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Bridge the gap between education, opportunities

7/3/2014, 6 a.m.

By Alisha Thomas Morgan

I am running for state school superintendent because I have a sense of urgency to dramatically improve our education system. I’m a proud mom of a second-grader in Cobb County Public Schools, and this is personal to me.

All of Georgia’s children deserve a quality education, and I have the skills, relationships and experience to get the job done. I will work tirelessly to support our system and I will stop any effort to dismantle or privatize a system that has served many of our students well.

There are a number of key programs that can improve our education system. However, my primary focus will be on supporting effective teachers.

Teachers spend countless hours with our children, opening their minds to learning, discovery and achievement. Our children represent our hopes and dreams for the future, and they deserve the best education that we can give them. Teachers play a significant role in how we deliver a good education to students. Outside of the home, teachers are the difference between a student achieving or failing. I am a staunch supporter of Georgia’s teachers and we need to do more for them.

While I have the commitment to deliver a dramatically improved education system for Georgia, I also have the experience, relationships and skills to implement sustainable solutions that help all of Georgia’s children succeed.

I have spent 12 years as a legislator fighting for Georgia’s children. I understand public policy and how to work with lawmakers to meet the needs of all Georgians. I am the only candidate (including the Republicans) who has the experience in the Legislature. I have a track record of passing laws and working with the state department and state board to implement laws at the local level. In order to be successful, this experience is critical.

I understand how critical it is to bridge the gap between our education system and the jobs and opportunities that our students will compete for in the future. The jobs of both today and tomorrow value education more than ever. Without a dramatic change of course, Georgia’s students will struggle to compete for college and careers. I won’t allow that to happen.

I also have a great deal of experience managing education programs. I currently serve as an adviser to the U.S. Department of Education. I successfully passed legislation to keep our most effective teachers in classrooms, and I have supported efforts to protect after-school programs.

While my opponent cut millions of dollars from the budget of the City Schools of Decatur that eliminated vital after-school and foreign language programs, I fought against budget cuts to school districts. Georgia’s children need a superintendent who will invest in their future, not one who will pull back funding for essential programs.

I am a proud Democrat who will implement and support educational programs that help all of our children.

Our students, parents, educators and community members deserve a state school superintendent who has the courage to put them first.

Alisha Thomas Morgan is seeking the Democratic nomination for State School Superintendent in the July 22 runoff elections.