The speaker’s visit

The Covington News - - Opinion greed is not good tammy moure oxford -

Glenn Richardson speaker of the Ge­or­gia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives stopped by the Cov­ing­ton Ro­tary Tues­day to give an up­date of up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the next term of the Ge­or­gia As­sem­bly, which starts in Jan­uary.

Richardson in­formed the group there would be no in­crease in state taxes dur­ing the next term; he said that if eco­nomic con­cerns cause the state to strug­gle to pay its bills, state-funded pro­grams would be cut. We agree with that mea­sure, but any cuts need to be made across the board and af­fect all state-funded projects.

It is right that the state be re­quired to tighten its fis­cal belt the same as ev­ery av­er­age ci­ti­zen of Ge­or­gia is hav­ing to do.

Richardson also said out of all Ge­or­gia stu­dents who at­tend col­lege only 14 per­cent ac­tu­ally grad­u­ate. On the sur­face this seems dis­grace­ful. The truth of the mat­ter is this fig­ure is higher than what we should ex­pect be­cause over the last 30 years we have pushed stu­dents and told stu­dents that in or­der to suc­ceed in life you have to go to col­lege. That phi­los­o­phy is wrong and has been wrong for the past 30 years.

There are many es­sen­tial jobs in need of em­ploy­ees be­cause we have not taught our stu­dents the proper skills needed to do those jobs.

Years ago in the ‘dark ages’ high schools not only had strong aca­demic pro­grams but equally strong tech­ni­cal pro­grams. Stu­dents who were clearly not go­ing to col­lege learned ca­reer skills that would sus­tain them later in life as well as learned ba­sic read­ing, writ­ing, arith­metic and civics skills.

When stu­dents grad­u­ated, they re­ceived ei­ther an aca­demic or a gen­eral diploma. There was no shame be­cause to grad­u­ate from high school with ei­ther diploma was a proud ac­com­plish­ment

The speaker be­lieves more money should be ear­marked for tech­ni­cal pro­grams, and we agree.

The speaker said House Repub­li­cans planned to in­tro­duce a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to stem the ris­ing tax as­sess­ment value of real prop­erty, cap­ping them at the rate of inflation or 3 per­cent.

We ap­plaud this action. County as­ses­sors across this state have con­tin­ued to sock Ge­or­gia home­own­ers with in­creased as­sessed val­ues on prop­erty to fill county cof­fers on prop­erty whose value has spi­raled down­wards dur­ing the last few years.

We be­lieve if this amend­ment was put in front of Ge­or­gia vot­ers, it would pass by an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity.

Fi­nally, even though the speaker said he had his dif­fer­ences with Gov. Sonny Per­due, he still praised his good man­age­ment of the fis­cal af­fairs of the state.

That one we dis­agree with — Per­due, in our opin­ion, has not been a good man­ager of state re­sources.

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