Georgia teacher group backs Democrat Barnes

ATLANTA --- Democrat Roy Barnes has won the backing of one of Georgia's largest teachers' groups in the race for governor.

The 43,000-member Georgia Association of Educators on Friday announced it is supporting Barnes in November's election.

GAE President Calvine Rollins called Barnes "the best choice to be able to come in and hit the ground running" on problems like class size and education funding.

Teacher anger over Barnes' aggressive plans to overhaul the state's school system has been blamed for contributing to his 2002 re-election defeat to Sonny Perdue. The Georgia teachers' group declined to endorse a candidate in the 2002 race for governor, a move widely read as a rebuke to Barnes, who had secured their support in the 1998 general election.

Barnes has been courting teachers aggressively as part of his comeback bid and has apologized to educators.

"It was never my intent -- and it is not my intent now -- not to treasure teachers and learning," Barnes says in a video ad posted on his Web site and shipped to teachers.

In its release Friday, the GAE said Barnes "while still facing some backlash from his previous administration, now has the benefit of hindsight in what is truly needed to help our public schools and its students."

The campaign of opponent Nathan Deal said Friday said the endorsement "demonstrates how out of touch the union bosses are with Georgia's educators."

"Teachers haven't forgotten the arrogance and bullying of the Barnes administration, and most will vote for Nathan Deal," spokesman Brian Robinson said. He noted that in Barnes' home base of Cobb County, the association of educators has endorsed Deal.

Comments (28) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
dichotomy
32920
Points
dichotomy 08/20/10 - 12:24 pm
0
0
Wow, what a surprise that the

Wow, what a surprise that the teacher's, and their money hungry union, would endorse ole' Roy "promise 'em anything" Barnes. Hey Roy, could you tell the rest of us a nice lie about how you are going to fund this teacher union payoff. I will have to hold my nose to vote for Deal but there is no way I could vote for this pandering putz.

Fiat_Lux
15424
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/20/10 - 01:34 pm
0
0
If the GAE backs someone,

If the GAE backs someone, it's the clearest indication they will be a tax-and-spend burden to Georgians, someone whose time in office will cost us years of recovery.

seabeau
33
Points
seabeau 08/20/10 - 02:37 pm
0
0
How soon they forget!

How soon they forget!

ron_rlw
1
Points
ron_rlw 08/20/10 - 02:54 pm
0
0
How is Barnes going to pay

How is Barnes going to pay for implementing his ideas ?... or is he counting on the kids paying for it once they get out of school and get a job? ... providing anyone's hire by then.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 08/20/10 - 03:10 pm
0
0
...And the sun rises in the

...And the sun rises in the east. How is this news?

wordwright
134
Points
wordwright 08/20/10 - 03:18 pm
0
0
There is no teachers'

There is no teachers' union--it is against the law for teachers to form a union in this state. With the Republican track record for education in Georgia, no wonder they are going for a re-run democrat--at least they have some experience with this one.

If we paid teachers like professionals, we would have top quality people competing for teaching positions. Who wants to stay in h*** ... er a classroom with a bunch of rude brats whose parents will do nothing but complain if the teacher tries to discipline or teach them anything ... and get paid a little more than a secretary to boot!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 08/20/10 - 04:07 pm
0
0
Georgia Federation of

Georgia Federation of Teachers. Founded in 1916 to represent the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers and is an affiliated international union of the AFL-CIO.

http://ga.aft.org/index.cfm?action=cat&categoryID=4651bda0-3be6-49f9-b7b...

Local Interests
40
Points
Local Interests 08/20/10 - 04:09 pm
0
0
Teachers have buyers remorse

Teachers have buyers remorse over their decision to vote Perdue into office. Barnes at least appears to have learned his lesson. Deal represents basic good-ol'-boy crooked politics. Doesn't sound like a very promising option.
I too would like to know exactly how Barnes is going to improve the whole educational system in Georgia. At least some of the problems are from Bush's No-Child-Left-Behind fiasco.
However, I can't agree that teacher pay is still a big issue. Frankly, teachers who get anvanced degrees and/or certifications end up with salaries above average for most communities. That was an issue 20 years ago that is not now near the issue it once was.

ron_rlw
1
Points
ron_rlw 08/20/10 - 04:15 pm
0
0
What I would like to know is

What I would like to know is how is Barnes going to pay for implementing his great ideas? Is he going to depend on the kids to pay for when they get out of school ... that is if they get a job.

