While being one of the most engaging, lively speakers I’ve heard lately (and trust me, being out on the campaign trail, I’ve heard more than my share of snoozers), Georgia Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson (commonly refered to as Tax Jesus here on PP) emphasized his GREAT Plan as a way to try to begin to approach the appalling situation that is Georgia public education. (Don’t ask me for too many details as I was Twittering during the Atlanta Press Club luncheon while TJ spoke; details are on Twitter, not here.)
In a nutshell, GREAT would even-out the whopping discrepancies between poor school districts and the wealthier ones. Richardson said some districts get X amount of dollars while others get XXX — for the SAME curriculum.
Seems that “same curriculum” is what needs fixin’, as the Speaker trotted out the appalling stats about our drop-out rate: 51% of our schools here in GA fail to graduate 40% of their students. Not exactly a big selling point to, say, large Asian technology companies, for example. Talk about the batty aunty in the attic no one likes to mention…
He’s right to do so though. Education in Georgia should be our focus. We lose billions in potential revenue with so many dead-beats dropping out/hanging out instead of being productive citizens.
To emphasize just how much education should be on our minds here in GA, Speaker Richardson spent approximately 12 seconds today talking about water. Maybe another one minute on Grady. Virtually zip on traffic.
He then took a few questions from the audience via index cards, and a few more from a press gaggle, whereby his handler got annoyed and made him leave the heat of that little fire.
Tune-in to the 5-o’clocks for their fleeting video, although I did snap a phone shot just for my beloved PP readers.