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I felt compelled to set the record straight after reading a letter ("Teachers' group endorses without members' input," Aug. 26) from one of our members.
As one might expect, since the release of our general election endorsements; many educators, some of them being our own members, have expressed concern about the selections. While that is fair game, what I must correct is that these endorsements happened without member input.
Like any large organization, business is conducted by members elected locally to represent a group, area or region. This is because many members do not have the time, or in some cases, inclination, to get involved in the day-to-day business that must be conducted to keep an organization vibrant.
Therefore, the work is done by these elected, involved volunteers, our colleagues who we work with in the school buildings and classrooms throughout our state. Our endorsement process started with these members who in turn elect representatives, other involved members who have expressed a desire to give of their time and talents, to our Fund for Public Education Committee, our political action committee.
Our FPE Committee then reviewed candidate questionnaires (which every candidate is invited to complete) and interviewed candidates from all political parties who accepted our invitation to meet. After interviews were completed and questionnaires reviewed, the FPE Committee discussed which candidates best aligned with our legislative priorities for public education.
As always, they looked past political affiliations and parties and based their endorsements and recommendations strictly on those measures. These recommendations were then sent to our elected GAE Board of Directors, again involved volunteers, who voted to accept or decline the FPE Committee's recommendations.
So as you see, our members are involved from beginning to end in our endorsement process. Everyone might not agree with the final outcome, but we adhere to the democratic process. We invite Ms. Smith and others to reconsider their decisions and to become more involved in those processes and their association.
GAE President, Atlanta