Casey Cagle, the leading conservative Republican for governor, today hosted a forum with educators from across Georgia and announced his plans to protect the teacher retirement system, increase teacher pay, improve accountability measures to encourage achievement rather than compliance with burdensome mandates, and provide greater flexibility to free teachers from teaching to the test.
“Education is the great equalizer and the economic engine that will allow the state of Georgia to build a workforce second to none, create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, and continue our economy’s rapid growth,” said Cagle. “If we want to improve academic and professional outcomes for Georgia’s students, we must do more to reward and invest in the individuals investing in our next generation. As governor, I am committed to increasing educational outcomes for our students and eliminating burdensome mandates and high-stakes testing requirements that restrict teachers. We will also increase the salaries of our teachers — so that Georgia’s teachers earn above the national average — while expanding local control and giving every single student across our state access to a College and Career Academy.”
Cagle’s education initiatives are supported by educators from across Georgia.
Middle School teacher R. Syntel Brown said, “Georgia’s educators deserve a governor with a clear strategy for improving our public schools and the quality of life for all teachers across our great state. As Lt. Governor, Casey has advanced the most innovative education reforms the state of Georgia has ever seen, and I know that educators in every community understand that we must join together to elect Casey Cagle as our next Governor. He is the leader who can make our state a national leader in educational innovation.”
Cagle’s pledge includes the following elements:
- Protect the Teacher Retirement System: As Governor, Cagle will ensure that the TRS remains a defined benefit plan. He’s also committed to keeping the program fiscally sound to make certain that the State of Georgia always keeps the promises made to our educators.
- Teacher Pay: Cagle pledged to increase teachers’ salaries to exceed the national average during his administration. Plain and simple, teachers’ salaries should better reflect their hard work and dedication.
- Improve Teacher Accountability System: In the first 100 days of his administration, Cagle has committed to assembling a working group of teachers to reform Georgia’s teacher accountability system – the Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES).
- Eliminate high-stakes standardized testing: Cagle pledged to continue working with educators to replace one-size-fits-all standardized testing with individualized learning plans, real-time data analytics, and formative assessments with measurable academic check points. Cagle will ensure these assessments include timely feedback so educators can use their results to improve student outcomes. This year, Cagle led the General Assembly to advance SB 362, which launched a pilot program to immediately begin developing more innovative accountability measures.