You should also remember that the NCLB fiasco of Bush's was co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy.

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 08/20/10 - 04:21 pm
0
0
Dog bites man. Sun rises in

Dog bites man.
Sun rises in East.
Autumn follows summer.
Teachers unions endorse Barnes.
None are newsworthy; it would be amazing if any of these things DIDN'T happel!

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 08/20/10 - 04:25 pm
0
0
Dog bites man. Earth revolves

Dog bites man.
Earth revolves around sun.
Autumn follows summer.
Teachers unions endorse Barnes.
None are newsworthy; it would be amazing if any of these things DIDN'T happen!
Anyone remember the Georgia State flag he personally designed that looked like a Denny's place mat and was voted ugliest flag in the world by the North American vexillologists (flag hobbyists)? ABB! (Anyone But Barmes!)

teacher02
3
Points
teacher02 08/20/10 - 05:14 pm
0
0
wordwright is correct. There

wordwright is correct. There are no teacher unions in Georgia. People can harp on that as semantics, but they (PAGE and GAE) have no collective bargaining power and cannot call for a strike. Without that, they have no true power.

If teachers end up getting behind Barnes, it is because of the disrespect shown by this republican administration towards educators over the past year. And it has little to do with the furloughs - which most people recognize as a product of the economy and not the State government.

Here are just a few of the things that the Republicans have done or tried to do in the past year. They ended the pay bonus tied to National Board Certification. And while that would be fine moving forward, there was no grandfather clause. So teachers who had spent countless hours and money out of pocket to obtain the status and pay increase that comes with it are just out of luck.

They tried to change the wording governing teacher's retirement so that cost of living raises (2.5%) were no longer a guarantee. This would have affected already retired as well as nearly retired teachers who wouldn't have the chance to save accordingly.

They pushed for vouchers (a prospect that would remove even more money from the public schools) during a time when class sizes were already increasing and teachers were being furloughed or fired because of the economy.

And then there was the failed merit based pay system that they tried to push through at the last minute. Even after over 90% of teachers vehemently opposed it (in response to solicited feedback), they tried to push it through in the closing days of session. When this failed, multiple republican representatives worked to ban PAGE (who had presented the concern of teachers) from future proceedings.

I have always voted as a Republican. But I have seriously considered changing my vote in this State election (though I don't think I will bring myself to do so). I know many other conservative teachers who feel the same way. During this already uncertain time, they have recklessly proposed and tried to push through a number of drastic overhauls that were in total opposition to the experts (the educators) in the field.

builderman1
1
Points
builderman1 08/20/10 - 05:16 pm
0
0
Wordwright - If you will

Wordwright - If you will google Ga Assoc of Educators, you will see they are an afilliate of the NEA (The LARGEST Teachers Union in the United States).

teacher02
3
Points
teacher02 08/20/10 - 05:34 pm
0
0
builderman, they still do not

builderman, they still do not have the power of a union. They can't strike and can't collectively bargain. That's where the power of a union comes from. In Georgia, teachers get insurance through them (PAGE and GAE), receive newsletters, and are kept updated on legislation pertaining to education.

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 08/20/10 - 06:13 pm
0
0
Yeah, GAE cannot strike. It

Yeah, GAE cannot strike. It is so pure and benign an organization, and while on the way to saving the whales and giving low-cost insurance they pour bribes, pardon me, campaign contributions --laaarrrrrge ones-- into politician's coffers. Ya think they get nothing in return?

teacher02
3
Points
teacher02 08/20/10 - 06:43 pm
0
0
dstewartsr, plenty of

dstewartsr, plenty of organizations make campaign contributions - doesn't make them unions. For the record, I don't support GAE one way or another (I'm a member of PAGE), but I do get tired of hearing about these so called teacher unions in Georgia.

