a quality life for themselves. Living in both our rural, urban and suburban areas, they trust and need our public schools to help them rise from a life of poverty.
But that first means continuing to fully fund our public schools and understanding the different funding needs throughout the state. That means keeping our quality teachers while attracting new ones to the profession, and Georgia’s classrooms, by paying and treating us like the professionals we are. That means helping to provide wraparound services to bolster schools in communities that simply do not have many resources for their children to live, let alone learn. That means continuing to defeat voucher legislation which only serves to raid our public schools’ coffers of the funds they need for our schoolchildren. That means providing actual practitioners a true seat at the table for discussions that impact the lifeblood and direction of public education. And that means having someone in the Governor’s seat that understands our schools do not need teachers armed with guns, but instead armed with books, internet, and other resources they need to do their jobs.
These asks are nothing new for GAE. Our members on the frontline in our classrooms, school buildings and school bus routes, know all too well what is really needed to help Georgia’s public schoolchildren succeed.
GAE believes that Abrams’ history and voting record as a state representative and then minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, is a solid indicator of what she will continue to do as governor. It shows that she is a staunch supporter of public education. GAE looks forward to working with her to continue helping transform Georgia’s public education system into one that serves all of our children no matter where they live.
She is a proven consensus builder. During her tenure in the House, Abrams time and again fought for our public schools and teachers. She took the lead to defeat numerous legislative efforts that would have proven extremely harmful for our k-12 students. This included helping to bring together a broad-based coalition of community, educator, parent, church, and business interests to defeat 2016’s school takeover legislation, Amendment One. Subsequently, she continued to build a partnership with the same coalition to put in place more commonsense legislation to help our under-performing schools through the passage of the recent First Priority Act.
GAE is in full agreement with Abrams’ vision of 'Building a Georgia where every child believes their future should be limitless,' for as classroom practitioners we know that is the want of every teacher for their students. Teachers want to see their students flourish at what they choose to do in life.
GAE believes we need a leader in the governor’s office that truly understands that vision and does not just give lip service for political gain. Our children do not deserve lip service. Our children have been suffering the effects of lip service for far too long. The time and the opportunity has arrived to put someone in the governors chair who will fight in the trenches for our children’s interests, and for the interests of those that teach and support them. Abrams is that leader.
Public education needs and deserves a champion in the governors’ chair. So GAE is asking the citizens of this great state, to join us and cast a vote during early voting and on November 6, to place someone in the governor’s chair who has shown an unwavering commitment for the interests of our public schools, our students and for those that teach and support them. That champion is Stacey Abrams – for Governor of Georgia.”