Thu., July 17, 2014 4:40pm (EDT)

Voters To Choose Democratic Superintendent Candidate Tuesday
By Claire Simms
Updated: 1 week ago

ATLANTA  —  
Valarie Wilson and Alisha Thomas Morgan both hope Democrats will choose them to represent the party in the State School Superintendent's race in November.
Valarie Wilson and Alisha Thomas Morgan both hope Democrats will choose them to represent the party in the State School Superintendent's race in November.
Candidates only have a few more days to sway voters their way ahead of Tuesday’s primary run off for State School Superintendent.

Despite Georgia’s status as a red state, Democrats Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie Wilson both believe they have a good shot at winning in November.

“Kids are not Democrat or Republican,” explained Morgan, a long time State Representative from Cobb County. “They’re kids who deserve to have a great leader who’s going to stand up for them.”

“This isn’t about the party differences. That needs to be somewhere else. Education is education,” said Wilson.

Wilson is a former school board member in the City of Decatur and former President of the Georgia School Boards Association.

Wilson says she’s an advocate of traditional public schools, while Morgan has been an outspoken supporter of school choice and voucher or school tax credit programs during her time in the state legislature.

“She’s been very supportive of vouchers, whether you want to call them student scholarships or whatever—tax credits. She was instrumental in the movement, although it didn’t pass, for parent trigger,” Wilson recalled. “So, those initiatives that I think would move to privatize our public school system, I’m adamantly opposed to those and my opponent has shown that she’s supportive of those.”

But Morgan argues those initiatives are not about privatizing schools, but giving parents options.

“I want voters to be very clear—crystal clear—that what I want for my daughter is the same thing that I want for the 1.6 million students in this state. And I will stop at nothing to make sure that our public education system offers a high quality public education to all of our kids no matter where they live in this state and I will fight any effort that would privatize or do anything that dismantles this system that by Constitution, we are obligated to provide to them,” said Morgan.

Both women say they support the continued implementation of the Common Core state standards in Georgia.