EduKtr
0
Points
EduKtr 08/20/10 - 08:18 pm
0
0
The teachers' union supports

The teachers' union supports Barnes? No surprise there. GAE has NEVER endorsed a Republican for president or governor, despite its mixed membership.

So teachers annoyed with continually seeing their resources channeled into electing liberal Democrats learned long ago to vote with their feet—and look elsewhere for insurance and professional support.

Yet GAE's executive board—liberal Democrats all?—continue to watch their membership numbers and influence lag behind non-partisan PAGE (Professional Association of Georgia Educators) rather than butt out of party politics.

Go figure!

chascush
0
Points
chascush 08/20/10 - 09:28 pm
0
0
It is a shame that the

It is a shame that the teacher association are like the rest of liberals; more concern with what they will get instead what is best for the students and the state.

crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 08/20/10 - 10:00 pm
0
0
Teacher02..........If

Teacher02..........If teachers end up getting behind Barnes, it is because of the disrespect shown by this republican administration towards educators over the past year. And it has little to do with the furloughs - which most people recognize as a product of the economy and not the State government.

Congress has been controlled by the Democrats for 3 and a half years now. Are you saying it's all Bush's fault?

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/21/10 - 05:30 am
0
0
If the GAE back em, it means

If the GAE back em, it means they will raise taxes to waist money, period. And Woodwright, if you don't think teachers are paid enough, simply view their pay which is available on this website. Though most aren't getting rich, the pay of teachers, administrators and county personnel is very good, much more than many other professions in this area with plenty of benefits, many days off, a full hour for lunch each day, an hour of planning each day, etc. Yes, most teachers do a good job, care about their students, etc. and may deserve more but in reality, they are paid very well, are pretty secure in their jobs and have excellent benefits as well as holidays and summers off. Frankly, neither candidate for Govenor is great but the last thing we need is more spending of money we simply do not have. And, it isn't about money when educating our youth...CC spends less per pupil than RC and yet the test scores and graduation rates don't even beging to compare. Private schools spen less than 1/2 of what is spent on the average GA public school student (around 3,500 compared to 7,000) per year and yet private schools are graduting 95% college prep whereas RCBOE isn't even graduating 1/2 of their students in basic courses. GAE is all about money, just like most unions are and in most cases is it just a complete waste with little positive results.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 08/21/10 - 05:46 am
0
0
Teacher02, Disrespect???

Teacher02,

Disrespect??? Really???

They ended pay bonuses tied to National Board Certification....so, you don't get paid more just because you get national certification, what a shame. When we can barely pay the bills of the state, this is a smart move. And, in reality, national certification certainly doesn't make you a better teacher.

They tried to cut out an automatic 2.5% yearly increase in pay for retired teachers - Again, WE ARE OUT OF MONEY and when many are loosing their jobs, can't afford their taxes are getting pay cuts, your complaint is that retired teachers don't get an automatic pay increase each and every year.

They pushed for vouchers...OMG, they want to give poor students going to terrible schools an opportunity to succeed, period. You are a teacher and your ONLY concern should be the best for our students not simply getting more money for public education. Why not simply do everything we can to ensure the best education for ALL of our students be it public, private or home school - frankly I like public education but MANY schools are pathetic and many teachers could care less and simply ride out the clocks of their tenure while doing little to educate our youth.

God forbid teachers have merit based pay - we would never want to pay someone on the merits of their job performance, at least not in government work related jobs.

The experts aren't the educators, administrators, board members, etc. they are the students. The students in ANY high school could tell you the teachers that should be fired on the spot for failing to teach and for not caring at all about our youth, never going to athletic events, never going to choral or band concerts, leaving when the bell rings each and every day along with the students, placing a video in the machine each day, not holding students acountable or making them better, blaming the administrators or parents continually, etc. The students can tell you what works, what doesn't work, why discipline is very much needed within the schools, etc. and yet no one listens to them because in so many of our public schools now the student is actaully at the bottom of the list of concerns. Private schools put out a great product almost all of the time - sure, they have it easier because the students want to be there in most cases but if parents had choices through vouchers then private schools will fill up with students who want to learn or public schools will greatly improve to keep their students - either way, the STUDENT wins cause frankly that is all that should matter.

