Gov. Nathan Deal: Carter Ad Highlights Deal’s Strong Record on Jobs


Gov. Nathan Deal: Carter Ad Highlights Deal’s Strong Record on Jobs

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Carter ad highlights Deal’s strong record on jobs

Democrat continues to attack education budgets that he voted for in the Senate

Sen. Jason Carter’s campaign went on the air today, blasting his own education record in the General Assembly while presenting misleading information on technical schools and HOPE scholarships.

“Carter continues to attack his own record without offering any legitimate proposals of his own,” said Jen Talaber, Deal for Governor spokeswoman. “He voted for the past three budgets, all of which increased education funding, yet opposed the biggest increase in education spending this year. He blames Deal policy for the decrease in technical school enrollment, yet fails to understand that enrollment is back to pre-recession levels due to job creation under Deal. Carter has once again proved he just doesn’t get it.”

First, Carter says we’ve seen over the last five years – which extends beyond Gov. Nathan Deal’s term and into the depths of the Great Recession — the largest contraction in education in state history.

  • Carter voted for all those budgets until he decided to run for governor. The 2015 budget that he opposed increased education spending by more than $530 million, the largest increase in seven years.
  • In other words, Carter voted against a budget that allowed many school systems to end furlough days and raise teacher salaries.
  • Under Deal, the state spends more than 54 percent of the state budget on education. In Jimmy Carter’s last year as governor, education was 51 percent of the state budget.

Second, Carter implies that tens of thousands left the technical college system because of Deal policies.

  • Technical college enrollment dropped because, under Deal, the number of jobs went up.
  • Today’s technical school enrollment has returned approximately to pre-Great Recession levels.
  • This is a national trend. Enrollment hit historic highs across the United States when jobs weren’t available, and students returned to the workforce as soon as they could.
  • Deal created the Zell Miller HOPE Grant which pays full tuition for top technical school students and the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant which pays full tuition for students in certain high-demand fields.
  • As soon as Lottery-funded programs stabilized and averted bankruptcy, Deal lowered the GPA requirements for technical college HOPE Grants, which pay the vast majority of the costs of tuition.

Third, Carter says the number of HOPE recipients is down.

  • Across the HOPE programs, the number of recipients today is only slightly below where it was before the Great Recession.
  • Deal authored a bipartisan reform plan, that passed both houses by large margins, to save HOPE and Pre-K from the brink of bankruptcy.
  • Deal’s reforms were praised by the father of HOPE, Gov. Zell Miller, as the right path to take for the program. Miller has endorsed Deal for re-election.
  • Carter’s plan would reinstitute income caps which would soon cut out many high-achieving students from middle-income families. In future years, a child of two public school teachers would be too “rich” for HOPE.
  • Carter’s plan would lead to “brain drain” with many of our best and brightest leaving the state for college, just as they did before HOPE.

Fourth, Carter again promises to have a separate education budget.

  • The nonpartisan Education Commission of the States points out that other states have tried it, but it hasn’t resulted in higher education.
  • An Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist calls Carter’s plan a mere “procedural gimmick.”
  • Carter is yet to offer one serious proposal for how he would increase education spending.

“Gov. Deal has been the most thoughtful and collaborative leader with whom I have had the pleasure of working,” said House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman. “He has worked closely with all of us to prioritize education issues and has increased funding every single year he has been in office. He knows education is the greatest investment he can make to ensure Georgia continues to be a prosperous state where businesses want to locate.”

“Gov. Deal has worked closely with the Georgia General Assembly to make education our top priority,” said Senate Education Committee Chairman Lindsey Tippins. “During the difficult economic times our state faced early in his tenure, the budgets he has presented each year cut funds in other areas in order to hold the line in education. And then this year, the first time revenue allowed an increase, Gov. Deal recommended and we appropriated over half a billion dollars to Georgia schools. Gov. Deal has put his money where his mouth is and invested heavily in education.”

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