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Deal waiting on teachers opinions
Gubernatorial candidate wants feedback before releasing educational platform
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal said he's waiting on feedback from Georgia's teachers before he can release his educational platform.

Deal, of Gainesville, has made a six-question survey available online for the state's educators that campaign representatives say they will consider as they put together the candidate's plan for Georgia's public education system.

The plan will be unveiled in September, according to his campaign.

But a spokeswoman for former Gov. Roy Barnes, Deal's Democratic opponent in the race to be Georgia's next governor, said it's beyond time for Deal to make his education plan known.

Barnes campaign spokeswoman Anna Ruth Williams charged Tuesday that Deal's education plan hasn't come yet, because the former congressman has been too "distracted" by ethical problems.

For his part, Barnes has visited more than 90 counties to listen to educators and form his education platform, Williams said.

"Congressman Deal, weighed down by his own ethical problems, has been too distracted to even develop an education plan; despite cuts to education, furloughs to teachers and a mere nine weeks until election day - it's beyond time Congressman Deal let educators and students know where he stands," Williams said.

The Deal camp countered Tuesday that Deal had been working on his education platform for weeks, but that seeking input from teachers was integral to the candidate's plan to improve Georgia's schools.

"It's not as if we've not been working on this," Deal spokesman Harris Blackwood said. "We've been working on this for some time, and we want to make sure that what we release is a plan that's good for teachers, is good for students and most of all it's good for Georgia."

Already, Blackwood said the campaign has received more than 150 responses to the survey with teachers giving their opinions on whether they have enough access to classroom technology and whether school systems place enough emphasis on reading.

The campaign, Blackwood said, will begin compiling the answers in a few days.