paraprofessional
45
Points
paraprofessional 08/21/10 - 06:47 am
0
0
Asitisinaug - I work in an

Asitisinaug - I work in an elem school and teachers get 30 min for lunch MINUS the time it takes them to walk their students to the lunchroom and pick them up. Also, they do some planning while the students are at PE which is also 30 min and again they walk them there and back. But most of their planning is done after school because not all grade level teachers have the same PE time. They have 15 min free each day IF they don't have recess duty (they have duty every other week). Oh, I almost forgot music - students go to music for 30 min once a week IF we aren't testing, etc. One teacher's class had music on Monday last year and in the spring, with testing and a Monday holiday, etc, her students went to music once in about a month.

GaPatriot
0
Points
GaPatriot 08/21/10 - 08:41 am
0
0
"THERE ARE NO TEACHER UNIONS

"THERE ARE NO TEACHER UNIONS IN GEORGIA". Let me repeat that one more time, "THERE ARE NO TEACHER UNIONS IN GEORGIA". However, if there were, the GAE would be the equivalent of the Teamsters. GAE is the Georgia version of NEA and the NEA would tell it's members to vote obamacratic no matter who was on the ticket. I am a member of PAGE, the other teachers professional association. If they endorse Barnes, I will be canceling my membership. I encourage the Chronicle to ask GAE for their campaign contribution records for the past 10 years and see just how much thought goes into their endorsements.

avidreader
3215
Points
avidreader 08/21/10 - 08:51 am
0
0
Many teachers only join GAE

Many teachers only join GAE (or other associations) to benefit from tort insurance. I am not a member; however, I have many peers who receive tons of annoying e-mail daily from GAE. It is my opinion that teachers do tend to vote in blocks, but not because of GAE's wishes. Any candidate who puts steak and potatoes on the table will receive the teacher vote, even though tuna casserole will likely be the result after the election. All I want from a governor is straight talk without condesention. How likely is this request?

Driver8
0
Points
Driver8 08/21/10 - 01:24 pm
0
0
I've always found it amusing

I've always found it amusing to talk to teachers who consider themselves conservative Republicans. Always talking about the dangers of socialism and so forth... and they work for the social welfare state. LOL.

Driver8
0
Points
Driver8 08/21/10 - 01:32 pm
0
0
Teacher02's comments are good

Teacher02's comments are good example of what I mean in my post above, although I mean no disrespect or insult toward him/her personally. Vouchers, merit-based pay, the gradual privatization of education and massive reduction of teacher pensions-- these are largely Republican ideas designed to do one thing-- reduce the huge amount of money every state must spend on education, an arm of the social welfare state. And the state is broke, you know, and will be for many years probably. The state could privatize all education and contract out education to charter schools, and eliminate state pension plans entirely. That would save a lot of money. Isn't that what conservatives want? The only thing standing between Teacher02 and the unemployment line is those pesky liberals with their dang welfare state and their incessant lobbying. Teachers who call themselves Republicans are sleeping with the enemy every time they go to bed.

Driver8
0
Points
Driver8 08/21/10 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Wordwright, you are way

Wordwright, you are way behind the times. There are virtually no teaching jobs open in this area. Very few people were hired to teach for this school year. The teachers that have jobs are hanging on for dear life, well past the age of 60, because they understand our economy has cratered and continues to crater. In the U.S. overall, I think we will see wages go down in most fields, due to globalism and outsourcing, until wages are approximately equal to those in China. Our standard of living will be going way down. I have a feeling the younger generation really won't appreciate the beauty of outsourcing work and wrecking American businesses for short-term stock gains, so that Americans could act like big-spenders in the 1980s and 1990s. That's our legacy to them. In Richmond county, they eliminated 35 positions or so last year, with no plans to replace them.

sgachief
0
Points
sgachief 08/22/10 - 07:49 am
0
0
there's obviously not too

there's obviously not too many very bright people belonging to GAE. Heaven help our poor children!!!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs