The Foundation for Excellence in Education (@ExcelinEd) was proud to be a part of 2016 Educate Georgia Summit this week, hosted by Georgia State Representative Valencia Stovall and featuring Governor Nathan Deal, House Speaker David Ralston and others. During this two-day event, more than 300 education leaders and lawmakers gathered at the capitol to discuss a wide range of education reform topics.
Two Florida parents joined a first day breakout session on Education Savings Accounts to discuss their successes with a similar Florida program. Mrs. Katie Swingle of Tallahassee, Florida said that the scholarship funds made life-changing therapies and interventions possible for her son, Gregory who has autism. Without the scholarship, Mrs. Lydia Burton from Gainesville, Florida said that her family could not continue to provide therapies that her son, Kellen, vitally needs. Kellen also has autism and the therapies have changed the entire trajectory of his life.
On the second day, I was honored to participate in a panel discussion moderated by Alisha Thomas Morgan, Superintendent of Ivy Preparatory Academies with Marc Sternberg, K-12 Education Program Director at the Walton Family Foundation, and Louis Erste, Associate Superintendent for Policy, Charter Schools, District Flexibility, and Governmental Affairs at the Georgia Department of Education. We discussed a range of topics from testing to the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Our discussion also featured school choice and the need for Georgia to increase its investment in this policy.
“We have laid before us a chance not just to reform education in Georgia, but to revolutionize it,” Governor Deal said. “We want to fundamentally change how we equip our children with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the modern era.”
We wholeheartedly agree, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Governor, legislators, advocacy partners and others who are working to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all Georgia students.