* Residence: Woodstock
Political Experience: Voter registration, local election process, voting
* Occupation: Public School Teacher
* Education: Masters degree, interrelated special education, State University of West Georgia
* Family: Married, two children, two grandchildren
* What makes you the best qualified for the position you are seeking?
I envision a better Georgia because I know Georgians. I’ve worked at small dress shops and Disney World as a clerk and translator. In 33 years of teaching and parenting, my negotiating skills were honed by managing daily disagreements and moderating and controlling dangerous situations. Excellent people skills, being a team player, a listener, and consensus-builder and playing well with others are some of my strengths. Reading and researching, encouragement, patience, hope, faith and a sense of humor are crucial to teaching; these traits and skills make me be the best Georgia House District 20 candidate.
* What do you see as the most pressing problem Cherokee County is facing and how would you solve it through the state legislature?
Cherokee County is facing difficult problems in any area that involves our county’s children. Whether it is drugs, parental issues, education or medical care, our most precious asset continues to be ignored or blamed for our county’s shortcomings. I would press for counselor to student ratio to be reduced from the current 750:1. The classroom ratio needs to return to the numbers before Gov. Perdue took office. The current number of 36 children in a classroom needs to be lowered to 20-24, so our children can have hope and be cared for by professionals. We can do better.
* What, if anything, will you do to increase state education funding?
Follow the money and see who it actually helps. My concern about charter schools: who profits? Privatizing our schools’ services has been implemented in Georgia’s schools’ budgets already. Does that money stay to help Georgians or is it sent to Florida or New York? My plan: look at tax issues and see how we can keep cash in Georgia for Georgians’ jobs.
QBE and CCGS require more scrutiny. Every student is expected to fit into the college prep diploma; we should add another diploma for students who’ll graduate and enter a technical college, military service or the job market.
* Do you support House Resolution 1162 and charter schools? Will charter schools take funding away from regular public schools and if not, where will the money come from?
I oppose any amendment that allows Georgia to take away local school control. If approved by voters this fall, a constitutional path will give Georgia the authority to overrule local boards of education charter school decisions. “The money follows the child” sounds good, but consider the reality. About $3,000 per child is spent on 1.6 million students in public schools. Include children in private, Muslim, Christian or any other educational setting and that amount shrinks. Better schools are still unavailable to most poor families, but moneyed parents will get taxpayer help to pay their way while public schools decay.
* Voters are considering a referendum on a HOST tax to be used to reduce property taxes, primarily for homeowners? Do you support that tax and why or why not?
HOST tax is a Homestead Option Sales Tax, which I oppose. This HOST will help those people who own a lot of property and tax the consumer even more. Wealthy property owners hate property taxes, but to expect others to pay their taxes is outrageous and cowardly. Everybody contributes to our state and country. As a property owner, I accepted the responsibility to pay taxes when I bought the land. Paying taxes is never fun, but it is necessary. If they bought the property, they should be willing to pay taxes on it.