ATLANTA – The race for Georgia governor turned to education Wednesday as both Democrat Stacy Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp laid out plans to help Georgia school districts.
Kemp addressed school safety and introduced a three-pronged plan he believes will cut down on school violence.
He proposes the state hire support counselors for every single high school in Georgia.
Those counselors would help students with issues like mental health, opioid abuse and bullying.
He also wants to give every school in Georgia $30,000 to be used for security-related issues, and he wants to create a new School Safety Division within the Georgia Department of Education.
“This three-pronged approach is a huge step in the right direction,” Kemp said at his campaign headquarters. “Building off initiatives from (Gov. Sonny) Perdue and (Gov. Nathan) Deal, will insure that Georgia will continue to have classrooms that are ripe for education, not for violence.”
When asked, Kemp said local school districts, not the state, should decide if they want to allow teachers or administrators to carry firearms on campus.
Abrams appeared in East Atlanta, where she won the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators, the largest teachers’ group in Georgia.
She laid out her own plan for Georgia schools, including fixing problems with the Quality Basic Education Act, or QBE.
On school safety, Abrams believes districts should be able to use ESPLOST money, now restricted for use on capital projects, to hire safety personnel, including resource officers.
She believes gun control should be a part of any discussion on making schools safer.
“We cannot have a conversation about school safety unrelated to gun laws,” Abrams said. “Gun laws are inherently a part of the challenge that our children face in being safe in their schools.”
© 2018 Cox Media Group.