ATLANTA — The House Education Committee on Wednesday heard from 68 people who sounded off about a bill that would provide a pathway to pull Georgia out of the controversial Common Core state standards.
State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell), a member of the education committee who is running for state school superintendent, said the division between those who supported Sen. William Ligon’s Senate Bill 167 and those who opposed it was clear.
“It’s very apparent that those who are opposed tended to be very right-leaning groups,” Morgan said. “Those who support Common Core are part of a very broad coalition ranging from education experts, educators, the business community and civic organizations, so we’re talking the superintendents association, the math and English language arts teachers associations, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Atlanta and 100 Black Men and the Atlanta Urban League.”
Of the 68 people who testified, Morgan said “90 percent” supported Common Core state standards.
Morgan said she will be voting down Ligon’s bill and hopes it doesn’t make it out of committee for a floor vote.
“I don’t think there’s any fixing this bill,” Morgan said. “I think it’s misplaced.”
State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), who also serves on the House Education Committee, had a different view.
“The 68 people included literally busloads of school district staff — all of whom signed up to speak, all completely missing the point and the effect of SB 167,” Setzler said. “SB 167 ensures Georgia is in control of what its students learn, not out-of-state interest groups.”
Setzler said once the bill is tweaked, he believes it will be something the vast majority of Georgians will be proud to support.
Setzler predicts the committee will pass the bill so that it heads to the House for a floor vote as early as next week.