State rep. listening session allows local parents, educators to voice education concerns


News 12 This Morning/Tuesday Dec. 3, 2013

(WRDW)--"It's very hard during the General Assembly when we're in session in Atlanta for parents and teachers to come to the capital where their decision makers are on education policy," said (R) GA District 121 Rep. Barry Fleming. "So, the was to bring that to the state."

State legislators--bringing the assembly to the people with eight education listening sessions across the state for parents and educators to voice their concerns and ideas.

Hosted by two local state representatives including Rep. Fleming, tonight-- folks here in our area have that same chance.

"You know, the education that's needed in South Georgia is not exactly what's needed in Metro Atlanta or maybe North Georgia," said Fleming.

After last year's elections, he tells me they're sure to talk about one thing in tonight's meeting--charter schools.

"The people in Georgia voted to expand choice in education by allowing charter schools," he explained. "Quite an overwhelming vote actually. So, I think flexibility is a big word for right now."

The issue's already hit home for some as the city of Hepzibah was denied its charter school application in October.

A hot button topic, Fleming says he and the other state reps at this listening session are prepared to hear anyone's thoughts on the matter.

"Flexibility for local systems to adjust and meet the needs of their kids is very important," he said.

He tells me the opportunity to talk directly with the community will provide essential feedback to legislators as they prep for the 2014 Legislative Session.

"The best ideas I get are from talking to people in my district,: Fleming said. "You know, Atlanta doesn't have all the right answers and can't solve all the problems. People who are actually doing the job on a daily basis are folks that we need to hear from about resolving what's ailing Georgia."

If you've got something you want to say about education needs in our area, head to this meeting tonight.

It's from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at GRU'S Summerville campus: 2500 Walton Way, Augusta, Ga.

The meeting's located in the Jaguar Student Activities Center ballroom.


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