A: Vouchers for school choice; or what is legal per the courts like educational savings accounts.
A: We are going to balance the budget no matter what. My biggest budget proposal that I think is the most important thing we can do for our state is to change the way we budget for education. Right now, we have a complete shell game. We say education is important but then we cut the same way we do everything else. I think that if we bifurcate the budget and have an education budget that is separate and the rest of the General Funds does everything else, then the politicians in Atlanta will be forced to vote yes or no; that this is the education system that we want to provide for our state. If we do that, you will enforce education as the top priority of the state. Then you have to balance the budget on everything else. I don't think you can ask the people of Georgia to pay more from a revenue standpoint given the budget in process that we have now.
A: At a minimum, money is not the only answer. In my opinion, we have to focus almost exclusively on everything we do through one lens, and that lens is ensuring that we have the best trained, most well supported highest quality teaching workforce you can have. That requires us to recruit and retain the best teachers and treat them well and support them and give them the tools that they need to improve and move forward to develop professionally. Right now, we are not doing that and we have a serious morale problem in the teaching workforce and a lot of small indignities that go along with being a public school teacher that should not be there. My wife teaches at Grady High School and those little slights weigh on her and weigh on me. That is very personal to me and I think we have to focus on.
A: I think charter schools are a tool that can be used to support the public school system, but they have to be part and parcel of that public school system. The way charter school can be helpful is, if they allow themselves to be laboratories for innovation and finding best practices. That has to be done with an eye toward improving and providing a good school for every kid not just kids that are in charter schools. I represent some of the best charter schools in the state. Anybody that looks at Drew Charter School, for example, will see a school who is doing exactly what we want schools to do from a student standpoint.
ISAKSON: Isakson defended his voting record on education, saying he voted for funding increases in both programs.
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