Please indulge me a moment of introspection and feel free to think along with me. Chances are what I am going to say may apply to you as well.
If public education in Georgia doesn't have enough problems, there is now a high-profile ruckus between Gov. Nathan Deal and State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. It has gotten so peevish that there is talk that the school superintendent may challenge Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary next spring.
You may have read that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear a case about whether or not prayer can be uttered in town councils across America. Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that such a nefarious deed violated the First Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion."
Dear public school teachers:
I read recently in the Atlanta newspaper that our intrepid public servants just keep on going - on trips, that is.
This month, I begin my 16th year as a syndicated newspaper columnist in Georgia. Time flies when you are having fun and I am having a ball. I hope you are, too.
After much posturing, the General Assembly passed a sleeves-out-of-their-vest piece of legislation on lobbying reform in the last session and wants us to believe they have answered our concerns.
There is no way I could produce such pithy and thought-provoking essays each week without the help of my columnist commandos. These folks are my private information-gathering experts. They can go anywhere and find out anything. They are the masters of disguise.
I try to make it a habit to hang around with smart people. Given that my IQ is not much larger than my waist line, this isn't difficult to do.
When Jimmy Carter ran for the state Senate in 1961 and was defeated, he claimed voter fraud. Carl Sanders, president pro tem of the state senate, supported Carter's claim and provided legal counsel from the Democratic Party. Carter prevailed.
This is a story about heroes - good people doing good things. The cast of characters in this performance shares one thing in common: They are strangers to one another. They will meet for the first time via this column. That is what makes this such a good story.
I have said it before, but let me repeat: I have no problem with charter schools. I did have a big problem with the ham-handed way last November's charter school referendum was rammed through by proponents.
Well, boys and girls, I see by the old clock on the wall that it is June already. We know what that means. It is time for Answer Man to dig into the Question Box and see what is on your hearts and minds and assorted body parts.
Dear public school teachers in Georgia: It looks as if you have survived another year of underwhelming support from state legislators, many of whom would kiss a tree toad if so instructed by the anti-public education crowd. I know it is frustrating but as my daddy used to say, consider the source.
In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission.
"I have gotten bad news and am much the worse for it.
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