The Honorable Brian P. Kemp
Office of the Governor
Atlanta, GA 30334
Dear Governor Kemp and Georgia Legislators,
Georgia’s children have been on our minds this year as students, teachers, parents, and the faith based community want to see continued growth and improvements to our public schools. The ability for parents and students to have choices in which school provides them educational services is the freedom every Georgia family deserves.
Earlier this year, there was a major push of support from many Georgia pastors, local churches and faith based leaders to support Senate Bill 47. Over 40% of Georgia students are exceptional learners with special needs.
The faith based leaders support parents having a choice in where they can enroll their child(ren).
Every Georgia parent and student deserves to be at a school they choose that can meet their needs.
The Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield, is quoted in The Center Square saying that the Senate Bill 47 legislation gives Georgia parents the flexibility to do what’s best for their child. One benefit of this are community based schools that have partnerships with faith based organizations.
There are several ways faith based organizations such as churches can meet the needs of the children and families of their neighborhood schools.
One way is partnering with charter schools to offer facilities and space for educational classrooms. These essential spiritual and community institutions also have the opportunity to provide character development, mentoring of youth on civic, and community development.
Community engagement is what makes educational freedom a resource for schools. It is important for local churches to become a part of the planning process with schools and offer support to their efforts in educating the whole child.
Children do not function well academically if they have not eaten.
Many students and their parents rely solely on breakfast and lunch as their source of nourishment throughout the year. During the summer, many suffer due to a lack of food. Local churches can fill this gap by providing hot/cold breakfast and lunch as well as a safe place to connect with other young people.
Educational freedom isn’t just another cliché. The engagement of schools of choice with our communities in Georgia has many benefits. Men of our local churches are helping with safe routes to schools by walking with students in the neighborhood to school or helping monitor bus stops.
Community and business leaders have also become a presence in charter schools.
This partnership with local schools is beneficial to the students and their families; it also engages the faith community in a more active and impactful role in our local education system.
Jason B. Allen
A Concerned Georgia Teacher
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.