As the husband of an educator, I know how hard Georgia teachers work across this state to help our young people succeed.
That’s why I was so proud of both our students and their teachers when I recently learned that Georgia’s high school students are beating the national average on both major college admissions tests — the ACT and the SAT.
Academic achievements like these will continue to position many of Georgia’s students for success — but just as important to the future of Georgia students are strong efforts to focus on education and community, and not politics in the classroom.
For example, this past session I supported legislation that creates a Commission on Civics Education at the state level.
This commission is designed to enhance students’ knowledge of the importance of civic engagement and public service, the study of our state and local governments, ensure the teaching of financial literacy, and provide for collaboration with private sector organizations conducting civics education.
Unfortunately despite the best efforts of our teachers, sometimes politics gets in the way.
For instance, recent press reports out of our state’s capital indicate that Atlanta Public Schools administrators may have hidden concerns over the qualifications of a prospective candidate for principal from the hiring panel, only disclosing those concerns after being confronted by concerned parents.
Incidents like these highlight the importance of two pieces of legislation we enacted this past session.
SB 588 requires that school board meetings be open to the public and include a public comment period while preventing removal from a meeting absent an actual disruption.
HB 1178, the Parents Bill of Rights, ensures that the primary decision maker regarding the upbringing of Georgia’s children are parents — not the government.
As we saw in Atlanta, active and involved parents are fundamental to the success of our students and our schools.
While these issues are certainly not a concern in House District 159, we want to ensure transparency in all of our counties in Georgia.
I hope as we move past this election and into our next legislative session we are able to focus our efforts on preparing Georgians for future opportunities, and not partisan politics. And once again, I’m proud to have supported a $5000 pay raise for our teachers.
Always remember that should you have questions, comments, or concerns about issues affecting District 159, you can always reach out to me at (404.656.5052), email, or engage on Facebook.
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Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.