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Public Education Meeting in Vidalia
Thursday, 10 October 2013

October 10-- Georgia Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick), the sponsor of legislation to withdraw Georgia from its participation in the Common Core, will participate in a panel discussion, "Confronting the Common Core," open to the public Thursday, October 17, 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at the Southeastern Technical College.

"It is critical that citizens, and especially parents, understand why this effort to nationalize educational standards and testing present dangerous precedents in education that will continue to erode parental rights, local control, state sovereignty, and the quality of education," stated Sen. Ligon. "The growing tendency to centralize educational control at the national level is divesting our citizens of their constitutional authority over education."

“Though I am sure the previous administration had the best of intentions when deciding to apply for the Race to the Top grant, the fact is that this decision bypassed the consent of the governed. The lack of accountability to the parents and taxpayers of this state has been stunning. The legislature and local school districts still have no idea how much the unfunded mandates will cost Georgia's taxpayers."

"Secondly, allowing a consortium of states to work with non-profits and other unaccountable parties to develop our standards without open public oversight is untenable in a country of free people, especially considering that Georgia's taxpayers support K-12 education with approximately $13 billion of hard-earned dollars every year," Sen. Ligon said. "Georgia needs to have a transparent process of developing curriculum standards and a means to ensure more direct accountability at the local level, not to Washington, D.C."

Sen. Ligon, who was once the lone legislative voice questioning Georgia's Race to the Top grant commitments, has seen his efforts gain support throughout the state. In June, the full State Committee of the Georgia Republican Party unanimously voted for Georgia to withdraw from Common Core, the PARCC assessments, and for the State to protect private student data.

In July, State Superintendent John Barge and Governor Nathan Deal took action to withdraw Georgia from the PARCC consortium, agreeing with Sen. Ligon that the computerized tests were far too expensive and that Georgia should have control over its testing. In August, the Governor sent a letter to the State School Board directing members to take the following actions: (1) study the quality of the

Common Core standards and compare them to the former Georgia Performance Standards, (2) reconsider Common Core's reading list and develop a better reading list for teachers to use, and (3) work with Georgia stakeholders to develop social studies standards which ensure that students understand America's founding documents, system of government, and economic principles.

Sen. Ligon hopes that local citizens will become involved in the ongoing effort to reclaim local control over education. "It is the voice of citizens making the difference right now," stated Sen. Ligon. "Teachers and parents are noticing how the Common Core is affecting education, and they are letting their elected officials hear their concerns. I'm encouraged by the progress we are making, but we need more people taking the time to really understand this issue and what is at stake for the future of our children. This panel discussion is a very important opportunity to learn more and for citizens to ask questions."

Other panelists for the event include Jane Robbins, Esq., Senior Fellow at the American Principles Project, the national organization at the forefront of the battle against Common Core; Dr. Mary Kay Bacallao, mathematics professor at Mercer University's Tift College of Education, who has compared the Common Core math standards with Georgia's previous standards and found Common Core to be inferior; and Tanya Ditty, M.Ed., who is an educator and the State Director of Concerned Women for America of Georgia.

The event is sponsored by the Vidalia-area TEA Party, Concerned Women for America of Georgia, and American Principles Project. The Southeastern Technical College is located at 3001 East 1st Street (Hwy 280 E). For further information, visit www.stopcommoncore.com for additional resources. The local contact person is Linda Anderson who can be reached at (912) 537-0988.

Sen. William Ligon serves as Chairman of the State and Local Governmental Operations Committee.  He represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes Brantley, Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh counties and portions of Charlton County.  He can be reached at 404.656.0045 or by email at william@senatorligon.com


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