Blogging While Blue has posted many times on the value of a quality education to the quality and growth of the state’s economy. Others have also advocated for improved public education funding and there is mounting research that Georgia’s economy is stuck at the bottom rung of the recovery ladder.
However, news from the Governor, the legislature or other local leaders hasn’t improved on this front. How can it be that the state and local leaders are ignoring the research and evidence that investment in quality public education today will pay dividends for future Georgians?
By the end of the GI Bill in 1956, roughly 2.2 million veterans had used it to attend college and an additional 6.6 million used it for some kind of training program. The GI Bill helped to create a middle class that has been the envy of the world. The value of that educational investment was evident then, so what are Governor Deal and Superintendent Barge missing. What is their playbook for creating jobs and where is the evidence that their plan will even work?
Patty Stonesifer is Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions and she has said, “Too many American students leave school unprepared for college or work. And it’s not just those who fail to graduate. The disconnect between the classroom and the workplace leaves many high school graduates—and even many college graduates—unprepared to find a career and excel in it.” That is America’s future if we do not reevaluate our serious commitment to investing in educating and training our citizens.
Recently Alan Essig, Executive Director of Georgia Budget and Policy Institute posted on his blog that:
“Georgia should increase support for education and workforce development and reverse its recent course of cutting spending for services vital to the state’s economic health.
I pressed that point during my remarks at our annual policy conference last Friday, as 180 business leaders, educators and policymakers got together at the Loudermilk Center in Atlanta to assess Georgia’s approach to educating and training the state’s future workers.
Improving the quality of Georgia’s workforce depends on a partnership between businesses, government, educators and parents. It is unrealistic to think the business community, through volunteer efforts alone, can sustain these partnerships statewide. To assure a top-notch education for all Georgia students, public investment is vitally important.”