The Opportunity School District (OSD) SB 133 and SR 287, which passed the Senate last week, would create a special state-run school district where the superintendent of the OSD is appointed by, and report directly to the governor. If passed in the House, Governor Deal, who has no training in education, will be making decisions based on what his appointed superintendent says. The governor will also be receiving recommendations from his appointed Education Reform Commission, which has no active teachers or parents, but is filled with legislators, charter-school advocates, and for-profit education consultants.
Two bills in the Georgia Legislature would allow thousands of Georgia parents the opportunity to choose better educational options for their children.
I spent last week helping assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it.
I received my first AARP card in the mail the other day. It's official - I'm old!
Family Promise of Bryan County is steam-rolling forward. This month alone, it has received more than $8,000 in donations.
Editor, For decades, students at the traditional public schools in Georgia have been denied the chance to win a state championship because the system overseen by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) ignores the fact that there is no parity among traditional public schools, private schools and city schools.
It is with regret I tell you that our intrepid public servants in the Legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the State Senate.
Sometimes, I look across our yard and sigh, "Too much of that stubborn red Georgia clay shines through." I think, "Oh, one day…."
With current talks about sequestration, base realignment and closure (BRAC), troop reductions, and such, we are often approached with four questions - What is going on? Why does it matter? What are our elected officials doing? What can I do?
Will this be a better world because you and I spent some time here? Can we really make a difference?
Farmers are looking at what to plant this year. The outlook for traditional agriculture is mixed.
As you may have heard, some of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are unhappy with the Advanced Placement U.S. History test and the College Board which administers the tests.
On Feb. 18, a group of citizens headed to the State Capital for "Conservation Day," hoping to inform legislators about protecting our precious coast and its wildlife. The Dolphin Project was represented by Gerry Sattele and me, from Richmond Hill, and Chris Hines of Savannah.
Well, it's that time of the year again - tax time. April 15 will be here before we know it and for many, it is a time of dread as they start gearing up to pay annual tax bills.
A friend, an only child, was talking about cleaning out her parents' house after the death of her father.
Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphatically, that there was none and that I did not foresee that issue coming up anytime soon in Georgia. Then, a week later, I met a little 4-year-old girl named Haleigh and her courageous mom and dad, and was I proved ever so wrong.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Barack Obama declared, "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The National Resource Defense Council said two years later, "A people wronged and a region scarred remains."
My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.
Sometimes a man, despite his best efforts, doesn't find his destiny. Try as he might, down through the earnest years of his life, he chases it and even can believe he has it, only to awaken one morning and discover he doesn't - that what he has is an illusion, a mirage that he tried to turn into reality.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different, and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most-significant legislation passed this session.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Too many times, the day-to-day business of being mayor and governing the city prevents me from saying "thank you" to the city employees who make our city run smoothly. Contrary to what some may think, local government - not state or federal - usually has the greatest impact on the lives of its residents.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last week, and much was accomplished during a very busy session. The following are some of the bills that were agreed upon by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the governor for his approval.
With the 2015 General Assembly session ending last week, here's a list of the health-care winners and losers during the 40 days of the Legislature.