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Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 10:17am

Kathy Cox: "Critical Juncture" in State Education

Georgia Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox says the state’s at a “critical juncture” in education.

She told lawmakers to consider exempting education from future cuts.

Cox says that she is “very concerned” over starting the school year off with teacher furloughs. At a stimulus oversight committee hearing today, she told senators it’s time to prioritize education. Democratic State Senator Ed Tarver questioned Cox.

Tarver: Do you anticipate at some point in the discussion making the argument that K-12 education should be exempt from further cuts? Are we at a point where we should?

Cox: Absolutely, absolutely… because the local school systems are down to the bone.

Cox says if it weren’t for federal stimulus dollars the situation would be devastating, and she says the only other state worse off is California.

She asked for help monitoring over $1 billion in federal money that will be spent over the next three years.

Her agency’s administrative resources have been cut 20 percent. The federal dollars are not marked for administrative support to track accountability.